Saturday, May 22, 2010

too hard on her

I know that I'm too hard on my oldest daughter (she's 9, will be 10 in a few months). I don't know why. I know that she's my learning child (all the firsts I experience come from her - first lost tooth, first day of school, you get the idea). My husband tells me frequently that I'm harder on her than the other kids. I know I am too, I just can't figure out why or how to stop.

There's a few times when I've been in the middle of yelling at her for something she's said or done, and then the voice in my head says "Is she gonna do ANYTHING right today, Momma?" And I shut my mouth. I just wish that voice would speak up more often. I don't want to tear down my daughter's self esteem or anything like that. She is creative, outgoing, and funny, and I don't want to ruin those things, I want to protect them. I want to shelter her and let her know how loved she is, and how wanted she is. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to do to her what was done to me growing up.

I always tried so hard, I made good grades, and I rarely got in trouble, but nothing ever seemed good enough for my mom. I was lonely, I grew up in a single parent home, and since my mom was sick all the time, I wasn't allowed to have friends over. I wasn't one of those kids who, after getting a license, was allowed to drive the car all the time. My mom grudgingly let me get my license so I could drive her around after she got sicker. Even then she didn't want to relinquish that control over me.

I want my daughter to be different. I want her to be able to come and talk to me, and really talk. I want to be her confidant, and be able to give her good sound advice when she has problems - not lose my mind and freak out over stupid crap. My only problem is that I don't know how to do that. My husband helps, and he will step in when he feels the need - the only problem is that he feels the need EVERY time she gets in trouble, and that aggravates me, because he has a tendency to favor her over the other kids when it comes to disciplining them.

I don't even know if I'm making any sense now. It's 11 am, I didn't sleep well, my coffee is cold, and I'm crying because she's gotten in trouble and I freaked out as per usual. I've already apologized to her and given her a hug and told her I love her, but I can't follow my own advice. I tell my kids all the time to watch what they say, because you can always say you're sorry, but once you say it, it's out there and you can't make the other person un-hear it. (Just like music they shouldn't listen to or TV they shouldn't watch.)