Blogging

by Marinka on February 13, 2012

Last week when so much on the news has been terrible and violent and depressing, I was so grateful for blogging. Because blogging, your blogs, have let me into your lives where there is laughter and lightness and every day hi-jinx. Of course there is tragedy too, and that is not to minimize some of the heartbreak that I’ve witnessed through the blogs. But there is an affinity of motherhood that I’ve come to expect and rely on and I’m forever grateful for it.

I’ve been writing this blog since the summer of 2008 which seems like an extremely long time. Overall, it’s been a better experience than I had a right to expect–it’s given me a creative outlet, an audience who is wonderful enough to read and understand this whole motherhood in the Year of Your Lord 2012 and really great friends that I am going to keep forever.

One of my regrets is that I hadn’t discovered blogging earlier, because, well, I really could have used a support system during those long ago early years.

Because infanthood was my toughest time. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, I felt like that maternal instinct that I was told was my birthright was totally beyond my grasp and I was, frankly, terrified.

I could really fuck this up, I remember thinking.

I think I would have enjoyed trading stories, sharing the exhaustion, the anxiety, the how-do-you-do it? For much of my early mothering days I felt very lonely and I would have welcomed all that blogging had brought me.

When I started this blog, I wanted to tell stories. My kids were just about to turn 10 and 7, they were adorable, maddening at times, sure, but within the adorable confines. Their stories were my stories and I shared them freely. I thought it would go on forever.

But I’m realizing that I’m at a new life stage right now.

My daughter is now a teenager and I feel challenged. I feel tested and I feel like I’m working as hard at parenting as I did when my kids were newborns. She bristles at my affection, she wants me to leave her room, she is doing everything that is absolutely developmentally appropriate and I am falling apart.

Because, once again, I am afraid of fucking it up.

The confidence that I had through the toddler years, the lower school years is gone.

I am afraid of not finding that line between giving her greater freedom and coming down hard, take that eyeshadow off right now, young lady. I am afraid of her rejecting me and never coming back to me. I’m afraid that I’ll miss her so much that I’ll trade parenting for friendship.

I’m afraid that my backbone isn’t the stuff that motherhood is made of.

This morning, as I was having coffee, I read about some women’s reaction to Chris Brown.

“What do you think about a man who was convicted for assaulting a woman being honored at the Grammys?” I asked my daughter.

“I think it’s about the music he performs and not the person he is,” she responded.

And how could I argue? It’s perfectly reasonable, valid. I’m proud of her response and yet I’m scared.

Did my accusation push her towards defending him, the Grammys, the way things are?

If I’d asked “why doesn’t everyone give Chris Brown a break already?” would her feminist spirit have come through and would she have said “because hitting women is wrong, MOM”?

Do I have the acting chops for this next parenting chapter?

I don’t know.

But I’m as scared as I was when I had a newborn baby. And possibly as clueless.

I’m hoping to expand my tribe of bloggers, of friends, of writers who are in this next phase of parenting teenagers and pre-teens. Oh, I’m supposed to call them tweens, aren’t I?

I have so much to learn.

0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 1 trackback }

This ain’t the Boy Scouts. You will be prepared for nothing. | Welcome to the Motherhood
February 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy February 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Oh I agree with you a million percent. I wish very much that I had this blogging world when my kids were younger. Now that they are both teenagers (one with autism) it seems much tougher to find that “tribe” you mentioned. It feels like there are so few of us, but I guess that just means we’re more exclusive. Heh. I think we will get through it all just fine as long we have a well stocked wine rack.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thank you for understanding where I’m coming from. And TWO TEENAGERS?!

   0 likes

Reply

Roshni February 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Marinka, you are an AWESOME mom!! One can see it through your posts how much you love and are proud of both your kids. Just keep doing what you are doing! I was also ‘at war’ with my mom when I was a tween and teen, but I must admit that she is like my closest friend today…. your daughter also will come around and even though she will never admit it now, she too loves you deeply!!!

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Thank you. I know that she loves me. But it’s nice to be reminded.

   0 likes

Reply

old man
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The best advice with teenagers I’ve heard is “you have to give them just enough rope to NOT hang themselves.”

Keep in mind that no matter what you do will be wrong in their eyes, until their brain gets fully cooked.

Cranky old man

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I hear what you’re saying (or see what you’re writing). But it seems that kids can do so much with so little rope theses days, you know?

