I confess to the sin of coveting. I covet my neighbor’s mother-child relationship.
This morning my daughter and I had two battle of wills, followed by her losing her temper. What were these great battles that I chose to engage in? Requiring her to wear pants. Telling her that we would not go to a restaurant for breakfast. Basic, everyday type issues.
I have a strong willed daughter, which means that I pick my battles very carefully. But it also means that my daughter is willing and able to make a battle over anything.
I’m not complaining about my situation. I’m confessing that I’m envious though. I watch other mothers interact with their children, and I am constantly surprised and amazed.
I’m surprised at the battles some parents choose to pick. Really? You want your child to eat with her mouth closed, and you’re going to fight over it?
I’m also amazed at the compliance I see in children all around me. Even a child a parent might call “difficult” is typically orders of magnitude more compliant than my child. They comply without stomping their feet, or grunting in anger. They accept the realities of life.
It’s hard to talk about this: to be open about this. I know I am subjecting myself to judgment. What’s wrong with me? How have I failed at parenting? Why am I being so critical of my own child?
For the record, I’m not critical of her. I’m proud. I’m proud that my child has the persistence and determination to stand her ground no matter what. I’m happy that she is passionate. I’m impressed by her ability to think ahead and try to manipulate me. But I’m also tired. I’m tired of wondering which normal request will spark a contest of willpower. I’m tired of listening to the storms blowing up daily. I’m tired of knowing that no matter what, at some point during the day there will be raised voices. I’m tired of imposing consequences. And so I’m envious. I covet my neighbor’s parent child relationship.