Category Archives: Motherhood

My Kids Hate Me (Flash Fiction)

I love telling short stories when the narrator doesn’t even know what’s going on. It’s one of my favorite methods of plot exposition. I think it’s so easy to deceive ourselves, and that it happens every day. I like to analyze why people feel the way they do, or what makes people behave the way they do, so you can see why this kind of writing appeals to me. It’s kind of sad sometimes, I know, but so is life.

The following was my first attempt of a prompt suggested by The 3 A.M. Epiphany. I didn’t stay within the parameters, but I did want to continue the story to see where it led. So, if my writing partner is reading this, don’t worry – I started over today, and now I’m obeying the rules, lol.

I have 2 daughters, and they both hate my guts. Even though Rich says I’m exaggerating, I know he’s wrong. I have proof. For instance, my 70th birthday just passed me by, and it didn’t occur to either of them to stop by for a visit or even call. My whole life is passing me by, and they don’t care a bit.

I have been up all night wondering how in the world they could disrespect the woman that gave them life. I’m sure it’s nothing I did. They must have gone astray somehow – had friends who taught them to hate their mom, or read the wrong kinds of books or watched the wrong kinds of movies. I’ve noticed that most moms in movies don’t love their kids at all, so maybe they’re just getting their ideas from Hollywood.

I can’t stay focused enough to figure it out; I’m too upset. So I have decided to write down what I know and see if the answers come to me.



Myra, she’s my oldest. She’ll be 49 in a couple of months, and she has no clue how good she’s got it. Her husband Frank works a full-time job, and she just sits around all day watching reruns of Golden Girls and sewing afghans. (She’s always been a loner, staying home when her sister and I went out, keeping to herself in her room, barely making an appearance for meals.)

She never had any kids – I guess she doesn’t like the idea of being a mom, since she hates me – and she doesn’t even know what it’s like to have to hold down a job.

Anyway, maybe I can guess what her problem is. When she was real little, she was the only child I had. We spent the first 8 years of her life playing Barbies, coloring together, enjoying games of hide-and-seek. I had to work outside the home, but I always made time for her.

But then Kelly was born, now she was a sick baby, so I had to let Myra sort of figure things out on her own after that. I’m sure it was good for her to finally take some responsibility. I had been molly-coddling her for almost a decade, so it had to end some time.

Myra kept nagging me and demanding my attention, but Kelly was a full-time commitment, and I was real tired when I wasn’t fitzing with her. One day though, she just stopped asking me to play with her.

At the time, I though she must have finally grown up, gained some independence. But that’s probably when she started hating me. Like I said, I’m not sure she ever really understood that I just didn’t have time to cater to her anymore.


So I already mentioned Kelly, but she’s my second. I would almost call her my problem-child, except that none of it was her fault. Like I said, she was a sick baby, but that never really got better. Well, anyway, by the time we all learned to cope with her condition, she hated everyone, and me the most.

I tried to give her everything a little girl could possibly want, because I seriously didn’t know how much longer she’d live. I gave her extra candies and hugs when she was little, and all of the latest gadgets and fashionable clothing when she got older.

Myra never cared for any of that stuff. In fact, she moved out before Kelly turned 9.

Out of the blue, Kelly started asking for things that I just couldn’t afford, like that trip to Europe with her friends. She should have realized how much I loved her when I took that extra summer job to pay for her trip to California, but she had already missed her senior class trip, and I guess she never forgave me for that.


Well, I won’t lose any more sleep from now on. If they hate me, it’s their own fault for not realizing that I was doing my best for both of them. I can see that bending over backwards to show them that I loved them never did a lick of good, so why even try anymore?

photo credit: dmitryzhkov <a href=”″>4_DSC8944</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;



Independence with a Safety Net

The other day, I was reading a very nice blog that I like to follow for courage and inspiration. In her post entitled Downhill, she writes about the experience of watching her little guy grow up. He’s only five and just entering kindergarten and the real world, but as I read, I can see my own thoughts about child-rearing mirrored in her actions. I’ve never put it into words before, at least, not as nicely as she does in this post. However, having been in the inner circle of numerous homeschooler families, I have seen a lot of different parents raise their children in a lot of different ways. It occurs to me that my beliefs about how I am raising Ian into adulthood coincide perfectly with the following method, taken from the blog Family, Work, Life:

And as he grew, I parented him with a hedge of protection but also with a fair amount of space.  I gave him whole sandwiches when other kids were still having their food cut into small pieces.  I used big words and sentences instead of easy ones.  We exchanged the sippies for big-boy cups to see if he could learn through trial-and-error.  He did things on his own, made messes, made mistakes, and got frustrated.  He also mastered skills and experienced the pride of success.

But I was always there to pick up the pieces if something went awry, comfort him when he got upset, and help him out if something just wasn’t working.

He might have been learning about the world on his own terms, but he was never alone.

