You know what I love about parenthood? When I get tricked.
Like, the minute you finally get your little one to eat something healthy and you soon discover he was feeding it to the dog.
Or your child finally gets the potty-training down, and loves his underwear so much that he refuses to wear a diaper to bed and you fight for what seems like forever because you bedshare and don’t want to wake up in accidental pee.
Yeah, parenting is funny like that. It kicks your ass.
Especially when you’re raising a strong-willed, spirited child like mine.
I remember saying, “My kid will never run my life. He’ll never smear poop on the toilet seat or chuck his shoes at me before school. I’m going to be such a good mom.”
And then God laughed, and sent me a poop-smearing, shoe-chucking banshee and I aged 17 years by the time he turned three.
The thing about this strong-willed child of mine, is that he isn’t “bad.” He’s actually kind, caring, and an amazing little human being.
He loves his family. He loves his friends. He loves his teachers at school. But only if he gets his way. And only if he’s the boss. So you can imagine how that goes down on a daily basis. *insert angel face emoji*
Maybe you’ve got a kid like this yourself, so you know this world already. But in case you don’t, here’s what parenting a strong-willed child means.
1. It means hearing relatives say that you “need to discipline that child.”
And wanting to say in return, “Oh really?! THANK YOU FOR THIS PEARL OF WISDOM THAT I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF BEFORE. Of course I discipline him. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Hey, here’s an idea—how about you take him for the weekend and let me know how that goes for ya, k?!”
2. It means letting him win on shit he shouldn’t win.
Like, fine, you can have fruit snacks at 8:30 in the morning. I’m not fighting with you. Or, fine you can scowl and growl in all of the photos that I paid to have taken. (True story- see photo above)
3. It means smiling through gritted teeth.
Like when they make a scene at the park because you’re ready to leave but they don’t want to, or you’re at a friend’s baby shower and they’re ready to go like yesterday so they keep asking out loud “mom, we go home now!??”
4. Most of all, parenting a strong-willed child means knowing nobody can parent this kid better than you.
It’s all worth it when you lay down at bedtime and he crawls over and grabs your face and says “I love you mama.” You realize then, that this is exactly how they were created to be, and you are lucky as hell to be their mama.
Cheers mama, you got this!