Addie was still crying as I tucked her in tonight, she didn’t do what I had asked and ended up missing out on 15 minutes of iPad time before bed.

Parenting this child is taking all I have.

Her heart is so huge and her spirit so loving that keeping her on the right track without breaking her is a daily challenge.

Addie's Bubble Zen

I could tell something was off yesterday, and after asking a few questions she broke down into heartbreaking sobs. She misses her daddy. She wishes we could all spend all of our time together as a family. She wants to be with Vivi more than she wants to be at summer camp swimming and playing with friends.

They were the kind of sobs that make you feel terrible as a parent, yet so glad that your child is willing to talk to you about what’s hurting them.

I’ve been praying overtime, asking for all the help I can get to raise this child into the best human she can be.

As I kissed her goodnight I whispered “Do you know what goes on in my head when I think about you? I think about how magnificent you are, how much you love us, how amazing you are as a big sister, how well you take care of others — I don’t ever dwell on the things you’ve done wrong. When I think about you my heart gets so big it feels like it may explode.

She smiled.

I am so proud of her.

Addie's Minnie Style

Tonight a little boy was trapped at the top of a big slide, too scared to go down alone. Without even being asked, Addie had him sit in her lap and rode down with him.

This, this is the heart of my child.

I hate that I sometimes have to do things that make me a bad mom in her eyes, if only to make sure I’m the right mom she needs to grow into a good kid.

We all feels this way, right?

 

Comments

  1. Yes, we all do. We all hope that our children will learn from our mistakes, and we hope that if we are honest with them about our failings, that they will be able to parent their children better than we parented them.

  2. Motherhood is currently kicking my butt. It’s constant redirection and regular discussions about poor choices. And I feel like all I’m doing is yelling (even though I’m not really raising my voice). I’m discovering that 8 is hard. I worry all the time about whether I’m doing all of this right. I can’t offer you any words of wisdom because I’m in the thick of it, too. Hang in there.

  3. Ugh. My son is battling depression. Parenting is hard, but SO important. Love is the answer.

  4. Yes. Yes. Yes!
    My youngest is 16. He is the most loving, compassionate, caring being that I could ever hope for God to entrust me with.

    He also deals with ADD and learning disabilities. We’ve struggled through years of school classes that I thought neither of us would survive. We did, but barely.

    At the end of this school year he and I decided that we would explore virtual/online summer courses. I read so many testimonials from students, teachers and parents that I couldn’t absorb anymore. We’re taking it slowly. I’m optimistic. He’s feeling pretty good about it too. Maybe he’s just not a brick and mortar kid. I’m comfortable that we have options and time.

    Our kids are worth it. They are individual and we are as parents. Will all our choices be right every time? Probably not. But will we learn from them? Yep, and our little kids will grow up to be just fine.

    And luckily the internet is full of shoulders to lean on.

  5. Yes we do.

  6. Oh yes. My youngest is just like that. She’s the most caring, wonderfully sweet person I know, but she’s also almost 4, has a very extroverted twin sister & loses her mind when she gets in trouble. It’s so hard. I don’t want to break her, but she also is so scattered & easily side tracked. It’s. so. Hard.

  7. Stay strong. You’re an awesome mom, totally doing it right, IMO.

  8. Oh hell yes, we do.

  9. Oh yes! Just 10 mins ago I complained to my husband how much I hate it when my 2.5 year old cheerful, crazy, inventive exuberant behavior leads to me having to be a grumpy mummy who tells her off and removes privileges and brings everyone down. I was referring to the moment just befor when while she was supposed to be smuggling into bed and going to sleep she was jumping on the bed whacking me on the head with a toy yelling “mum, lizard wants to make a nest in your hair!”

  10. Yep. My youngest is easy to parent (so far) and the oldest has not given me a run for my money. BUT my middle one is my struggle (and not because he’s naughty). He is such a quiet, gentle and sensitive soul … and I don’t know how to give him exactly and everything that he needs. I feel like I fail him on a regular and daily basis. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes we can JUST tell them that we love them to the moon and back 99 bajillion times.

