My Bad Mommy Epiphany

Well hallelujah for grandparents.

It’s a funny thing about parenting. I’ve spent the last nine or ten months in total and complete toddler frustration. I have this darling 24 month old daughter who is so into everything and such a little doer, I’ve been ready to ship her off to Arkansas so she could work on a beet farm.

But I’ll tell you right now, my parents see her through totally different eyes. I don’t know, perhaps it’s the fact that they’ve cycled eleven kids of their own (plus who knows how many strays) through the system over the years. Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s exactly like their last child and they’ve done this successfully before.

Whatever it is, they had her number the first day we got here and I don’t thinkĀ  my little June Bug has ever been so happy in her entire life. I can see that she’s going to be heartbroken to leave them, and there’s no doubt they’ll feel the same way.

I’ve been too close to the situation, calling her business naughty and thinking she was so difficult. But watching her with my parents I realize she’s not at all naughty, and is in fact quite the opposite. With the right parents, the girl is a total pleaser. She just wants to do everything.

Proving their weight, my parents caught on to that as soon as we got here. My mother has her lining the trash cans and loading the dryer, getting her own glasses of water and dressing herself. All she needs is a little direction, she’s about the smartest thing going.

I feel guilty. I feel bad. I hate that I’ve been fighting her for the past few months when it could have been so much easier. I’m so lucky to have parents who can still teach me things, and I feel like I’m finally seeing my little June Bug and all her incredibly enthusiastic potential.

My point is this. Sometimes as parents, we’re too close to the situation. When you have a difficult child, may I suggest that we all take a moment and consider what role we’re playing that might be making the situation what it is? All relationships are two-sided, get outside the box for a while and you might be surprised at what you see.


  1. Grandparents are like magic pixies, I swear.

  2. I totally make my niece do everything when I’m babysitting her.

  3. I think your June Bug and my Hunter would be two peas in a pod!

  4. So true. Painful, but true.

  5. This is interesting. The one thing I try to do as a parent, no matter how much I complain about my children and how annoyed I get at the moment, I always try to enjoy them. Someday (and with my son that time is now) I will miss the constant messes and the tantrums. While I am proud of everything he has become and wish everyone could see him as I do, I try to appreciate every mo….well almost every moment that I can. I love those guys and I love being their cheerleader.

    I also love to take my kids to their grandparents because they love to be totally adored and lets face it, it’s easier to maintain my cheerleader status when we both get breaks periodically. (Lest you think all is calm at my house, so not true. lol) But a little love and understanding goes a long way, you know? Ugh, I’m typing way more then I usually do, I’m going to Target.

  6. I loved this post – it’s so insightful. I sometimes get frustrated with my daughter Emma – and it took me a while to realize that it was because she’s almost exactly like me in every way.

    You’re right, we need to step back periodically and really think about our relationships with our kids. Sometimes we just can’t see the forest for the trees.

  7. So true–and we all go through this very thing, having to stand back and look at ourselves and our kids and figure out how to handle them. Maybe watch other people and their kids. Readjust. And then, and least in my case, cross my fingers and hope I haven’t scarred them.

  8. My mom actually makes things worse, so you are really lucky. She threatens them too much so my kids are leary of her.

  9. Yeah, well. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. Sometimes she really is pretty horrible. And it has nothing to do with you. But she SO makes up for it when she’s adorable. Miss you guys!

  10. Annie, So insightful do not be so hard on yourself you would of figured it out eventually:) Just enjoy Junie now:)

  11. Just wondering if any of you are up to taking my 5 year old for a while so as to teach me…….any takers?…..(my mom has passed on, and I need some insight)….

  12. best post you’ve ever written, in my opinion!