   0 likes

Reply

Kara
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I read your post daily, it’s always good entertainment. You have a way of telling a story and bringing the humor to the forefront. But today, today I learned you are a gifted, honest writer. I could absolutely feel your pain and fear in your voice. You made me fast forward my life 10 years to look at my future relationship with my daughter, and I’m terrified. My only hope is that by the time I’m at that stage, you’ll have it perfected and you can pass on your wisdom to us newbie-ish parents.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

That certainly sounds like a good plan! Well, maybe not for when your daughter is a teen, but when her daughter is. It may take me a while to perfect my wisdom, you know.

;)

   0 likes

Reply

Loukia February 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I don’t think your daughter gave the wrong answer, to be honest. Of course I am completely shocked and upset that they let him perform. And the applause he received from his peers was equally disappointing, BR ER mind the comments on Twitter from those idiotic girls saying what they were saying.
As for parenting, it is hard. It is never going to be easy. I am scared of fucking up every day. I live for my children, and intent hard every day to be a good mom. It is not getting any easier, as my boys are getting older. With my oldest one only in grade one, I see the struggles that come with school, already. Yes, he loves school, he is doing great, but, oh, boy – homework time! And listening to me! And and and… a million never ending worries that keep me awake every night. Anxiety disorder? I have it. Oh and the fear and worry of them growing up, and teenage years! It almost seems the infant stage was the easiest part of motherhood.
Blogging is amazing for this very reason – sharing stories, feeling connecting to others, and not feeling so alone. Marinka, you’re a great mother. You’ll go through the normal annoying teenage stuff with your daughter but know she loves you. It’s just such an awkward stage!

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I think you’re right– parenting isn’t easy. At least good parenting isn’t easy. (I have no idea if that’s true or not– it seems effortless for some people, but maybe they’re up all night studying?)

Thank you for your kind words. And promises of gifts (I read between the lines)

   0 likes

Reply

Kate Coveny Hood
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Well – since my oldest is almost seven, I can’t help with tween/teen advice. But I can make an observation. As much as you may be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, there is one thing that you absolutely CANNOT fuck up. You are serving as an exceptional example for your daughter. She may challenge you, rebel, claim to be nothing like you…but she’s learning from you just by being around you.

The Grammys-related conversation is a perfect example. You presented a side and she offered another one. And yes – if you took a different perspective, she probably would have responded with the opposite. You do this too. Because you have an open mind – you consider all the angles. She’s like you. Even if she doesn’t see it yet.

And she’ll be grateful for this gift you’re giving her…when she’s in her thirties.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

OMG, when she’s in her 30s, I’ll be in my 60s. Thank you very much for THAT image.

I’ll be moisturizing if you need me.

   0 likes

Reply

Jenn @ Juggling Life February 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

My daughter and I had this conversation when the incident first happened–I think she was 14. It was a very enlightening discussion in that she was really down on Rihanna for “letting” it happen and not fighting back.

My daughter (just now) felt that since Rihanna seemed to be okay with his presence that should satisfy the rest of us. I disagree, but like you can see her point.

Having parented four teens (now 26, 21, 18 and 17) I would say that there is just much to fear from holding on too tight as letting go too fast. It’s tough, no doubt about it, but I do believe that, for the most part, you reap in the teen years what you sowed in the early years.

Also? Don’t take it personally when they go off on you. There might need to be consequences, but the worst thing you can do is let them get under your skin and go down to their level–that’s why I think laptop-shooter Dad was so very wrong.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Totally agree with you about the laptop-shooter Dad. I think that was terrible (and frankly, terrifying) parenting.

I really appreciate your perspective. And OMG, 4 teens! I assume you’re awaiting canonization?

   0 likes

Reply

Mom101
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I think if you’ve raised a daughter who can support her opinions with critical thought, then you’ve done good.

(I also think you can be a little Socratic about it and ask more questions. And she, being a teen, is entitled to answer them differently every single day. )

Hang in there. Because if you don’t, who will my role model be?

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

One of the hardest thing for me to remember is that teens are a work in progress. As are we all, I guess.

   0 likes

Reply

K-Line February 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

If you can handle infants, you can handle adolescence. Trust me. At least you can’t drop them on their heads and kill them at this point :-) I think your daughter’s response was considered and clear-thinking. Something tells me she gets that from her mother.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Adolescence seems a lot more terrifying. And I want to Homer-Simpson-strangle all those people who said “little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems” because it seems like they may have been right.

   0 likes

Reply

vodkamom February 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Throw in the towel.

