There are some things that we just need to talk about as mother’s. Sometimes we need to scream. Sometimes we need to vent. Sometimes we need to celebrate. Let’s do all of those things together.
In a few years, you’ll be a full on teenager. I have less than a decade to get my life together for you, and that’s just plain scary. But, I have some things I need to address with you before you can be all grown and shit. So, work with me, this may take some time to work through.
I know you gon’ try me a few times. It’s part of life and that’s fine. But please understand this: I will consistently handle you. Don’t think for a second that I can’t or won’t because I’ve gotten older, or whatever. Yes, we are friends and I love you. But, I will snatch you up in front of your ‘lil’ friends’, no questions asked. If you don’t want that to happen, I suggest you don’t try me.
Here’s a list of things I never want to hear you say:
- “You’re ruining my life, mom.” Trust me, I could do so much worse. But I’ll always have your future in mind. Especially when you don’t.
- “Why do you have to embarrass me?” Girl, bye. I could embarrass you all day, every day, no problem *in my Katt Williams voice*. So please, baby, don’t tempt me. Any form of the “embarrassment” statement is the number one way to get you, for sure, embarrassed. And when I’m done embarrassing you, I’ll laugh about it. Because I’m not one of those parents who is going to raise a child whose feelings are 100% dependent on what others think of her. I refuse to let you be that girl.
- “But Sara’s mom lets her…” And? I promise you that what works for Sara (or whatever your lil’ friend’s name is) won’t work for you. You know why? Because I’m not Sara’s mama. I’m yours. You have to deal with me, Sara doesn’t and probably can’t anyways.
I know that you’re going to act like you have no sense and do things when I’m at work just because your dad will let you get away with them. Understand that your dad and I will forever be on the same page. So, even when you think I don’t know, I do. I always will. From now until you’ve graduated from college. Really for the rest of your life.
Please know, I have failed millions of times. I made sure you were around. I failed in front of you on purpose. Why? Because I wanted you to see that failure is acceptable, giving up is not. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’ve been places I never want to return to. I’ve separated myself from you for longer than I was comfortable with. But, all my decisions were made with you in mind. With your future in mind. Your future is what I’m invested in. You are what I’m invested in.
You are a light I never knew I needed, clarity I didn’t see coming. From the day you took your first breath, I’ve done nothing but work for your happiness. Sometimes, it hurt in the immediate aftermath, but it was worth it in the end.
Please know that I have never and will never lie to you. I’ve never kept secrets from you. Even when it hurts, I’ll be honest. Maybe a little too honest, but I want you to understand things as early as possible. Don’t think I’m telling you things to hurt you or to take away some childhood innocence that you have. It’s not that. I just need you to understand that life is moving whether you’re ready for it or not. So, it’s my job as your mom, to get you ready as soon as possible.
You are going to accomplish amazing things. You have a genuine love for people that is unparalleled. I pray that other people don’t rob you of that with their cruel words and actions. It’s an asset to survival. You’re so giving and nurturing and caring that I aspire to be more like you. It’s something that I work on everyday. So, rest assured that you’re inspiring me as much as I’m working to inspire you. For that, I can say nothing more than thank you.
Thank you for teaching me to step outside of my comfort zone for the sake of family advancement. Thank you for giving me a reason to roll out of bed when I don’t even feel like setting an alarm clock. Thank you for unconditionally loving me and letting me love you. Because you could hate me if you want. Lord knows I’ve given you plenty of reasons. Yet, regardless of my intentions, you’ve always loved me.
But don’t forget, as your mom, I’ll tear you all the way up if I need to. I will not hesitate to hand you multiple reasons to hate me if you do something that jeopordizes your future or your potential. I want you to be everything YOU want to be. I have no aspirations for you, besides happiness. I’m always on your side, even when you think I’m the reincarnation of Satan.
My heart will always belong in your hands. So, when I do things that you think are intentionally to piss you off just know they’re not. I do things to protect you, and sometimes to expose you, to the truth about what life expects you to become.
