Motherhood

14 Great Reader Comments on Parenting

14 Great Reader Comments on Parenting

Have you ever heard something that has changed the way you view parenthood? Here are 14 wonderful reader comments on raising children that made our hearts swell…

On following a child’s lead:

“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I came across a onesie that said, ‘Born To be Mild,’ which made me smile. My husband and I are both really mild-mannered, and I assumed our offspring would follow suit. WRONG! She’s only 11 months old but I can already tell she’s gonna be a spitfire. She wants what she wants and she wants it now. She gets super focused on tasks and then gets so frustrated when she can’t figure them out. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that she’s in control and I’m just along for the ride.” — Laura

“My kids are super different, and something that freaked me out for the longest time was that I didn’t feel the same way about them. But one day, I realized that I love all the different people in my life in different ways — my love for my husband is different than my love for my mom, which is different than my love for my best friend, because they are all *wait for it* different people! And that’s okay! Loving my kids differently doesn’t mean loving one more than the other. it’s just a different kind of love.” — Joanna

On sweet sayings:

“Trying (still) to get my five-year-old son to sleep in his own bed, and he told me, ‘I like your bedroom better because there is no YOU in my room.’ Heart burst.”— EC

“My two-and-a-half-year-old has started telling me, ‘Try your best,’ as I leave for work. It cracks me up! And I really do try my best!” — Nora

On the kindness of strangers:

“When I was a very new mom, a distant cousin tapped me on the shoulder at a funeral and whispered, ‘I can see you’re an absolutely wonderful mom.’ I still tear up every time I think about it, and it has been years. I like to give a similar compliment to new moms I encounter — moms can sometimes feel a little unseen. My version of the compliment is ‘your baby is in love with you.’ It’s never not true, and it usually lights up the face of the recipient (I stole it from the breathtaking documentary A Doula Story).” — HM

“Last year, my husband and I became foster parents to a five-year-old and three-year-old. While it has been difficult, it’s by far been the most rewarding thing we’ve ever done. We’ve been blown away by how kind so many people have been – from the manager at Target who held clearance items for us (when the kids came with only the clothes they were wearing) to the person selling her stroller on Craigslist who sent me home with an entire sack full of toys (when we didn’t have any toys at our house) to the daycare that rushed to get them spots. It’s been humbling to experience so much kindness from complete strangers.” — Bethany

On trusting kids:

“On the way to school each morning, it was my job to get the exact amount of money from my dad’s wallet for the newspaper. I had great pride being allowed to dig in his wallet and then the rush of paying the newspaper seller before the traffic light turned green. I don’t have children, but one thing I always try to do is trust them with a task, in my career as a teacher and with friends’ children. They have the same pride on completion as I had 20 years ago.” — Hannah

On bedtime routines:

“I can’t go to sleep until I have checked to make sure that all four of my girls are breathing – they are 8, 6, 4, and 18 months. I imagine I will be doing it for as long as they live under our roof, and may casually suggest that they call me every night before they go to sleep until they are in their 60s.” — Anna

“Most nights, I ‘cuddle’ with my kids as they go to sleep. We have a rule, which is that we lay back to back, booty to booty, a saying that tickles them. Practically, this allows them to know I am with them, but it isn’t a time for long chats and I can read my book so I don’t fall asleep. It’s a nice time to slow down and be there.” — Lisa

On rolling with the punches:

“One of my parenting mantras is ‘some days are crap days.’ When I’m in the middle of a day that is just not going well, I’ll think to myself, ‘Oh, I see, we’re having a crap day. Let’s just get through this as best we can.’ Maybe that means abandoning the schedule and staying in jammies all day, extra screen time, pouring bowls of cereal for dinner, and crawling in to bed as soon as the kids are asleep even though the house is a mess. When you’re having a tough day, just give yourself a pass and know that you can start fresh tomorrow.” — Kara

On taking it easy:

“My number one tip for traveling with three kids (ages 10, 7, and 3) is, when you’re not seeing the sites, let them do whatever they want! We recently went to Puerto Rico. We were so busy going to the beach, checking out the sites etc. that when we did have downtime: I let them do anything, which usually meant watching TV or playing video games. It’s their vacation, too! Plus, how am I going to get to read a book or lie around if I’m constantly initiating craft projects or bugging them to read?” — Chrissie

