Thursday, November 14, 2013

#I Am Not

See those two smiling faces in the picture above? That's my daughter and me, after a race earlier this year. Just looking at the picture it probably appears that we are close and always have been- but pictures can be deceiving.

Kari is my second child. With her brother, Keenan, mothering just seemed to come naturally. He was more subdued, more calm, and more manageable. Our house was peaceful and I felt like I had everything under control. Then Kari was born.

 Kari has always been the more independent of the two: wanting to do things on her own, not wanting help from others, and wanting to make her own decisions. The teenage "attitude" hit early with her. (My husband and I joked that she was 10 going on 18.) I would say something to her, even calmly,  and she would tell me to stop talking so mean to her. The attitude seemed to show itself more frequently with me than it did with her father. Several times I can remember him saying, "I just wish you two could get along."

There were many tears shed and many prayers said. There were times when I just wanted to throw my hands into the air and say, "Lord, I can't go through this anymore." At times, I found myself sitting around the house with my mouth clamped tight, for fear that I would say the wrong thing and it would all explode. I really doubted my abilities as a mother.

But.... I didn't give up.

I kept on keeping on: praying for guidance from God, reading every blog out there, talking to other moms, and loving my child.

Finally, this past summer, things changed. Kari spent five weeks away from home at the Governor's Scholars Program. I missed her. She missed us. She matured. I learned to allow her to grow.

Since then, it hasn't been all peaches and cream, but it has definitely improved. Kari and I can actually talk now, but I usually let her approach me first. There are still times when Kari gets upset, but I just back away and let her calm down. If she needs me, she comes back.

Kari has also developed a much more active religious life. She is reading her Bible daily, attending Bible groups at church, and is the first one to chastise my husband and I if we miss too many activities at church ourselves.

It has taken a long time................ but with that time and God's help, I can honestly say that I am NOT a bad mother. Those doubts that flooded my mind for so many years have been washed away. It required patience, prayer, and practice............... but I now have peace with the fact that I am NOT a failure when it comes to being a mother.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Stella, it is so comforting to read your words of hope & encouragement. I have been struggling for years with my stepson & just reading that you have made progress in your relationship with your daughter gives me hope. I know God didn't bring me to this not to bring me through it. I just need to stop listening to the devil tell me I can't do it!