I allowed my situation to create a cycle that you will not continue. Yes, I made decisions that led to me getting pregnant with you while I was still in high school. People are going to have something to say about that for as long as both you and I are alive. And I’m sure it will continue long after we’re both gone. But just know, I’m proud of you! I wouldn’t change the way that you entered my life, or the fact that you’re here. You have changed me in so many great ways.
Now, remember all that when I’m yelling at you. Because, I know you won’t like me all the time. That’s okay. But I’ll always love you.
Your irritating best friend when no one’s around,
4 Ways to Desensitize Your Drama Queen
There are few things I love more than my little Baby.MeltingPot. However, this girl has a special gift for working my last nerve with her excessive sensitivity. She punishes herself. Sometimes, it’s cute. Sometimes, it’s downright hilarious. But normally, it’s just irritating. And I have to love her through all that irritation.
In reality, it’s my fault. Because I did what “parents are supposed to do”. I taught my daughter to be nice. I taught my daughter to think of others feelings. And now, I have to teach my daughter to think of her own. This seems to be harder than all those other lessons combined. Because now, she’s selfless. Of course, that’s a great thing. She’s the sweetest girl in the world. However, it’s not a great thing when a little boy in her class throws a basketball at her face and she puts up no defense. It wasn’t a great thing when the little boy in preschool kept biting her and the teacher was too busy to handle it every time it happened.
It’s also not a great thing when a stern voice of reason makes her tear up. I mean, when she plays too hard and it’s time to get serious for dinner and I hit her with a steady “Okay, bug” and her bottom lip starts trembling. That’s just not cute. And, it hurts. I’ve created a monster of emotion and I’m at the end of every piece of my rope. I. Just. Can’t.
So, for now, here’s what I’m trying to combat her emotional roller-coasters;
- Take away gender stereotypes. One of the biggest problems she had when she was younger was that “girls didn’t do that”. Girls were supposed to be nice and clean and, apparently, in tears all the damn time. Maybe in 1950. But, not my girl and not in 2016. I still struggle with this when she’s around older family members who are stuck in their ways when it comes to what “girls do” and “boys do” (I’m looking at you, Grandma). But, it’s a work in progress. Now, instead of telling me she can’t do something, she asks about it. “Mommy, can girls do that?” I just keep reminding her that girls can do anything they put their minds to, and boys can, too. I remind her to do what makes her happy, whether girls are “supposed” to do it or not.
- Play tougher. She doesn’t only play with princess dresses and baby dolls, but she’s a wrestler and a fighter and all these tough girl things that my grandmother finds totally offensive. And it’s great. She’s not quite playing tough yet, but she’s playing tough-er than she was a year ago. We wrestle. A LOT. She has to pin us to make sure we don’t take her title. She’s been the WWE Intercontinental Champion and the Diva’s Champ at the same time (something that has never happened in the actual WWE – kudos to her imagination), because she wants to be.
- Laugh more often. I feel bad saying it because sometimes she thinks I’m laughing at her. But, if I don’t always baby her, she’s a lot less likely to cry. So, when she thinks I’m upset with her, I laugh and tell her that I’m not mad at her. She takes that a lot better than a sing-song voice telling her “oh, it’s okay honey.” That’s a waste of breath.
- Buying her “boy things”. Homegirl got a complete set of Avenger “action figures” (because Papa.MeltingPot would correct me if I called them “dolls”) for Christmas. When she watches Avengers, Teen Titans, or other various action-packed television shows, she usually becomes a crime fighter in my living room. She beats up bad guys next to Thor on the TV. She’s been a power ranger in a ball gown, and a ninja dressed as Cinderella.
She’s becoming, as she calls it, “a little daddy”. So, she runs around the house with a championship wrestling belt and princess dress on, fighting crime with Iron Man. Because, “that’s what princesses do, mommy”. As a “little daddy”, boy things, fighting and tough girls are cool. The cooler they are, the tougher she’s going to get. That, I can’t complain about. What are some things you’re doing to toughen up your babies?