“My mom always made us healthy home-cooked meals. As a kid, I hated this. (Can we pleeeease get Velveeta?) But whenever my dad would leave town for work, she would cement her status as ‘Best Mom Ever!’ by letting us choose a frozen dinner to eat in front of the TV. Our trips to the supermarket, as my siblings and I giddily choose our own Kid Cuisine meal, may as well have been a trip to an amusement park.” — Stacey

On the teenage years:

“Not many people tell positive stories about being the parent of a teenager, but those teenager years can be amazing and so rewarding. Yet even when I was pregnant, people would say ominous things like, ‘Enjoy the baby years because when they get to be teenagers they are awful.’ This rubbed me the wrong way — I didn’t want to think of my son as ‘awful’ waiting to happen. So, I began telling him when he was about 10 years old, ‘You’re going to be a terrific teenager. You’re going to have so much fun, and you’re going to make the best choices for yourself, and you will love making decisions about what you want to do and learn. You are going to really like it.’ Now he is 17. The high school years have not all been smooth sailing, but life never is anyway, and I try to remember to keep giving him a version of that message: you can do this, you can make good choices and find your way, and we are right here for you if you need us. Sometimes it’s not a straight path, but he gets there.” — Claire

“When my teenager was small, she would play with my hair while she fell asleep. The other night she’d had a hard day and asked if I would lie with her at bedtime. After a few minutes I felt her hand find my head and was reminded that my big girl is still my little girl.” — Kim

What would you add?

P.S. More amazing reader comments and six words to say to your child.

(Photo by Emma Hartvig, via Land of Women.)

  1. Excellent article, Keep it up sharing best comments.

  2. Congratulations Sarah! You’ve made such a big difference in not just one but two lives through their adoption.

    Thanks for sharing this post. You made my day!

  3. I’ve been reading posts like this since before becoming pregnant (my son is almost nine now!) and I think it’s where I picked up one of my favorite statements. Telling my son, “There’s nothing you can do to make me love you less,” has seen us through everything from toddler tantrums and blown math quizzes to more serious stressors, and I’m forever grateful for the sentiment. No matter what is happening in the moment — whether patience has run out, wires have been exposed, explanations have fallen flat — it is the constant truth for both of us. The work of mothering is hard, but the rewards are infinite. Cheers for curating the kind of community and content that serves as such a wonderful reminder of both.

  4. Jenna says...

    Thank you for such lovely, insightful comments. I instantly started crying as I read through them (which is often the case when you do posts like these, gathering all the incredible wisdom of readers).

    • The experiences that have been shared by parents bring out the insights of parenting and what phases they go through as a parent. A must read for would be parents.

  5. somlou says...

    These are so comforting. Love the travel tip about letting kids “vacation” themselves!

    My 5-year-old is has been having a rough time at school with a few other kids. She got pushed onto the cement yesterday (!) and scraped her elbow up. She told me the girl who did it hurt her heart. And that, frankly, hurt my heart. Amazing how these mini versions of us exist in their own complicated worlds and helpful to hear/read all of the stories of life whirling around out there.

    • Jill says...

      Claire’s comment just completely shifted my perspective. My son has ADHD and because his elementary school years have been so filled with stress I have just always thought, “oh my what are his teen years going to be like.” Thanks Claire.

  6. Caprice says...

    File this one under Funny Parent Saves…My 6 year old came home from school one day and I over heard him say the “C” word. I immediately reacted by saying “WHAT??!!” which told him that whatever he just said got great attention. So I quickly said…”did you say Conch? That is a naughty word”-desperate to have him forget the other word. He said yes. A few weeks later, I get a call from his teacher reporting that he had a bad behavior day and they said…”and I think your son just called me a seashell or something?” I told his teacher to just go with it and it could have been worse!

  7. Monika says...

    These posts always make me bittersweet-cry. I am currently battling depression while trying to parent my three boys and most days lately, I don’t feel like I’m much good at it. But I show up for it every day anyways, because I’m convinced parental love is bulletproof. I am so grateful to all these parents who share their tender stories here, they make me feel less alone and part of something big and wonderful!

    • Laura C. says...

      You will do well, Monika. I had mild depression and my antidepressants helped a lot. I am free now. My little advice is, when you don’t feel good at it, just be another kid as yours. Just eat some cheese or apples or chicken nuggets for dinner. Make a little picnic on the floor at our dining room. Ask them what would they do.
      I feel so free now, mostly whe I STOPPED searching images and quotes from Pinterest about anxiety and depression (and I would pin them too!). Once I stopped focusing on it, and taking my pill every morning, and giving me credit for being a mom, everything turned out easier.
      I send you a hug .

