Coming of age



My beautiful, difficult, spirited little girl celebrated her 4th birthday while we were on holiday in America.

I don’t mind telling you, it has been a challenge parenting her through these years. A Challenge.
But this morning, the first after our long plane journey home, she said to me: “Mummy, sometimes I struggle.”

“What do you mean?”
“I just struggle.”
“What with?”
“Just stuff, mum. Stuff.”

Yes it’s been hard and yes I’ve had to leave the room to pound on the pillow every now and again and yes, sometimes I question just what I’ve done to deserve such a strong-willed child, but boy is she worth it.

Happy birthday gorgeous, love your mum. x

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17 Responses to Coming of age

  1. Julia Rizzolo says:

    Happi birthday to her!
    Sweet… but I hope she doesn't really know the meaning of the word struggle.


  2. memories dad says:

    Happy Birthday! She sounds very self aware for one so young. Our four year old daughter has been quite a stuggle over the years, but life is getting a little easier now she's started at school.

  3. Tara says:

    I have heard the school thing from a couple of parents now so I am really holding out for that day!
    She isn't actually starting until next September (gulp) as she is an early September baby so I think part of it is that she is bored and ready now.
    Just another year then. 50 weeks. 350-odd days . . .

  4. Potty Mummy says:

    Happy Birthday, Mia. And I promise you Tara, this time next year as you watch her trot into schoool, you'll be wondering where those 350-odd days went…

  5. I am there with you on the challenging daughter front. Silver lining is that after 4 they tend to be the best – and you deserve it.

  6. Rosie Scribble says:

    They grow up so quickly don't they. IJ is now into make-up (mine) jewellery (also mine) and all things pink (definitelty not mine!) I'm starting to dread the teenage years as they seem to be starting already. Wherever will this lead?!!

  7. Betsy Wuebker says:

    Oh, Tara, this made me teary. I have one like that, my second. "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Elizabeth Sheedy Kurcinka (she may have changed the title in the last 20 years!) made all the difference with how I looked at her personality. Just framing the characteristics in a positive way made all the difference.

    Your girl is very self-aware – I think those who have a keen observer's eye to the world are always going to be challenging. I thought of it this way: "Robin is never going to have trouble asking for a raise at work." Enjoy the magic of four! I wanted Peter Pan to come when mine were 6 and 4. The years fly.

    Now my 19 year old is saying stuff like, "It's MY decision to make, Mom. If it's a mistake, well, I'll be the one to deal with the consequences." That's right, baby. So right. Sigh.

  8. Expat Mum says:

    It'd be really boring if kids were good all the time though.

  9. I have a friend with a very strong willed girl. Every time I speak with her I think my lucky stars for my boy. I don't know how you do it. You must be a fabulous Mum. In fact, I'm sure you are.

  10. Mwa says:

    Oh, that's so cute! I hope she learns to deal with it.

  11. Tara says:

    You (and Elizabeth) are absolutely right Betsy. I look at her sometimes and I've so very proud to have this free-spirited, adventurous girl who just sucks up life.
    I just need to concentrate on the positives more! And yes, it really is magic.

  12. Tara says:

    Think of all those mums with more than 1 girl! I used to think it would be tough raising a brood of boys, but now I'm not so sure!

  13. Amazing insight. We all want a smart, intelligent, vibrant child; someone who'll kick ass and take names as an adult, we just don't ever consider how HARD it is to raise this adult.

    You should be patting yourself on the back, for sure, because your acceptance and encouragement of who she is will be enormously rewarding for her and you in the end.

    Oh, and I wish my mom had been like you. How different might we all feel if we'd been embraced as difficult children instead of chastised??

  14. Josie says:

    I love this.

    I'm 'blessed' (no, I really am – shouldn't put the inverted comma's…) with a very spirited young son who in his fourteen months with us has pushed and tested me right past where I thought my limits are and back again. We have a long road ahead with him yet, one which scares the life out of me some days, but I know he is worth it. He struggles too, with a lot of stuff. I hope one day he will grow up to be as insightful and elequent as your gorgeous girl – you must be so proud of her.

    Happy Birthday beautiful xxx

  15. Lawyer Mom says:

    Good grief . My question is what did you do to deserve such an articulate child? You know . . . "struggles" and all that.

    Hope you've got the "brilliant IQ" hospital on speed dial.


  16. Dave says:

    Hi TC, my eldest daughter turns four this week, but has been very sweet until now. It's only now that she's becoming a challenge, but that pales into insignificance when compared to my youngest boy who is now six. He is still a little git – but don't worry I'm sure the worst of it with Mia is over! 🙂
    Fourth birthdays are great, I think they're the first one that children really remember.

  17. MuddyNoSugar says:

    Happy Birthday Mia, we are just encouraging our girls to be strong, independent women. Unfortunately that means they are independent girls (says she who has one sitting in the red chair as I type..because she has been a bit too independent!)

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