Just do it.

   0 likes

Reply

vodkamom February 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

But for a REAl answer- it’s this. I #($* up every dang day. But you know what?? They are amazing, incredible children, nonetheless. And that is the true miracle. As long as all the @(#* ups are done with true love- then it’s all good.

And you? you are all that is good.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I am so grateful for your support because I know you’ve been through this. Twice. The fact that you’re standing is truly an inspiration.

   0 likes

Reply

deb February 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I’ve kept journals for my kids since their infanthood – now i wish all that writing had also been blogging. when i finally started blogging last fall, i thought of it as a “mommy blog.” but in reading other mommy blogs, I quickly discovered that I’m really past that point. With an 11 and a 14 year old, my stories aren’t so “cute” anymore. It really brought home the realization that the kids have grown. While there’s still parenting left to do, I agree with the other commenter that now is the time to reap what we’ve sewn. It’s time to let them use the skills we’ve taught them. I also find this really scary. I’m panicked that I haven’t taught them anything! – How did I run out of time? Anyway, I really appreciated this post because I’m with you – in this same new phase of uncertainty. I’ve only been reading since September, but so far have really appreciated your dead pan humor – which I think reflects your no-nonsense parenting. I’d say, since you’re even worrying about all this stuff, you’re doing a great job! (and yes, since i’m worrying too, i secretly hope that means i’m doing a good job as well!)

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Hopefully it means that we’re both doing a great job! And yes, each of your kids is a year older than mine, so if there are any spoilers coming up in the next year, please let me know!

   0 likes

Reply

suburbancorrespondent
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Just do what you feel comfortable with, essentially; there’s no absolute “right” and “wrong” way to raise your kids. The best present you can give them is to be your honest, authentic self and to show them how to live a mature adult life.

But that still doesn’t guarantee any particular outcome. Parents simply do not have that much control over teen outcomes, I’m afraid. They just believe they do.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

And that’s what’s so scary to me– knowing what to trust, what not to trust.

My daughter wants privacy. We all do.

But I remember a time when I would not let her have a computer account that I didn’t have access to. But now, email, Facebook. And OMG, I can’t even figure out if she blocked me on Facebook or not.

   0 likes

Reply

Leigh Ann
Twitter:
February 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm

I love this post and its honesty. My 3 girls are only 4 (times 2) and 2, and I’m terrified for the teen years.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Oh, I’m sure I’ll have figured it all out by the time your girls are teens. It’ll be on my new blog: Motherhood in NYC’s Finest Mental Health Facility.

   0 likes

Reply

Deborah J February 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

I agree with Jenn. You have just as many problems by holding on too hard as you do by letting go too soon. Many of my teens friends, perfectly nice even responsible girls, are at war with their mothers.
I’m not perfect nor is my parenting but I seem to have got through this stage, and it is a stage, without losing a relationship with my daughters.
My short list-
-Talk to them like they’re adults…and explain your decisions. Don’t underestimate their ability to be logical and make good decisions for themselves.
- Pick your battles. Does it matter if their rooms a mess, if they came home on time and did their homework?
- If the answer is no try and outline under what conditions that no might turn into a yes. Age, supervision, safety etc.
- They live in the NOW. Instant gratification. Everything is of utmost urgency. Saying, ” Not now, Maybe next week” feels like a no to them. Instead try saying, ” Yes, let’s plan to do that next week.”
- Be a bigger person about the attitude. I find humour deflects all that. I have a friend who everytime her daughter rants or gives her a hard time smiles and says, “I love you.” It takes 2 people to make an argument and sustain anger.
- Bribery is a greatly underestimated parenting tool. Is that wrong? I don’t care because it works.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I really want to agree with this, because it appeals to me in the “how to keep the peace” department, but I’ll be honest– I’m afraid of the slippery slope.

Does it matter if her room is clean, she’s on time and does her homework? To me, yes, it does. My daughter seems to think that “it’s not the end of the world” is a winning defense, but I won’t accept that anything short of a nuclear holocaust is “ok.”

I don’t mean that my reaction to being late/messy room/hw not done has to be apocalyptic either, of course and that is something that I have to be cognizant of.

But yes, I do think those things are important.

Oh, I’ve rebranded “bribery” as “incentivizing” so win-win!

;)

   0 likes

Reply

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

I life in constant fear of my daughters teen years. If they are anything like me, I’m gonna be fucked.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Uh oh.