    • Monika says...

      Laura C, thank you for understanding and for your generosity. I’m crying again, but with happiness because kindness is absolutely everything to me! I am really glad you are recovering/recovered from your depression. I miss the fun, lovely mom I used to be, but I am sure she’s still in there somewhere and I will find here again! Hugs and again, thank you.

    • Sofia says...

      You are truly part of something big and wonderful. <3 I've been where you are now and I can tell you, it doesn't get any worse than this. The worst is over. Like Laura C says below, let the kids decide meals etc. Do what ever takes you through the day. And, get medicine. That's the best thing I've ever done. Many many hugs all the way from Sweden.

    • Laura C. says...

      @Monika You’re doing it so well! It will be all right :)

  8. Deb says...

    Something I heard that has stuck with me as a parent is that your kids are not on this earth for you to control them. They are not mini versions of your own hopes and dreams for yourself. You are in their lives to help them find their path and guide them when they veer from their path.

    I love this so much because I had parents who had very specific expectations for my siblings and I. There was a lot of controlling behaviors and not a lot of affection which didn’t allow us to have an open, honest relationship with them as kids/teens/adults… it was all about pleasing mom and dad and not a lot of being our true selves. I love my parents so much but I am excited to parent in my own way and to really get to know my kids, learn their love languages ,and love the HECK out of them.

    • Jess. says...

      When Fred Savage was on the Armchair Expert podcast, he was discussing the danger of needing too much control as a director. He said the worst thing that can possibly happen, when you’re directing a film, is to have everything go exactly the way you’d planned it.

      I may never direct a film, but I am raising humans, and that struck me so hard (I talk about it all the time). There are other humans involved in this experience. So many ways for the plan to change and grow organically, as we learn who they are and as THEY learn who they are. Obviously, you want to raise kind, decent human beings, but beyond the foundation, we really need to practice letting go of our preconceived notions of who our children (who are their own people) are going to be.

    • christina says...

      I had a similar experience. Childhood was about keeping mom happy! Adulthood was too, until I went to therapy and realized how twisted it was. I love my parents, but I’m grateful to see their limitations. I’m so looking forward to doing my best at parenting differently. I just want to love my kids and build them up, however that is! To be their rock and safety net. To truly KNOW them and SEE them.

  9. Christine says...

    These are beautiful! At the end of the day, the experience of being a parent is the best thing in the world (most days). I am sitting here crying at the quote about the daughter playing with the moms hair. I have a 2 year old daughter and she is the light of my life. She is an absolute firecracker and challenges me every single day but the experience of being her mom so far has been wonderful and I’ve learned so much. The thought of having more years of ups, downs, highs, lows with her is just so exciting to me. Even the teen years! I am horrified but also really excited to (hopefully) get to experience those with her. Thanks for the post!

  10. Katey says...

    Claire, that is an amazing choice you made. I am so grateful to read this. My kids are toddlers but that ominous warning comes to me and rubs me to the wrong way, too. I’m delighted to have an empowering message to speak to my kids when they are on the verge of teendom.

  11. Cynthia Miller says...

    On teenagers- we decided (I did) not to blame actions on “being a teenager.” Yes, there are some very teen things going on- but bad attitudes and actions are still choices that can be controlled.
    It has, mostly, worked. I like the idea of setting kids up to prepare for GOOD teenage years. Thanks for that comment on teens!

  12. Little Miss says...

    my sister’s kids always come by my mom’s house during the weekends.
    the last few weekends one of her boys developed a new habit…on their way out of the house on sunday night,he always runs to my mum’s cupboard for any kind of snack to take with him.last sunday i made sure i put a large Cadbury’s chocolate for him to grab.he didnt notice and grabbed other things so i ran after him to give him the chocolate.
    he stood for a second to think and then he grabbed it saying “we dont eat it but my mum loves it”!
    at that moment i thought…good job sis..your kids adore you!!

  13. Anna says...

    As a long time reader, it was exciting to see my comment shared. Thanks for providing such a great space and diverse content! I’ve been a fan as a single person, through marriage and new motherhood, and look forward to learning from others in this space as we grow in age and experiences.

  14. Katie Kujawski says...

    I loved the kid cuisine memory as I have the same one. I always thought it was my mom being the best mom ever when she would take us to the market and let us each pick out a kid cuisine for dinner. Now that I’m a mom I realize she was probably exhausted from work and didn’t have it in her to cook that night.

