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Today marked a first in my journey as a parent; my child made me cry.

You would think I’d be used to months and months of being called the devil, but there was just something about today that made me cry. My children are amazing little people, smart and loving and generous, but much like adults, some days are harder than others. Parenting for everyone can be a struggle, especially when you’re doing it on your own. Even the most well behaved children have their off days, all parenting can be a struggle, even for super mom.

But I was never prepared for the day that my child made me cry. When amidst the normal din of raising three girls in a small house and bedtime routines and homework and all of the stuff that makes up a normal day, my child would say something so hurtful while angry that I actually had to hold back tears until she went to bed and once they were all snug into their beds, I sat down on my couch and cried.

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only mom in the world who wants to do everything right but feels like I’m doing it all wrong. I’m not really sure how to parent an angry tween. The counsellor suggests things and I implement them (except for the punch a pillow, because I feel that promotes violence), but I don’t know how to make the resentment go away. I was able to let all of the “I hate yous” and the “You ruined our family, you ruined my life” roll off of me, explaining that it’s not like that, I’m sorry she’s unhappy but she still has to be respectful, I can’t just make the things she wants happen, that these words are hurtful, pretending it didn’t bother me until tonight when during a tempertantrum, she got mad and lashed out and yelled @ me…& I finally cried.

Moms don’t cry. They’re supposed to handle things like champions, with spines of steel. They’re supposed to handle all of the burdens and make it all work and somehow look flawless doing it…or at least that’s what I was always told. So, I try to do my best every day to be the mom my kids deserve, not the mom that cries. The psych major tells me that it’s okay to cry, moms are human beings too and sometimes kids need to see that moms are human too. However, I couldn’t let my child see me cry, because 1. They’d feel so guilty and 2. I want them to think I’m strong.

I know tomorrow is another day and we’ll start again. Maybe it will be better. We’ll have to wait and see. But that’s how it is with all parents. Parenting is a day by day thing, and for every challenging day, there are 10 that are amazing. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be an amazing day.