Children · Complaints · Parenting

Power Struggle

Sometimes I wonder how I will survive this whole parenting ‘thing’.

Saying it is challenging or difficult is an understatement. While it has more than its fair share of positives, it can be a struggle.

Right now my, I mean our, daughter is nine and a half years old. She is smart, kind and creative. Her personality shines through and I cannot wait to see the all the wonderful things that she does with her life.

Now, that being said – she is also quite stubborn, sassy and does everything when she is ready. Some of these qualities when harnessed and refined will help her be a leader. However, right now these qualities test my strength, my patience and give me gray hair.

Taylor has begun to exhibit many of the stereotypical tween behaviors. Excessively dramatic, emotional and superb selective hearing. Most of these ebb and flow over the course of a few days. My husband and I generally manage them well, trading off when necessary. Lots of deep breathing exercises and a glass of wine seem to help.

Now for some reason when Nick travels for work these less desirable behaviors and emotions tend to peak on the day he leaves and the day he returns. Generally on the day he returns I am already spent from his time away and handle it less gracefully.

This last week in particular while on the way to the airport to pick him up I found myself on the verge tears. I drove in silence with my grumpy, yet precious, nine-year old in the back seat staring out the window with a look in her eyes that could kill.

Over and over in my head I kept thinking things like: “Today she has won.” “If this is so hard at nine how I’ll I survive the teenage years?” “My nine-year old has broke me.” “Can I survive parenting?” “How am I going to keep doing this?”

It has been quite some time since I have had soooooo many intense thoughts like these. Yes, I recognize that some of them are a little dramatic. Yet, that day I felt like I was at or very close to my breaking point.

Now I would like to mention that this specific incident had to do with my husband traveling. Many other times these moments of anxiety and feelings of my parental failure happen when he is literally right next to me. I also understand that it is normal to feel these things, but that does make it any easier.

Whether or not you are parenting solo, with a partner or a blend of parents/ parental figures in your child’s life it is still freaking hard. Each child reacts differently to each person. They express their feelings and emotions in various ways to each individual. Looking back I recognize that as a child I put my parents through the ringer each in their own way. There again, none of this knowledge makes it any easier to handle in the moment.

I hope that I can continue to be just a strong-willed as my child. That I can not only survive her upbringing, but continue to shape and mold her. I will try to get back up every time she knocks me down. I just love her so much that I know I must figure out a way.

There isn’t another choice, at least not for me.

2 thoughts on “Power Struggle

  1. For what it’s worth. . . .

    I recall those “battle of wits” years with a smile. We raised three daughters. Today, one is a NICU nurse, one a kindergarten teacher and one is in medical school to be a pediatric trauma surgeon.

    Our kids know how to push our buttons because they helped put them there. We did the best we could with what we knew at the time and I suppose that in the words of Bob Carlisle, “with all the things I did wrong, I must have done something right” The most important thing though (in my opinion) is to be a parent, not a friend. There is a difference.

    On those days though, when all seems lost, a bottle of Cab and a straw become an acceptable distraction.

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    1. I hope that I will be able to look back on them with a smile also. Thank you for your kind words and quote. I too agree that maintaining the parent rather than friend role is of the utmost importance.

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