Friday, October 28, 2011

The hard part

No one told me about the really hard part of being on the mom end of the parent/child relationship. It's one thing to see it portrayed on television and in movies, but completely different to experience it first-hand.

One day, your child is happy to see you, chatty about her day, asks about yours, talks about her friends, her dreams, her dramas. She likes to spend time with you, and it shows. Seemingly the next day, although in reality I'm sure it's a more gradual change, she barely speaks to you, gives monosyllabic answers to questions, spends more time in her room than with the family, and has to be threatened to get her to do the simplest of chores around the house (which she not too long ago begged for, by the way). Attempts at conversation are met with eye rolls, hugs aren't returned. Chatty, playful moments are less frequent.

I know it's all part of growing up, becoming independent, and normal steps along the process of turning from a child to an adult, but it still hurts. She's my first-born baby! We've always been so very close, and honestly, this new turn is killing me.

I guess the timing is what's so hard, too. I've been feeling older lately. I may be the youngest mom in her grade (apparently they did an in-class project with parent ages in 6th grade and she discovered this fact), but I feel like the stereotypical old mom trying to fit in with her teenager you see portrayed. My face is looking older, my hair is getting white strands and doing weird things, and I'm so very tired lately. Suddenly I've gone from being the "cool mom" to just "you're so out of touch I can only roll my eyes in response" mom. It's all weighing on me at once and I just don't know what to do about it.

To top it all off, Sophie's nearly two and is hitting toddlerhood full-force. She has her new bed, this weekend is her first "real" Halloween, and then Christmas and her birthday. I want to have all the fun little-kid experiences with her like I did with Emma - trips to the playground, picnics at the park, all the normal fun stuff. I don't want her to miss out on those, but I am worried Emma will feel left out, or that Sophie is getting more attention than she is, even though we did the same things with her. This is the down side to the age difference - they are just in different places, and it's nearly impossible to find an activity that they will both enjoy.

If anyone has this figured out, please share your wisdom with me. Maybe it's just the sudden change in weather, but I feel like I'm drowning in doubt over here. I need a life jacket!


  1. Hang in their, Christine. It is normal behavior (and it is probably going to get worse before it gets better) but one day your daughter will be grown and you may be very pleasantly surprised at your relationship in a few years. For now: buckle up and hang on tight!

  2. Wow, I think you've been inside my head. I thought I was so going to get my teenager (I wrote a book about being a teenager for goodness sake!), but she alternately loves/hates me on any given day... or hour.

    It's hard. I adore her... think she's the brightest, prettiest, most amazing 6th grader around, and she puts up with me.

    Plus, the old part. Age has only started bothering me recently, as she constantly tells me I'm old. Even my 6 year old baby thinks it, feeding off her preteen influence.

    Thanks for sharing. At least I know I'm not alone. Hugs!