ParentingI think that plenty of parents do this for their toddlers, but here’s a question for you: Why can’t we do this all the way through? Up until the day they move into a place of their own. And after, if they’re willing to call us once in a while and catch us up. Why can’t we allow them to make almost all of their decisions, while being there to catch them and make sure they don’t ruin their lives? And, if we’ve raised them properly, how many children actually end up ruining their lives anyway? I don’t even know anyone in prison or living on the streets somewhere. Now, there are things that are non-negotiable in Ian’s life: School. Church. Instrument Practice. Reading his Bible every day. And I make sure he spends time away from his video games, etc. But aside from that, I give him plenty of space and the liberty to make most of his decisions.

I know I’m not the authority on parenting, but I do know this: I like my kid. I enjoy being in the same room with him, spending time with him, so hopefully that means I’m doing something right. I’m proud of the young man he’s becoming and the decisions he is able to make on his own. Hopefully I am raising an independent adult and not someone who feels entitled. However, I am open to suggestions, and I realize that not every method works in every family. Have you raised your children differently? How did you do it? And are you satisfied with the results?

Be the Mom

Earlier this month, I read Be the Mom, by Tracey Lanter Eyster. Tracey is a blogging mom who writes about what it’s like to also be a full-time mom. In her book, she describes the different traps that moms can easily fall into, how to recognize where you are in regard to those traps, and what to do should you discover that you’re in over your head. She gives very practical advice on how we should think about being a mom, as opposed to how others believe we should think.

This was a very helpful read. Lately, I’ve found myself encumbered by far too many things, mostly self-afflicted obligations, and I’ve lost track of how to truly enjoy motherhood. I’m so busy most days that I find it difficult to pull away from the things that I believe must be done, in order to make room for those moments that I truly desire to spend with my son. But I’m learning to reprioritize a bit, and instead of procrastinating when it comes to hanging out with my son, I’ve been pushing off the “important” things to carve out some quality time with him. I know I’ll get those things done; I’ll just make the time somehow, but I also know I’ll never get these few precious years of my son’s childhood back.

If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book.

A Prompt Disguised as Playing with Your Kids

Here’s one that I think will be really fun for you all. And not only will you be inspiring your muse, but you will also be relieving some guilt at the same time. You know that guilt you get when you’re spending time writing instead of playing with your kids? Well, check this out:

Take a half hour to an hour out of your busy writing schedule to inspire a new character in your story. Only instead of staring at the wall trying to come up with ideas, let your kids do the work. Tell them you want to play a story with them, and ask them how they want it to go, and who they want you to pretend to be. While playing with them, follow all of their leads, no matter how crazy or unbelievable, and just see where their imagination takes you. When nap-time rolls around, spend a few minutes jotting down the ideas that you just gleaned from playing a round of make-believe!

River’s Call

River’s Call by Melody Carson tells the story of Anna, as she struggles to overcome the difficult relationships in her life. For years she has borne the verbal abuse of her former mother-in-law, Eunice, and she is currently trying to resolve the wedge that Eunice has driven between herself and her own daughter, Lauren. Things become even stickier when Anna discovers that Lauren is pregnant, and does not intend to keep the baby.

This book was a little different than the other book I have read by Melody Carlson. Personally, I enjoyed the set-up of the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, and it was hard for me to make the switch to a more conventional method of storytelling, especially since I knew that it was written by the same author. The writing wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t as much fun! That being said, the book is heart-felt, and brings to into question many modern relationship problems, along with potential ways to resolve them. I did not always agree with the protagonists’ opinions – I happen to think that Anna should have taken her daughter in hand rather than let her figure things out for herself, and the feminist views of Anna’s new, more desirable mother-in-law, Hazel, got under my skin a bit. I don’t mean to be critical though, because everything else about the book was good! I enjoyed spending time on the river with Anna and her friends, and I will most likely read the other books in the series.

If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book. Or you can preview it here.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, the publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through Glass Road Public Relations.

I know nothing about courtship…

Most of the married couples I know are miserable. Some of them practically hate each other, most of the wives don’t understand submission, and most of the husbands don’t understand leadership. Some of the problems derive from the fact that the couple is unevenly matched, spiritually speaking. I just do not want my son to end up in one of these marriages. What can I do about it? As soon as he “falls in love” with some random girl, all of my advice will seem like nagging. If he marries a girl that his father and I have advised against, we could end up having relationship problems for years (not because I am nagging, because I wouldn’t, but because he remembers our disapproval). The only thing I can think of is to help him keep a level head on his shoulders while searching for an honorable helpmeet. So my answer, I think, is courtship. The only problem is, I know next to nothing about it. I’m assuming that it’s only dating people you would consider for marriage, people with a good reputation and characteristics you find desirable in a life-long mate. I also assume that each date is chaperoned.

How would I go about instilling principles of courtship in my son? I am also responsible for my niece three days a week, and would like to extend this idea to her and her parents as well. I don’t know anyone personally who courted and married as a result. (I don’t think my editor counts because I don’t really know him, and that’s not the kind of conversation I envision having with him.) I used to be acquainted with one family who tried to get their son to court, but it didn’t end well.

I think I have steps one and two worked out, but after that, I’m completely clueless.

Step 1: Stop watching things that portray dating as desirable. Most of these types of movies have many other morality issues as well, so I’m convinced this is the place to begin.

Step 2: Talk about the benefits of courtship, and how important it will be for him to find a good wife.

Anyone with good experiences out there? Any adults who courted or a parent of one? I need help!