Dear Strong Willed Child, You’re worth it…

Dear Strong Willed Child,

Today we had many battles you and I. We had battles in the sun, battles in the sand, battles over popsicles, and a battle while I walked you screaming and kicking back to the house. You were red and fuming, I fought back tears. We’ve had thousands of battles you and I.

Today our battles were about little kid things, someday they might be about curfew or boys or doing the dishes.

No matter what, here’s what I want you to know:

We are not defined by these battles. We are not defined by the storms, we are defined by the times I hold you tight and by the I love you’s and the kisses.  We aren’t defined by hard days or hard moments, we are defined by the fact that I love you and I will never stop. We are defined by the truth that I will never ever give up on, or grow tired of you. You are mine forever and for always.

Those moments though they’re hard and unnerving, there’s no where I’d rather be.

Yes, sometimes inside I’m fuming. I wonder how it is possible we’ve done this this so many times before. I’m embarrassed, I’m tired, and I wonder if I were better at being your mom if we wouldn’t have blow ups like this.

Sometimes I simply wilt under the disapproving glances of strangers.

In my heart though? I’d do it all a million times again, my dear. I’d carry you up a hundred more flights of stairs while you’re kicking and screaming and I’d abandon a thousand more carts in Target to take you to the car.

I choose you, in all your sweaty, screaming, kicking, fuming, glory.

A lot of the time I’m stuck in now, I just want you to hold my hand to cross the street and say “okay Mama” when I say “no”. Sometimes I’m simply too tired and worn out to remember my joy, but I look at you now perched on the counter eating a slice a bread and I smile.

I like you; I like your strong will.

You aren’t the kind to be deterred by one or a million consequences. Your voice is vibrant and sometimes I believe it really can’t be swallowed. That’s okay. Someday you will channel that strength into something that matters deeply to your heart.

We have all the time in the world to figure that out.

Some people might call you hard or difficult (I do too sometimes). Some people might wonder where I find my grace every day…but they don’t see what I see. They don’t know that out of sea of well behaved children I’d choose you again and again and again.

After a tantrum I hold you. We snuggle in your bed and you ask me to sing a song. I breath deep because you smell like sunshine. You’re worth every single battle today, and every single one tomorrow.

I love you.



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22 responses to “Dear Strong Willed Child, You’re worth it…”

  1. I will have a lovely day because of this lovely sharing. I’m so happy to be human after reading your posts. 🙂

  2. This is beautiful 💜 brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing 😊

  3. Wonderful ❤️
    The part where you’d choose her over and over again. I can relate to this soooo good!

  4. Touché. It is the battles that strengthen the bond. Mine is 13 and we are at each other’s throats, but she does things to my heart that I wouldn’t have believed could happen.
    Motherhood, in all its frustrations, is the best thing to happen. Enjoy it.

  5. We love them when they’re easy, we love them when they’re difficult. We just wish they were difficult less often.

  6. This is a great message. Sometimes we want so badly for our kids to be the way that we’d prefer, but they help us grow in their uniqueness and hopefully teach us patience. And what you said about her one day using her voice to speak on something she cares deeply about, absolutely yes! She’s got a loving parents who will fight for her, and she’ll become the leader that she’s fighting to be now. Boy, kids, gotta love em, but also want to ring their necks Homer Simpson style, lol.

  7. I had a moment in the car today with my ‘strong willed’ screaming at the top of his lungs because of what he wanted with his pasta for supper (?!) … I breathe and dig my nails in the steering wheel and hope that one day he will use that same strong-willed energy to fight for human rights because if he does, by god he’ll change the world singlehandedly! ;D

  8. Great post! You’ve beautifully put into words raising a strong willed child. Reading this I pictured all the times I have gone through the same things with my daughter. Thank you for sharing and assuring me I’m a totally normal mom for having all of those experiences and feelings.

  9. You are an exemplary parent who is blessed with an exemplary child. Just wait until they grow. They will surprise and honor you in ways you never imagined. They will be in charge of their destinies, have an inner strength that sustains a commitment beyond belief. They’ll be accomplished, attractive, powerful adults. Just wait.

  10. thereluctantcowgirl Avatar

    Mine is 19! And thankfully we both survived. Lovely article.

  11. […] This article originally appeared on Wonderoak […]

  12. Being five months pregnant and having a 1.5 year old running around, this has made me cry. It is so true. My son is so strong willed and I know he will soon be just as your daughter is. I try to imagine having two and that makes me think I’m crazy! But you are absolutely correct; they are pure love. And they will turn that passion into something amazing someday. Thank you for this! I definitely needed it today.

  13. Mine is 15 and we are still in the thick of it. To be fair, there was a lovely reprieve in the middle, so perhaps we’re BACK in the thick of it. Haven’t quite survived yet, but for the sake of all who are involved, I will fight until we make it. Pondering how to write the teenage version of this post. I need him to know that I would choose him again and again – not sure he feels that way right now.Thanks for taking me back to the stage of eating a slice of bread on the counter. Just had an image flash of me trying to carry his 150 lb self up the stairs these days. 😉

  14. Any tips to get to this point? I’m 7 months pregnant with a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. The 4 yr old is easier but the 2 yr old gives me grief daily lately. I want to accept her for who she is but the constant battle is getting discouraging.

  15. Oh girl, I’m sorry! I just had an unnerving public battle and I’m all unraveled. Let me think about that.

  16. So beautifully said. I know these battles. I have fought them for 18 years now. This brought tears to my eyes. For i love her no matter what. That is motherhood.

  17. Gold. I have one too. I love his spunk. I know he will be great one day. I’m proud to be his mum and I only want to do a good job to deserve him.

  18. That strong-willed child will grow up with a strong sense of self. He/She won’t be swayed by the ideas and suggestions of others. Those hard days are worth it. Hang on! All the things that seem negative now become positive later. Mine is 18 now and headed to college next fall (with a magnificent scholarship!).

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