Why I Love Having a Teenage Daughter

If you know me well, it's been no secret that the past few weeks have been challenging.

Pregnancy hormones raging.
Constant fatigue.
Carter awaking at 4 am each morning (part of his manic cycles).
Tough discussions with Caroline and her teachers to get her on track.
Trying to encourage and support Scott in his big trial (and biggest case yet).
Essentially being a single mom for several weeks now.
And striving to make Caroline's first Christmas season in our family a special one even though we're not all together.

Most of you moms know that you don't begin a new day refreshed unless you've had time to actually be refreshed. The frustrations, impatience, and self-control in the midst of defiance or chaotic behavior eventually build and compound internally over the days and weeks until you suddenly find your blood boiling and your temper raging in just a matter of seconds.

This morning was such a time as that. Now, I had some good reasons to be angry. But I did not have an excuse for flying off the handle as I did.

A couple of hours later, we were driving to my inlaws so they could keep the little ones while I took Caroline shopping for a few things. When we parked, she leaned forward and asked, "Mommy, are you okay?" I explained why I was struggling (and added in how pregnancy hormones don't help!). And with sensitivity and compassion, she responded, "I know you want to cry."

Boy did my eyes well up with tears then! She got it. With two active and curious toddlers, it was so refreshing to have a (young) adult with whom I could share and converse. To have someone who understood me. Our lunch and shopping excursion were so pleasant that I found myself in a more cheerful mood within minutes.

While I have many exasperating moments with my teenager, I also have many times when I am so thankful to have her in our home. She is so helpful with the little ones. (She even changed Grace's diaper tonight for the first time.) And she takes initiative to keep them in line. She is the reason why I've been able to venture out with all 3 kids this Christmas season on different excursions (as a solo parent) with confidence and peace.

I am not proud of the way I reacted this morning. My parenting goal is to always respond with a firm but calm temperament. And I'm not sure how I feel about seeming so weak to my teenage daughter. But maybe my vulnerability will allow Caroline to feel more freedom to share her emotions.

Tonight should be a relatively calm evening. Carter requested that we all put on cozy pajamas, sit on the couch, and watch a movie. So we're watching "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," one of Carter's favorites. Maybe that green joy-stealer will make me seem tame. :)

1 comment:

Ericka B. Jackson said...

This is so sweet Kelley... what a special moment between you two! Thanks for sharing it with us!