30 Nov Encouragement for the Mom Who Regrets What She Said
When I learned my second pregnancy was with a little girl, I immediately had visions of tutus and hairbows. Parenting up to that point had consisted of Tonka trucks and John Deere tractors, so the thought of dressing up a little girl fascinated me. I left the ultrasound and went straight to the store, needing to buy something pink and prissy to hang in her closet.
Today, that little girl is nearly 10 years old, and although I dressed her in pink and placed the biggest bows I could find on her tiny baby head, she did not turn out to be a prissy girl. She is athletic and strong, and she would rather wear running shorts and t-shirts than dresses and tights.
Her dark brown hair cascades down her back, and a ponytail has become her signature look. But that dark brown ponytail has become the biggest argument-inducer between the two of us. She hates to condition it, hates to dry it, and hates to brush it. If she had her way, her hair would always air dry and be full of tangles and knots. We’ve gone around and around about it, and every night I find myself asking, “Have you brushed your hair yet?” I always know the answer.
After a busy night recently of her gymnastics practice and her brother’s football activities, we rushed to eat dinner, make lunches, take showers, and get everyone ready for bed. It wasn’t until I tucked her in that I noticed her hair. Unbrushed. Wet. Tangled.
I wish I could say I handled it calmly, but I didn’t. I was tired and harried, and I let my frustration over her actions direct my handling of the situation. I fussed. I criticized. And I made her cry.
“I’m sorry,” she tearfully apologized, adding, “I’m so mad at myself.”
And in that moment, I became mad at myself, too.