Dear daughter:

I’ve heard it from you a thousand times when you don’t get your way. You yell it when your force of will doesn’t bend mine, thinking it will convince me to give in. But I’m here to tell you once and for all: I don’t care if you hate me right now.

Last night you hated me because I made you take a bath before bed. This morning, it was because I made you wear pants. I’m the worst mom ever because I told you to eat a vegetable, and the whole day is ruined because I won’t let you stay up late to watch TV.

I get it. You’re four. These things feel egregious and unfair. You have big feelings about being constantly told what to do and you don’t understand why you can’t always get your way. We will workwe are workingon the language you use to express those feelings. But in the meantime, it’s okay if you hate me.

RELATED: Teaching My Child To Deal With Big Emotions Starts With Me

I don’t mind making you mad when it’s to keep you safe, healthy, and well. I don’t get upset when you yell that you hate me (although we really do need to keep working on your other language tools to express yourself). Because I know I’m doing the right thing. Your yelling and stomping will not make me feel guilty for doing what’s best for you.

I will try to give you as much fun and magic as I can. I will cherish the moments of bonding and joy between us. I will love you with everything I have. But first and foremost, I will do what needs to be done to raise you.

I will punish you when punishment is called for. I will sit with you when you are sad. I will make sure you have what you need to thrive. I will try to guide you to become a kind, happy, and functioning adult.

RELATED: I’m Not Your Friend, I’m Your Mother

It’s not that I want you to hate me. It’s just that there are bigger priorities here than making sure you’re happy with me. I’m here to love you, of course, but also to guide you, teach you, instill the right values in you, and keep you healthy and safe. When I have to choose between being your friend and being your parent, I will choose being your parent.

You’ve always been strong-willed, and I love that about you, but I will not let you rule this household because of it. I will not let your tantrums cause tantrums of my own. I will try to teach you when to use that stubbornness for good, and when to let it go.

I love you, even when you “hate” me. And I know you love me, even when you “hate” me. I fervently hope that one day we can be the very best of friends. But today, it’s okay if you hate me.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

You should also check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kayci Villarreal

Kayci is a working mom of two hilarious kids living in Southern California. Her hobbies include reading in two-minute increments and sneaking cookies when her kids aren't looking.

I Won’t Always Be My Daughter’s Best Friend, But She’ll Be Mine

In: Motherhood

For these precious and fleeting few years of her life, I am my daughter’s best friend. The one who makes her eyes light up. The one she turns to for everything. But I know it won’t last too much longer. Someday, she’ll find a new best friend. That’s who she’ll ask to play Barbies. That’s who she’ll invite to her tea parties. That’s who will wear the other half of her heart, dangling on a sweet silver chain. That’s who she’ll want to hold hands with outside, as they skip off toward adventure. Over the years, her best friends will...

Keep Reading

20 Reasons My Toddler Hates Me

In: Toddler
toddler tantrums

1. I opened his granola bar in the wrong direction when he handed it to me. 2. One of the fruit snacks got stuck to the bottom of the package. 3. I wouldn’t let him jump from the top of the couch onto the dog’s back. 4. I made him lunch. 5. While playing cars, I touched the red car. Never ever touch the red car. 6. I made him get off the kitchen counter when he climbed up there to get to the candy bowl. 7. I said “no” to the fifth episode of Paw Patrol. 8. His milk...

Keep Reading

Please Don’t Write Off a Strong-Willed Child—Recognize the Beauty Behind Her Passion

In: Child
little girl dance

I am the mother of a strong-willed daughter. The proud, frustrated, and exhausted mother, if I’m being honest, but that little girl? She is my heart. My daughter is brave and kind and resourceful. She is ferocious and stubborn and unmovable. She is smart and funny and loyal. She is hard. It is possible for her to be all those things at once, and I love each little part of her. For me, the struggle comes when her strong-willed nature comes out in public. I see the stares, the clucking tongues, and I hear the non-stop advice about how to get...

Keep Reading