Last night I let my kids stay up past bedtime to watch a movie. I told them both they would have to shower in the morning, no complaints. So, 6am I woke them both up, and got them in the shower. (My older one helps my little one.) I was sitting on the couch drinking coffee and listening to my oldest boss my youngest around. She had no patience, and she was getting frustrated, and even yelling at her a little bit. I started to get up to go yell at her for being kind of nasty, and I suddenly realized…my 10 year old sounded EXACTLY like me. She was talking like me. She got frustrated like me. She was a little clone of me.
For a couple years I have always felt like it was harder for me to love her then it was for me to love my littlest. This feeling is awful if any of you parents have ever felt the same. It’s not because Claire is smaller, or easier, or even better behaved, it’s that Ella is me. My twin. Identical to me in every single shape, personality, and manner.
They say that sometimes it’s harder to get along with someone you are very much similar to. Well, amen. I clash with my 10 year old because she is a living, walking, breathing small version of myself. I’m hard on myself, and I am hard on her. She will do something that frustrates me, then I will do the same thing 10 minutes later. I will do something, then a day later she will do it, and I will try to punish her for it, and she is right there to tell me, “oh really mom, you do or say the same thing.” Oh snap. She’s absolutely right.
My youngest is nothing like me. I am pretty sure her dad had an affair and her real mother is still out there somewhere. Ha! It’s so easy dealing with her. Effortless. Why? I should be one step ahead of Ella at all times because we are so alike. But honestly, I don’t have a flipping clue what to do with her. And I’m harder on her. Maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in her, and that scares me. I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to be so much more then me, so maybe that’s what makes it harder? Maybe I am trying to subconsciously correct things I don’t like about myself through her? Maybe I will never know.
A lot of the time I will think back on our arguments and mentally punish myself for not doing things differently. The worst nights are when I look at her while she is sleeping and just see this little girl laying there. Nothing more. No attitude. No mouth. No evil mom clone, even though an hour prior we were yelling at each other like sisters rather than a mother and daughter. Some of the times I cry because I know I’m doing it all wrong with her. I alway reassure her that I love her more than life. But a mother shouldn’t have to reassure their child that they love them. I do love her. I can’t even explain how much I love her, so why the hell can’t I figure out what to do with her?
I knew parenting wasn’t going to be easy, but man….I think they sugar coated that a little bit. Not easy is an understatement. It’s amazing mothers make it out alive.
Oh well. I love her, and I know she’s knows I love her. I am positive her and I will someday be perfectly fine. Our relationship may not be perfect, and it may sometimes suck the life out of both of us, but I guess we just have to keep working together until we figure it out. And I’m extremely confident that we will.