I mean, “I’m sure it’ll be fine!”

or “You’ll get great blog posts out of it!”

or “Good luck!”

   0 likes

Reply

Anna Lefler
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

What a lovely post, Marinka. I can totally relate.

I have a 13-year-old daughter, too, so consider yourself stuck with this fellow traveler (whether you want me or not).

For what it’s worth, a very wise friend of mine whom I’ve trusted for 30 years and whose children are in their 30s now once told me this: it’s your children’s jobs to knock you off your pedestal when they’re teens, but they come back around afterward and it’s great all over again.

You’re not alone, friend.

XOXO

Anna

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thank you, Anna. I’m so glad to have you on this journey with me. Will you accept this rose?

But yes, I’m off that pedestal alright. Right off, like that statute of Lenin or Sadam Hussein.

   0 likes

Reply

Anna Lefler
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

Oh – and I forgot to say:

We – and the music industry – need to shut the door once and for all on Chris Brown. That man should never be on TV again and I think it’s ridiculous and disturbing that the Grammys had anything to do with him at all.

Just my opinion, but I stand by it.

A.

   0 likes

Reply

dusty earth mother February 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Amen to that.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I love your opinion almost as much as I love you.

   0 likes

Reply

Sue Lucero February 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

You know you’re a good parent when you begin to question yourself. Having been through this, (7 of those little creatures) and those awful teen years, I can honestly tell you, you do survive. Now, my daughters call me and ask for my advice on their children. They do come full circle. You are doing a great job. I’ve often wondered if I messed up my kids heads too. You know you did a good job when they tell their kids that Grandma (Me) is their best friend. Keep it up. And remember, when you question your parenting skills, give yourself a pat on the back for doing so.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Seven. Omg, seven. I can’t even count that high. You’re an inspiration. I hope you never stop patting yourself on the back, despite the contortionism involved.

   0 likes

Reply

annie February 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

Wow – do i relate to this! I’ve often wished I’d had a blogging community when the girls were little. I was far from family and really trying to wing it. With 10, 11 &15 yr old girls I share your concerns and your terror! I think somebody above said this is where everything we’ve done up to this point comes out. I pray to every entity of every religion that I haven’t screwed it up! Maybe we need an “advice for parents with mouthy teens” website?

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Your being in the same boat as me helps me. (There are life vests, right?!)

   0 likes

Reply

annie February 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

And wine….we need lots and lots of wine! come live by me!

   0 likes

Reply

ladyday February 14, 2012 at 9:45 am

My girls are 18 & 21. I feel you, Marinka!

p.s. I have a sinking feeling it doesn’t end. Ever. And by “it” I mean worrying about how they’re going to turn out. Whose idea was it to have kids anyway?

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

It seemed like a good idea at the time, didn’t it? And those baby clothes were adorable.

   0 likes

Reply

Kat February 14, 2012 at 10:15 am

I think you need to have another baby.

Also it would be wise to compile blog posts like this and create a ‘how to’ ebook as you suffer through this time period. In just a few years those of us with small kids are going to need a guide and you will make millions.

I have no advice yet…my oldest is 8. A sassy 8, but still just 8. I imagine when she’s a teen I will still force bristly hugs on her every day. I will force her to love me in exchange for time with friends. Will that work for you?

If not then I’m with vodkamom…throw in the towel.

   0 likes

Reply

Marinka February 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This settles it, I’m getting a fake baby. I already have a fake pregnancy belly. Ahem. My daughter was eye-rolling sassy at 8, and then she mellowed out, so I was all “I got this thing figured out! yay me! Book me on all the tv shows.” And then 13 happened.

   0 likes

Reply

Megan February 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

You summed up exactly what I love about blogging. We can learn from each other and assure each other than at least we’re not fucking it up as badly as we think we are.

   0 likes

Reply

alaina
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

Trust in yourself that you did a good job with your daughter’s younger self. Give her the independence she needs, but always be the shoulder she can cry on. I don’t envy mothers of teenage daughters!

   0 likes

Reply

Issa
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

I love this post. I have no answers, since my oldest has just turned ten. I think, you keep doing what you do. You keep talking to her. Keep asking questions. Trust her to do the right things, because you’ve shown her by example what they are….while still keeping a close watch on what she does.

I don’t think her response is wrong. I think as adults we look for the meaning behind everything and teens don’t always do that. They’ll learn to over think everything in time. But for now, it may just be about the music in her mind. You have to remember that she only knows what she knows. Hopefully she’s never seen any abuse. Never had friends who have been abused. That’s what we want right? But it also means that she just may not really get it yet.