  11. I think the fact that you’re simply willing to be honest and open with your children is more than enough of a sign that you’re on the right track.

    It doesn’t feel like my parents were open with me very much. They hid the things that would have made it easier for me to understand who they were and how they responded to me. A lot of times I felt ashamed of who I was and like the person I was wasn’t good enough. If I could have understood more than just “this hurts me more than it hurts you” I think that might’ve helped. And calling out the good things in your child is WONDERFUL. I probably nagged as a child a lot, in fact I know I did, no one ever told me that persistence can be a good thing…

    So the fact that you can talk to Addie and she’ll tell you how she feels and that you’re confident enough to explain the depths of your heart and the impact she has on it is truly magnificent. She may not realize how much these things mean now, when little upsets mean so much, but someday she’ll realize what a gift you’ve given her by being open like that.

  12. I love this. I love this because it helps me understand that I am not the only one who feels this way.

    thank you. xoxo

  13. “Her heart is so huge and her spirit so loving that keeping her on the right track without breaking her is a daily challenge.”

    THIS. this is exactly how i feel about my four year old. it is so hard to discipline her without feeling like i am destroying her sense of self worth. even just to say ‘i’m disappointed in you not listening to me.’ upsets her so much it breaks my heart.
    i was talking to a friend about it and she said that the fact that i am aware of it, the fact i am trying so hard to find a balance and to do it right is a sign that i am going in the right direction.

    hang in there, you are not alone. <3

  14. we’ve got a 4 yr old in pre-k who goes to the principals office on a weekly basis and a fight over zucchini last night had me over the edge. The night before he loved it, yesterday it was a battle. All we can do is our best!!!

  15. Nobody can do that parenting thing perfectly, but your devotion to not only doing what is right for your children but also embracing their distinct personalities and needs is admirable! I was (am) over-sensitive and kind and always in need of validation and approval and I would have given ANYTHING for those words to be said to me! :)

  16. I can’t imagine anything you do will have a lasting negative effect. Busting out the leather belt and telling your daughter she’s stupid…that has a lasting effect (on me). But even worse is not disciplining her at all. Too many parents go that route out of fear.

  17. Bethany says:

    I’m not a parent. but I was a child like addie. it seems like youre doing it right.

    I’ve gone down more than one slide with a strange child on my lap

  18. May I say something? I’m not a parent, but I am a 30 year old emotionally sensitive girl and I was (am?) just like Addie. I love to love and I love fiercely and furiously. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my smile was so big during my wedding that MY neck tendons were showing (thus ruining a few pictures, but whatever.) With that crazy love and joy, however, means that I also feel sadness and disappointment all the more strongly. My mom never really got me. She’d say “it just seems like things are so much harder for you” as I’d be sobbing about something or another. I struggled with my emotions until one day, in my mid 20s, my friend said something to me that I wish I would’ve heard over and over throughout my childhood: “your feelings are yours and they are true and real. Acknowledge how you feel and know that it’s right for that moment and it’s ok.” I wish that my mom would’ve let me know that my sad moments were just as normal and “real” as my love and joy moments. I wish that someone told me that my emotional extremes are justifiably good because they’re mine. You’re a great mom for Addie! :)

  19. Christy Cruz says:

    I think, when you stop questioning whether or not you are screwing it up, is really when you need to question what’s happening. It’s a lot like when children are playing, noises are good, silence is not. :)

  20. Amy in StL says:

    Only the good moms feel that way. The ones that actually parent their children instead of just trying to be their most popular friend. Big yay for you doing the right thing!

  21. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  22. This post is so beautiful, and it’s this – and others by you – that finally inspired me to get my own blog going. I wrote a piece yesterday called ‘Stumbling Through Motherhood’ (www.discopantsblog.com) and the responses have been amazingly affirming. It’s such a relief being honest. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for your courage and realness! Susan from South Africa

  23. You are absolutely doing it right!

    I recently was talking to my brother (who is a stay-at-home dad) and we truly decided that the moments our girls hate us the most tend to be the times we’re doing the best job.