Here’s the thing. Every parent, at some point, feels defeated, discouraged, and disgusted. In fact, I’m pretty sure admitting to any of those things, actually makes you a better parent. It’s just that some days, I’m not prepared for the rampage of emotion that comes with feeling all of those things, resorting me to the couch pouting with gelato in hand, asking my spoon how I was even allowed to be responsible for tiny humans.

I have a seven year old and a almost-six year old They’ve each spun me around through the twists and turns of their developing personalities, and this is most definitely the biggest time in my parenting career where I am the closest to melting into a six year old version of a tantrum on my living room floor – still spoon in hand.

My kids are angels in the grand scheme of things. Last night, in fact, they put my laundry away (in “surprise places!”), dusted, attempted to vacuum, swept my kitchen floor twice, and taught each other new words. They’re well behaved, they’re respectful, they go to bed when we ask and sleep for 12 hours without waking. I guess that’s why the new level of sass is taking me so off guard, making me realize that I don’t know how to punish.


The other night we were driving home from another busy weekend, and they were fighting in the back seat (shock & awe, shock & awe!). After, I don’t know, seven warnings or so, I finally told my youngest she’d have to go to bed early, alone, AND WITH NO BLANKETS IF SHE DOESN’T STOP. She replied, “and?“. So, as a follow up, I put her to bed early. And while she was slightly miffed maybe, she did it with little complaint and challenged me to try something worse.

I know the key to any strategy is consistency. But you tell me, after working 8 hours, cooking for 2, cleaning for 3, refereeing the kids for 4, and then being blatantly sassed – that you’re consistent and cool. If so, hi, can my kids come live with you?
My other problem is this: We want to encourage independence and self sufficiency, but we want to discourage both if they get out of hand. HI GREY AREA MUCH?

I also know I’m not the only mom out there with girls close in age, with independently sassy, brilliant little faces leaping into the world, and as a mom, feeling burdened with the responsibility of raising them right. It’s just that the weight of that burden some days is unbearable. That’s HUGE you guys, I’m supposed to successfully raise another human. Two, actually.

In any case, I suppose I need encouragement that it’s ok to love but not like sometimes, to lose my temper occasionally, and that my kids will turn out just fine – despite my overwhelming guilt of not seeing them enough, coming down on them too hard, nagging them constantly, and trying to find the gentle balance between love & logic (totally stole the L&L from my friend Christie, hiiiiiiiiiiiii Christie – & thanks for your brilliance and emotion this morning!).

I worry too much, really.

Le sigh.
& Ce la vi.


PS! – my friend posted this list on Pinterest the other day, and while some of them are a bit far-fetched for my toddler brains, I LOVE the idea of making our already favorite time of day – even better!

What do you like to dream about?
What is your best memory this school year?
Who is your hero? Why?
How would you describe your family?
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
What are you most proud of yourself for?
Who is the kindest person you know? Why?
What do you like most about your best friend?
What is one thing you would like to learn to do well?
If you were an animal what one would you be and why?
When is the last time someome hurt your feelings? How did you react?
Do you know someone who is going though a hard time? How can you help them?
What is the scariest thing that happened this year?
If you could keep only one thing, out of everything you have, what would it be?
Who do you think is really successful? Why?
What’s the best thing about your teacher this year?
When do you feel misunderstood by grown-ups?
What three words best describe you?
What’s something that makes you angry?
What’s the best compliment you ever received


2 thoughts on “Sass!

  1. First, you are an AMAZING mom!! The fact that you worry about this so much proves that you are!
    Secondly, your kids need to see you be imperfect and lose your cool. They need to know that you are only human and that they are too.
    Thirdly, I don’t know one single person who is consistent 100% of the time with punishment. And frankly, I don’t know if I would care too!
    You work with what you can, sometimes that means flying by the seat of your pants. And you know what? Your girls will be fine!! The fact that you discipline them tells me they will be great!
    As for sleeping without blankets, that cracked me up!! I’ve never said that one before, but I did threaten to leave them home locked in the pen with the calves, and I recieved the same, and….., look. Oh well!
    Love you woman! You are doing an amazing job!

  2. I HAVE to laugh with your blog Nomz…. Mostly because lately I’ve been at the end of my rope with my only almost 17 month old NEW fit thrower. Sass???? She can’t even talk yet and I’m begging for some gelato on my couch LOL. To top it off we have the “step” who is one of your “difficult” types who refuses potty training and balancing between what my parenting style is with her mum’s style is a feat. Sass???? When she is mad she does not speak but I do get crusties, does that count as sass? NEITHER scenario above is something I feel like I know how to deal with. I think three days ago I felt like I “realized” that I am no good at punishment. From what I gather I’ll be “realizing” it for the rest of my baby’s life. I SUPPOSE that’s okay as long as there is gelato to have no? If you are overwhelmed with the questions like “am I doing this right?” or if you feel like you don’t have all the RIGHT answers then you are on the correct path. It’s hard to trust yourself when you have those days where it seems evident that you are doing everything wrong but just know, that if you can step back far enough to see that it’s a bad day then you’re succeeding at everything. You’re doing it well because you’re learning from it, your girls are learning from it (even if they pretend no blankets is nothing). THAT is the ONLY goal in life right??? That we learn and grow. Keep on growing. You are doing GREAT!!!!

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