   0 likes

Reply

dusty earth mother February 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Oh, I adore you, Marinka. I only have a 7-year old (who acts 17 so as to prep me for the coming years), but I hang on to one thing: there is a scripture in 1 Peter that says “Love covers over a multitude of sins”. And it’s so obvious how much you love.

And as far as Chris Brown is concerned, and as far as “covering over” is concerned, there is no amount of talent that can ever cover over a detestable act. But you already know that, so one day she will too.

   0 likes

Reply

Lyndsay February 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Oh you’re scaring the shit out of me. Terrified for those years too, for many of the samereasons you mentioned.

   0 likes

Reply

Jen February 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

My kids are still young, (7, 4, 4, and 4) but I cherish all the bloggers that I have found with older children. I need them because I feel like dealing with babies was easy… this tween/teen stuff is the hard part and I am no wear near it yet.

   0 likes

Reply

the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Wonderful post. Please learn and notify me asap on how to handle all these parenting issues to come. I’m scared too.

   0 likes

Reply

Wendi
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Everything you’ve done up until now in her life has made her into a wonderful person who feels secure enough in your love to spread her wings.

   0 likes

Reply

Julie February 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I have been a daily reader for a long time yet this is my first comment. I have a 19 year old daughter. Due to the ecomony, The Mister took a job 2000 miles away and I stayed back so she could finish high school. Now we can’t sell the house to save our lives. (It’s been 2 years and we continue to plug along.) My point is this ~ I had to adapt to being alone with a high school senior!!!! The first thing I did was buy cases and cases of Depends because I knew I would spend a lot of time shitting into my own pants. It has been very challenging at times. She is a good girl and given me no reason to doubt her judgement ~ ever. She is attending the local college and living at home because with the house on the market we have no idea what the future holds. If our lives were “normal” she would be away at school. Learning how to let go of things (like curfew) almost killed me, but I knew that if she was away at school she’d be doing all kinds of thing without me being aware. The other day I went into her room to put some laundry on her bed and I noticed an open notebook on the nightstand. If you think I didn’t read it you must be hitting the crack pipe. It was her putting down how she has realized how much closer the 2 of us have become since dad has been away. When I was done sobbing I realized I must be doing something right. I fly by the seat of my pants and pray for the best. It’s hard as hell, but you will succeed. And we will be here for you.

   0 likes

Reply

Ann
Twitter:
February 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

When I started college I told my boyfriend at the time (I finally got one!) that I felt so stupid. He gave me piece of advice that I always remember–that feeling stupid meant I was actually smart because stupid people don’t question their stupidity. Or something like that–but I think the sentiment applies here.

I think not having the answers, or taking time to respond, or saying “I’m thinking about our conversation yesterday and I’m torn because…” is one of the best parenting strategies. That feeling of not knowing what you’re doing can perhaps lead to better parenting because you are probably more thoughtful about everything.

I have always admired your parenting and stopped pushing my four-year-old in a damned stroller to school because of you. He still complains about walking to school a year later and I always blame Marinka.

p.s My mom (therapist) recommends a book “Getting to Calm: Cool-headed strategies for parenting tweens and teens” by Kastner and Wyatt.

   0 likes

Reply

Hope February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Glad to know another mom with kids my age. My older daughter is 13, so I know what you mean. Don’t want to mess up, feel out to see again. Those tween years were really nice, but this shit is serious!

Anyway, I blog about success, but sometimes it’s about my kids or being a mom, because it’s all wrapped up in one big package.

So keep on going !

   0 likes

Reply

Awesome Dude February 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Lack of strong back bone calls for developing one.

   0 likes

Reply

anna see February 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm

i agree with ann. like when i have doubts about my faith (which is often and always)– the fact that i even have doubts shows that i care, that i’m engaged and trying to figure it all out. we had a very, very rough time with our daughter last week. we felt so hopeless and ill-equipped and angry. and we projected so much crap on her future. it’s so easy to project, isn’t it? but i’m trying so hard not to. btw, if we had had blogging when the kids were little, i would have been so very grateful to know i wasn’t alone.

   0 likes

Reply

JK February 15, 2012 at 7:37 am

Love your blog, Marinka, every post. Just want to tell you to have faith raising teens. If the foundation is there, they will come back to you eventually. I thought my three girls were abducted by aliens, they were so foreign to me during the high school years. I think it’s much tougher than when they were little, at least emotionally and intellectually. ALWAYS follow your gut. Every time I allowed myself to be convinced not to, I regretted it. You have great instincts, you’ll be fine.

