Shop the fall collection ➔

She is . . . extra.

She just is.

All the time she is extra sad, and then extra “OMG, Mom-that-was-so-epic-let-me-tell-you-everything.”

Extra energetic, then extra I’m too tired to help with any family chores.

Extra hungry, then extra refuses to eat the food she just asked for because she’s full.

RELATED: In Defense of the Wild Child

Extra loves to show how much knowledge she has, then extra doesn’t want to do her homework because she’s too busy “being.”

Extra defiant, then extra brings home adorable “I love you, Mom” art from school.

There is no middle ground with this kid.

And really, there never has been.

Sometimes that makes others label her “difficult”—and if we’re being honest—labeled that way in our house, too.

But as I watch her continue to lean into who she is, I find myself more frequently stopping to admire her gift.

RELATED: The Mama of the Wild Child is Trying Harder Than You Know

Because no one ever has to guess what’s going on in her mind and heart. She expresses herself without fear of judgment and owns all parts of her expression. If she’s feeling sad or frustrated, and someone seems annoyed by it—she will call them out and remind them she’s allowed to have feelings.

There is no people-pleasing.

No conforming.

No adjusting who she is based on who’s in the room.

(And, gosh, could we all learn from that.)

So while her “extra” can be hard to parent at times, I forever remain committed to never making her be less . . . because I know the world is already pointing the remote control her way and waiting to press “volume down.”

RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine

So today?

I bite my tongue and take multiple deep breaths when I catch myself about to do the same thing, and instead create the space to let her figure out how to be her extra self.

And I find ways to show her how she can use that passion to make a positive impact and embrace that authenticity to inspire others to do the same and channel that grit into the important things.

Girlfriend is extra.

And I pray no attempt to slow her down is ever enough.

Because the world needs more people like her.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Brea Schmidt

Brea Schmidt is a writer, speaker and photographer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch. Through her work, she aims to empower people to overcome their fears and insecurities and live their truth. She and her husband raise their three children in Pittsburgh, PA.

God Smiled the Day He Built the Wild Child

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl twirling in dress

To the mama who feels like all she did today was argue. To the mama who feels like she had to say no way more than yes. To the mama who had to choose her battles all day long. To the mama who was greeted with more sass than sweetness. To the mama who feels like her child questions absolutely everything. To the mama who is tired. RELATED: Please Don’t Write Off a Strong-Willed Child—Recognize the Beauty Behind Her Passion You are not alone. I see you. Moms blessed with these babes were made for this.  God smiled the day...

Keep Reading

Dear Strong Willed Daughter, When We Struggle

In: Child, Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter, color photo

You, my daughter, are my tough one. You are my child who bucks against everything I say. You keep your heels digging in the ground and rise up against me like a strong force. Most days everything I ask is met with a challenge, and many days I find myself in tears on my knees in prayer. I have said hurtful words in frustration. I have many days where I lack the patience I desperately want to have with you. It seems some days you wear on me until I am just left raw. But you, my child, are also...

Keep Reading

I’m Raising a Firecracker of a Daughter

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young girl sticking tongue out, color photo

As we were getting dressed after my daughter’s swimming lesson a few weeks ago, I was hit with an upsetting comment from another woman in the locker room. In passing, she said to me, “Wow, you sure have a firecracker there. You’re going to have your hands full.” I replied with a laugh as we continued walking through the hall to leave the building. After the encounter, I thought more about what she said and that’s when it hit me. Yes, my daughter is a firecracker. Yes, she is stubborn. Yes, she is defiant at times (many times). Yes, she...

Keep Reading