Christian Living


Mommy and the Joyful Three

Do You Struggle More with One Child?

I am 32 years old and just now realizing how much I love and need my mom. This may sound strange, but unfortunately my mother and I have had one of those relationships that may be a better fit for a reality talk show than an example of a good relationship.

My mom is a loving, wise and considerate person; and of course, I have always loved her. Still, I feel as if I have pushed her away over the years. Our relationship has not always been a great example.

We have had a communication gap between us. My mother and I can talk the ear off of anyone with love, but when we’re together we argue and push each other’s buttons.

Recently I have been noticing that I have had an automatic response for my mom even before she speaks. I will immediately pile on my defenses and not even allow her to get past her first few words.

Then, I began to notice that my relationship with my oldest daughter is taking on some defining characteristics of my own relationship with my mom. This scared me. I told my friend about it recently and she asked, “Well, how much do you love her?” I replied that I love her more than anything, aside from God. My friend responded, “But at times she can get under your skin and push your buttons and at times have a negative relationship?”

“Well, yes why do you think I feel so bad?” I answered her feeling embarrassed that I may be the only mom in the world feeling this way about an eight year old.

“Your mom feels the same way. She loves you and you think she can’t stand you, but instead she actually loves you so much she allows you to frustrate her.”

This made me laugh, but what a truth. How many times have you hounded your parents or frustrated them about situations in your life and then reacted towards their frustration with equal anger and attitude? I personally can tell you I have done this often.

My eight year old is the brightest, most beautiful girl to me. But, my relationship with her is not as easy or natural as my relationship is with her sister or brother. This was a huge thing to understand and admit to myself. I love her just as much, perhaps worry about her more so she gets the most of my attention at times but it is not as easy to understand her as it is her siblings. And to her my worry and attention is just annoying.

I would look at my mom and brothers and question how they got along with her so well. I would wonder if it was me.

A lot of relationships go through this. Marriages, friendships, any relationship can have its moments.

Be careful of putting up defenses, especially when it comes to interacting with your family. If I had stopped this long ago, my mother and I may have gotten somewhere sooner.

Instead, I needed to understand that while at the moment you may be having difficulties with a particular child or person this does not define your relationship. Each day is a new day with your child or parent no matter the age; the yesterdays were just a part of the growing process for both of you!

Do not let the drama, bad days or any issues determine your relationship with your child. No child is beyond hope. No parent is either.

I have been waking up saying this prayer and it has been the best way to start my morning…

“Dear God, thank you for my children yesterday and every day. Thank you so much for them today, for the new exciting things they will show me, for the learning curve you give us as moms and dads. Allow me to remember it for my own children. Allow me to remember that they are growing and learning, just like me!”

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