   0 likes

Reply

Mo
Twitter:
February 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

I have a 2 year old daughter, only child so far. Most days I feel terrified of everything I’m doing and not doing. Every single thing seems like too much or not enough. Pushing her too hard to learn ABCs or not teaching her enough? Too much tv? Not enough green vegetables? Too much cheese and ketchup on everything just to get her to eat it? Too much time together I get crazy frustrated. Not enough time together I feel like a bad mother. The days I don’t feel terrified of the present, I read blogs like yours and wonder what I will say to her when we can actually have conversations. And having struggled my whole life to know who my own mother REALLY is behind the veil that she presents, makes me wonder if I will be able to let my daughter see who I REALLY am.

   0 likes

Reply

Cindy February 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

You’re a fantastic writer- very funny and as everyone else has said, obviously a good mother. I’m scared, too. I have 3 daughters…almost 6, almost 9 and almost 12 (when asked their ages, this is their reply) with absolutely totally different personalities. Know what that means? I’m gonna have to figure out how to not fuck up in 3 different ways! But, we have no choice but to go forth and inflict as little permanent damage as possible. To our kids, I mean. With all the wine drinking in my future, my body could be in trouble.
We’ve got your back!

   0 likes

Reply

elizabeth February 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

Raising a teenage daughter really is one of life’s biggest challenges. Whatever you do it will be wrong in her eyes, you will be a constant embarrassment to her, life will be unending drama and tears, and you will wonder if you will ever survive. There is hope, though, boys are much much much easier to get through the teen years with.
I raised both, my daughter is now 36 and relatively normal despite all of my attempts to totally ruin her life, and my son is now 30. His teen years were all rainbows and sunshine compared to hers. It’s the hormones.

   0 likes

Reply

Carinn Jade @ WTTM
Twitter:
February 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I’m over at my blog whining about weaning my daughter – because that’s my biggest issue with an 11 month old girl! My heart breaks for you reading this post and it breaks for me thinking about what I know I will be up against.

You will be great. I know that because any fool can see that you care and that is worth more than a gazillion lessons. However, I am not as confident in me as I am in you, so please learn all the answers and share as soon as possible but in no event later than 12 years from now. Thank you!

   0 likes

Reply

Alexandra February 17, 2012 at 12:51 am

Marinka, you treat your children with respect, and have raised them with a sense of humor as well as modeling resiliency.

It’s the same formula I’ve used.

We’ll make it.

My boys are 15 and 16, and all of this hard work and agonizing will pay off: in them feeling our love for them. They may push away but they see and hear loud and clear, we love them.

As my 16 yr old once said to me, “stop asking me so many questions. Get a life, mom.”

I had to laugh out loud and look at him: “uh, I do have a life. It’s you.”

WE love you, wonderful lady.

   0 likes

Reply

Marta
Twitter:
February 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I completely agree with you, though my kids are still very young. When I was pregnant with my first in 2006 I was the first of my friends to have a baby. I don’t have any family near me. I felt so overwhelmingly alone. And at 22, I felt young so young. My friends were all drinking and having one night stands and I was married and pregnant. I wish I had known about this whole other world of moms, of community, of support. I think everything would have just been so much easier. So much easier. Good luck finding a community of moms with tweens, I can’t even imagine it myself.

   0 likes

Reply

Lady Jennie February 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

You’re an admirable lady, Marinka. Your kids will remember that one day.

When they stop asking you to drop them off on the corner so they don’t have to be seen with you. ;-)

   0 likes

Reply

The Flying Chalupa
Twitter:
February 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

This post is why I love you, Marinka. Although I’m in the clueless, utterly lonely early years, I’ll remember this post when the beastly teen years come.

And now? I’m off to take my son out of time out, feed the baby, and hit the park. Sigh.

   0 likes

Reply

Only You February 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Wow. I love your blog. I can’t remember the last time I spent an evening just going from one post to another but I did just now with your blog. I found you through Alexandra’s sweet post the other day and laughed and laughed. I felt too shy about leaving a comment until I read this post in particular and felt compelled to at least say thank you (for writing and blogging). I have a 7 year old and just came off of a year long writer’s block. I look forward to learning a lot from you, about blogging as well as motherhood.

   0 likes

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: