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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day #25: Some Challenges of Motherhood

Happy to be part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Day #25!

Just when I think that I have this motherhood thing going along pretty well, someone serves me up a piece of humble pie.

I have asked my daughter, Julia, a few times about her application for a summer program and she has reassured me that she had it "under control." Until last night. Last night, that would be March 23rd, she informed me that the application had been due on March 21st.

"You're going to be mad, Mom," she had said.

I tried not to be as mad as I really wanted to be. Mostly, my madness was coming out of a place of disappointment for her. She had worked so hard on the essay and the program would have been so good for her. Oh, and, it is free to the selected students...it's a free hiking and leadership program through Colorado mountains. Oh well.

"I will email the lady tomorrow and see if I can still send in my application," Julia said.

I don't think so, but she can try.

This morning as I drove Julia and Clare to school, I brought up summer plans again. Julia flicked through her instagram pictures and barely responded to any of my questions or suggestions. My blood was heating up as I was spouting out life's greatest advice to her and she was more interested in selfies of peripheral friends.

 Note to self: do not try to engage daughter #2 in any kind of meaningful discussion before 9 in the morning.

Another note to self: make sure that anxiety is not getting the best of you. Anxiety leads to anger. Quickly.

And another reminder to self: your one little word for 2014 is kindness. Kindness. KINDNESS!!!

I did not manage to evoke any sort of summer plans for Julia in the 10 minute car ride, but I did avoid mother/daughter disaster by saying something along the lines of not being mad and just being interested in helping her figure out a great summer. It definitely helped to change the topic and analyze who is in the best position to win the family March Madness pool, since her bracket is in the best shape at this point.

Clare caught on and winked at me in the rear-view mirror.

I love those girls.


  1. Laugh! I'm in that push-and-pull phase of parenting too, with a new middle schooler. I try to stay out as much as I can, but it's so HARD! I jump in, make reminders, and jump out again. I know he needs to make his own mistakes and learn from his own bumps on the head....

  2. I think parenting teens and almost adults is at least as hard as parenting the younger ones, or maybe harder. I think you are right though- it's all about kindness and compassion and calm and building relationships. But it's so, so, so hard! I have two in college and am trying to parent from 900 miles away. YIKES!

  3. We learn as we go. You are raising some amazing young women who will err despite your best efforts. Great notes to self, now to remember them and apply them. Who said being a parent was easy? :-)

  4. Love this: kindness. Kindness. KINDNESS!!! also equals patience, patience, PATIENCE! You know, and it's so hard, that there's no point in getting angry, but sometimes it's not easy. I would guess she will have a good summer or she won't-her decision. I think this was a hard time in parenting, too. Best to you, Melanie!

  5. I am always impressed at the way you are able to keep a lid on the Mommy-madness and take the high road. Not one of my parenting strengths, I'm afraid! Something tells me that Julia will manage to rustle up plans of her own this summer - she seems to know what she's all about. And - love the last line. It's the best feeling.

  6. I admire your restraint, Melanie! Sometimes it's very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. Thanks for the reminder to always be kind.

  7. It is challenging, but you handled it with such grace! Loved your reminder of your OLW - screaming it to yourself!! And your "note to self" for reminders later. What a fun (and frustrating) slice!

  8. I appreciate this post so much. I just don't know how to parent a 15 year old girl. It is hard hard hard. Your post has helped me try to keep things in perspective and practice KINDNESS.

  9. Parenting is challenging especially teenage girls! I thought little boys were bad but you have me beat, hands down! This is a great slice!

  10. I love that you and Clare shared that special wink. She's got your back on this one, mama!

    I, too, hear my OLW calling to me often. (Like right now. I promised myself I'd take care of myself, but I've been eating sweets lately. I just reached for a Breakstones Peach Cottage Double. Not what I wanted, but healthier than the Nutella Banana Bread that's sitting on the kitchen counter.) I'm glad you allowed your word to resettle you and help you handle the situation with such grace. Kudos to you, Melanie!

    This parenting thing ain't easy!