Raising a Daughter

I have always wanted a little girl.  Dresses.  Pink. Purple.  Dance classes. Mommy and Daughter Days. Vacations.  Best friends.  So many hopes for a great relationship.  Lots of hugs, kisses, days and nights where she would confide in me.  I had visions of having an amazing relationship with my daughter.  There was nothing she could do wrong.  Nothing that would cause me to get upset.  She would look up to me and just be happy.

In 2008, I found out our first child was going to be a girl.  EEK!  A little girl!!  I was so excited.  Things were awesome with her.  She was funny, happy, silly and just perfect.  Then she turned 5.5 and she became this child that seemed so spoiled – disrespectful, rude, demanding, ungrateful, and mean.  Where did my sweet little girl go?  The one that would do almost anything I asked her without hesitation.  The one who wouldn’t give me this look like I  just asked her to perform some ridiculous task.  The one who wouldn’t have said “Oh come on!  Seriously?!”

You guys…I understand that time flies but when did I have a teenager in a 6 year old little girl’s body?  I did my math correctly, my daughter should be 6 right now…NOT 16.

No one EVER talks about what it’s REALLY like to have a child.  I mean, we have recently seen an influx of male comedians making jokes about being a parent but you guys…seriously…we need to all be realistic and we need to do that with each other.  I know there are other moms out there who want to go crazy and somewhere some mom felt like she needed to be the perfect mom.  Then another mom felt like crap about being a less than perfect mom so then she tried to be the perfect mom, etc.  So now there’s this unspoken need to be perfect and it’s taboo to express frustration with your child in public.  Heaven forbid you actually say to someone that you’re exhausted and you wish your kid would just nap so you can have a break or that you just want to vent.

Being a mom/parent is hard.  Actually, hard doesn’t even begin to describe it.  It’s a tough “job”.  We’ve all seen the “salary” calculators where moms should be paid over $100k for caring for their children.  You can’t really put a price tag on it because $100k sounds like a lot of money but there are people who make six figures and their job is not at all difficult.  It’s not a true reflection of the difficulties of being a parent.

Charlie Brown had it correct – all kids hear is static.  Sometimes the static clears and then they hear familiar words like “ice cream”, “dessert”, “iPad”.  Words like “clean”, “shower”, “homework” never come in quite as clear.

It’s a struggle.  I see glimpses of how my relationship with my daughter will be in the future.  I pray every day that it will be better than what I had with my mom (which was far from perfect).  I still have the will and desire to continue to push through the chaos and the barriers to be there for my little girl.  My heart tells me that she’ll appreciate it one day.  Crossing my fingers.

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