Some days, parenting is… hard

Angry housewife with a lot of washingThat was my exhausted thought as I drove my daughter home from swim team one night last week.

The whole day had been a battle.

I can’t even remember as I write this what the issues were, but it just seemed like everything was a challenge that day.

Maybe it was because we had a busy schedule and I was being impatient.

Or maybe it was because she’s almost eleven and she’s becoming more independent.

Whatever the reason, I was frustrated.

She was mad.

And it was one of those days.

So there we were, driving along, on the heels of an argument, and I was done.

I sighed.

She sighed.

I could almost hear her arms crossing in the back seat.

We were both quiet.

And in that silence, as we drove down the freeway, the sun setting in the distance, a thought came to me.

“You know what?” I said.

“What?” she answered, sulking.

“I just realized, even when we have our differences, you and I are still more the same than we are different.”

She didn’t say anything.

“And I think the fact that we disagree sometimes might be good.”

“Why?” Her voice softened.

(Was that the sound of her arms uncrossing?)

“Because I see your determination. You’ve got a strong will, and you can do a lot of great things with that in life.”

“Hmm,” was all she said.

We drove along, maybe another five minutes or so, and then…



“I love you.”

It took me by surprise.

I smiled in the darkness.

“I love you too.”

“Thank you for taking me to swim tonight.”

I got a lump in my throat.

“You’re welcome.”

And that one moment–that glimmer of sweetness in between the day’s bickering–reminded me that even though some days, parenting is hard,

in the end,

it’s still good!


  1. Sweet… Sometimes taking a step back from the situation makes it seem amazing instead of hard.

  2. Great moments! So cherish them. I have a 15 year old who's just like me. Those moments are rare. Nuff said. ;)

  3. I just posted about how being a parent sometimes really stinks! Glad you saw the good things at the end. And always remember, you might not always agree with them but you love them!

  4. So true about being transparent, taking a step back, and loving them no matter what. :)

  5. Oh how I needed that! We have had some rough days lately and I needed some hope! Thank you!

  6. What a great story…. I love when we can deflect an ugly situation with some patience and a healthy dose of love. Thanks for hosting this….. what a great way to encourage other Moms!

  7. Ana

    It's those moments that literally save us from insanity. Have a good one Genny!Ana

  8. That was a very sweet moment. Parenting is hard for me everyday. Well, parenting my teenager has become easy. It's the younger ones I'm worried about… I'm not being that great of a parent. The stress of my life has oozed into every part of me. I'm slowly sinking and wish I had the energy to keep fighting. To shield them from me. I hope I can one day have a relationship with them like I have with my oldest.

  9. Oh Genny, your post brougth my tears. Very sweet.Have a nice week.

  10. What a perfect moment – and how wonderfully wise! I'm going to "steal" your wonderful point to use with my second son. I'm always talking to them about their gifts. Each gift can be used for good or bad. You opened my eyes for how I needed to look at this. Thank you. I'll let you know how it goes – I'm sure we'll disagree about something imminently – LOL

  11. I love moments when I recognize the good character in my 5 yo strong will… thank you for the reminder!!

  12. What a great story. Even in tense moments we can find something to connect on if we look, like you did. Good job.

  13. Hi Genny,I loved this story…and very much needed to read it tonight. We've been having a lot of these days lately and they make me so sad. Maybe I need to look at them in a different way:-) I love your blog and plan on stopping by often.

  14. Great post. Thanks for sharing your heart so openly. Your children are blessed to have you! :)

  15. Thanks for that! That choked me up (in a good way!). I hope to have moments like that with my brood when they get a little older.

  16. Yes, in the end it is always good. Thanks for the touching post.

  17. This post brought tears to my eyes. My daughter is 3 1/2 and we already have so many days where it is a battle of wills – probably b/c we are so much alike. I need to remember that, and hug her more. And yes, it is all worth it in the end! Happy SITS day!

  18. Tearing up … only because it's so true! Sometimes the toughest parenting moments end up the most rewarding.Enjoy your SITS day :)

  19. Wow, what a great moment :)Very excited to have found you via SITS (and hoping you're enjoying your SITS day and getting loads of lovely comments – sorry if I'm a bit slow off the mark; I'm in new Zealand and our time zones are Waaaay different)Reading your profile over on SITS was so encouraging to me; what you are doing is my dream. I have discovered my love of writing through blogging (coming to it in a round-about way)… and now have a regular feature article in each ossue of NZ's top parenting magazine (printed).I would so love to expand this and be able to contribute to other parenting mags/sites.So THANKYOU for sharing your ideas :)

  20. Did I see this one on Mamapedia too? I can totally see my 3-year-old as a preteen and having this scenario.

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