14 September 2016

Last Night You Cried Yourself To Sleep...And I Didn't Care

As hard as it was at first to close your door and not go back to soothe you, I stood my ground. I did it because that’s real love. As your mother, I love you too much to tolerate anything less than what I know you have the ability to give.



Dear Maddy,

Let’s talk about what happened last night. Last night was rough, there’s no other way to say it. Lately, life with you, albeit amazing most of the time, has been trying. Kindergarten has brought so many wonderful things into our lives that I wouldn’t trade for the world but with it, have also come a few challenges in behavior that I would be happy to trade in a heartbeat.


Lately, the name of your game is ‘let’s test the boundaries!” This has been one of your favorite games for a while now and will continue to be moving forward – I realize and accept this – however, last night was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. You were mouthy. You talked back. You weren’t listening or doing anything your father and I asked you to do. You were being a smart ass.


You were being five and in being five, I’ve come to the conclusion that basically, you’re the equivalent of a walking, talking middle finger.


All evening you pushed, and pushed, and pushed… until I finally reached my limit. I lost my temper and became the hard ass. You lost bedtime privileges and when it was all said and done, you were laid to bed in a puddle of tears. As I closed the door to your bedroom, you looked up at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes and gave me a look as if to say, “Why are you doing this to me, mommy?”


In that instance, I felt an enormous amount of guilt and sadness over the way I reacted. For a moment, I started to second guess myself and my choices but then I remembered why I shouldn’t…


… Because first and foremost, I’m your mother and not your friend.


… Because it’s my job to raise you, not coddle you.


… Because it’s important that you understand right from wrong, respect and decency.


… Because you must understand that you are a part of this world, not that the world revolves around you.


… Because it’s my job as your parent to make sure you grow up to be a kind and thoughtful human-being and not an entitled, bratty little shit.


As hard as it was at first to close your door and not go back to soothe you, I stood my ground. I did it because that’s real love. As your mother, I love you too much to tolerate anything less than what I know you have the ability to give.




Maddy, I look at this picture of you and see so many of the amazing qualities I love about you: your confidence, your strong-willed tendencies, and your independence. All of these traits are going to be an asset to you as you grow up in this challenging world. I always want you to keep these qualities. These same qualities that drive me crazy at times are the same ones that will help you succeed when challenges come your way. Having said this, it’s learning how to harness and control them so they work to your benefit and not your detriment that’s key and this, my dear, is the delicate balance a parent always walks: giving you the opportunity to foster and enhance your fire while keeping it in check without crushing your soul in the process.


As I write this, it’s a new day. You woke up this morning with the biggest smile on your face and the very first words out of your mouth were, “Mommy, I’m sorry.” We sat for a while in your bed and hugged and all of the feelings from the night before washed away. Nights like last night won’t be the last time we hit some hard roadblocks, kiddo. Some days will be good and some days will be shit but even on the shitty days, I will love you and I always want you to remember this one thing…


I love you too much to tolerate anything less than what I know you have the ability to give.



Love always,
Mommy 
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

24 comments:

  1. Yes mama! You put into words what I haven't been able to. We need to teach them boundaries with love, but also with some sternness.

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    1. Yes!! It's so hard to do. Harder than anything I've encountered in parenting but I keep telling myself, "There is a method to the madness. Stay the course." Thanks for reading, Becky!

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  2. I don't have kids, but I absolutely love this! My mom always told me growing up "I'm your mom, not your friend". She never justified her consequences, because she didn't need to! I understood that she was my parent and had my best interests at heart.

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    1. My parents said the same thing when us girls were growing up. I never quite understood what she meant at the time but now that I have a child of my own, I totally get it. Thanks for reading, Kait!

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  3. Great job mama. It is hard sometimes but they like to push boundaries and you were right we are the parent not there friends.

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    1. It's SO HARD. I keep trying to remind myself of what I'm trying to accomplish in raising my daughter but I'd be lying if I said that I doubt my methods sometimes. It's hard to ignore those puffy, wattery eyes!

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  4. Maddy is SO lucky to have you as a mom. You have her best interest at heart and she will love reading these posts and letters you write to her in the future.

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    1. Thank you, Lindsay! I hope so. On the other hand, she may be really embarrassed, haha! Thanks for reading!

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  5. So true, we have to stand our ground, even when it kills us. She'll remember how much you loved her for doing those things when you needed.

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    1. I hope so. I know I didn't understand my mother's methods growing up but now that I have a child, I totally get it. Thanks for reading!

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  6. This is soooo good. I don't even know where to start! It's so hard to see those big eyes full of tears and not rush to coddle our kids, but you put it perfectly. We have to teach them that they need to love and respect other people - that the world doesn't revolve around them - and sometimes the only way to do that is to let them be sad and go through those punishments. You're a fantastic mom!

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    1. Thanks, Rebekah. Parenting is SO HARD. That's why God gave us wine. ;-) Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  7. I think this is something I will need to re-read when I become a mother myself. You sound like such a good mom - wanting your daughter to be the best she can possibly be.

    xoxo, Jenny

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    1. Thank you, Lilly! That means a lot. Thanks for reading!

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  8. This reminds me growing up and my mom explaining it to me who she is and why she was showing me tough love.
    Great Job
    http://sheismelrose.net/
    @sheismelrose

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    1. Me too. My mother was the queen of tough love but I get it now. You have to! Thanks for reading!

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  9. So so so so so much yes! Seriously, everything about this is parenting perfection.

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  10. Aww, being a mama is so hard! I feel you, completely. It can be so easy to give in to those tears, we love them so much. But doing the hard thing, standing our ground, will mold them into the beautiful human beings we know they can be. Good for you.

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    1. Yes, exactly! Raising good human beings is no joke. It's SO HARD. Thanks for reading, Terryn!

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  11. I'm not a mother yet, but I love this so much. I think more parents need to read this nowadays. Love.

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    1. Thanks, Summer! I appreciate you reading. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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