Daughter warfare

Sometimes I’m a really horrible mother.

I get a lot of the Big List things checked off these days. Piano gets practiced, homework is always on time, the kids take healthy home lunches and everyone changes their underwear almost every day. With Jason gone I’ve been so determined to keep things running smoothly that I’ve ignored the number one rule in mommy warfare:

Soothe first.

My Junie girl. She’s 6-years-old going on 23 and is so blasted strong-willed sometimes. She’ll push me and push me and I’ll push back and stand firm and cross my arms and she’ll toss shoes around and knock chairs over and storm from the room and I’ll glare and put her to bed 30 minutes early and take away her dessert and she’ll on and on and on.

We’re in this horrible merry-go-round of discord.

But in the morning when we sit and do piano together things are amazing. At night when she does her homework with me and reads it’s all good. But the moment the word Bedtime comes into play up go the fists and the dance begins.

And the worst part is that after an exhausting day of highs and lows she wants me to climb up on her bunk bed and snuggle her.

I’d rather snuggle a cactus.

But tonight after she finally fell asleep I remembered a story I’d read about a mom who laid down with her daughter each night and listened to her girl’s meandering monologue about the day and her friends and her teacher and I realized…I haven’t done that with June at all lately. She needs me. Girls need their mothers to listen, and while  I’m being a fair caretaker, I’m sure a lousy listener.

For the next week I’m going to put her to be after Georgia falls asleep and invite her into my room to talk about her day. I promise that under no circumstances will I threaten to take this away from her if she misbehaves, no way. I have got to throw this baby girl a lifeline and I’m only sorry it took me this many weeks of frustration to see how much she needs it.



  1. Yeah, my daughter is similar. And when she wants me to be in bed with her for 30 minutes, listening to nonsensical ramblings I want to pull out my hair. But then I remember how exasperated I get when no one listens to me.

  2. annie valentine says:

    I keep thinking about your comment Liv, I’m a better listener because of it. I seriously never thought about it that way before.