  15. Minn says...

    Oh my gawd, that last comment! (*sob*)

    I have a 5 year old daughter who is growing up way too fast and that last one totally got me!

    Also, agree about giving props to new moms. I still think about this random older lady on the plane who saw me with my daughter (then 9 months old) and told me how well I was taking care of her! So true that moms can be invisible. It used to irk me so much that my husband would get all sorts of compliments about being a “great dad” from random strangers by just taking her for stroll around the mall- which he is, but where were my mommy props?! Now I make sure to always tell new moms, they’re doing great and whatever they’re doing is perfect and perfectly fine.

  16. Janan W says...

    I have 4 kids, all about 2 years apart and when they were all still young a mom of teens told me, how much I would love the teen years, and to not listen to people who hate teens. Best advice and now I give it out too, along with one other piece of advice:)
    Teenagers are the best! My baby is 16 and the last still living at home, wish I could have another decade of the teen years. It wasn’t all roses, but no stage is and frankly, I’m not all roses, all the time, either! ha.
    So young moms, just don’t listen to those teen-haters!
    Here’s my extra advice in parts!
    1) Sleep, sleep sleep! Teens need 9-11 hours a night for their developing minds and bodies, most angsty teens are just horribly sleep-deprived. We never equated getting older with a later bedtime.
    2) Think of puberty as a restart button. I had to reteach them how to sweep, make beds, clean a bathroom, say please, and apologize etc… If you remember this aspect it won’t be so frustrating when they seem to have forgotten all you once taught them:)
    3) Talk about everything, and start young before they are old enough to get embarrassed. Makes it so much easier:)

    • Margaret says...

      Agree! Teens are so interesting. So breathtaking to watch them be and become who they are. I feel less responsible for all of it.. they are who they are and I have to learn to love them for all of it and keep them safe and help them grow but I have less of a sense that I must know how to do it “right”.

    • Ange says...

      Janan,
      This advice was the reminder I needed regarding my kids (teens) sleeping patterns and the words of wisdom about the ”reset button” has reset my mind in regards to expectations about ‘they should know this by now’. Thank you, I’ve taken a big exhale.

    • Kate says...

      Pretty sure being a teenager is just a repeat of being a toddler…. Sleep training relapse, teaching them about hygiene, realizing that a great many of their problems can be solved with snacks and naps.

    • Peg says...

      Having raised a teenager I agree with everything Janan has written (so well!). I only wish the “Think of puberty as a restart button.” concept had been in my head at the time. I would have relaxed a bit more.

  17. Andrea says...

    Joanna, oh my goodness, I feel compelled to recommend this book for you, Toby, and Anton. It’s a beautiful peek into one mother’s relationship with her two sons, who she loves so much, and so differently.

    My mom read it to my sisters and I when we were little. I’m pregnant with our second child now, and am excited to read it to our daughter and new one someday too.

    https://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Purplest-Barbara-Joosse/dp/0811807185/ref=asc_df_0811807185/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312696674585&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13681942871149388537&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9019560&hvtargid=pla-570184162723&psc=1#immersive-view_1583272912851

  18. christina says...

    This article makes me so excited to become a mom! I’m eight weeks pregnant with my first today! :)

    • Erica Scott says...

      Congrats! Motherhood is awesome!

    • AB says...

      Congratulations! It’s such an exciting time :)

    • Jules says...

      Congratulations! Being a mom is the greatest job in the world!

  19. Michelle says...

    My 5 year old son was recently asking about divorce, because he has a friend in school whose parents are divorced. I told him that I loved his Daddy so much that I would gladly wipe his butt when he is old. That divorce was not on the horizon for us. That made him laugh. He asked, what about me? I said of course, I wiped your butt for many years! Now, when he’s trying to tell me how much he loves me, he sweetly offers to wipe my butt too. I secretly love this insane/gross saying we now have in our family… just hoping not to have him say it in public now… ha!

    • Christine says...

      That’s so adorable!

  20. Jinnie says...

    Love this post! It was just what I needed today :)

  21. Merritt says...

    I was good until I got to the last one. Sob! My little girl (3), who is the eldest, twirls my hair every night in bed, and if it’s in a ponytail, she says, “Take your hair down so I can play with it, please.” I hope she does this forever. These are all so, so sweet.

    • Cheryl says...

      Mine too! She kept me up for 30 minutes in the middle of the night last night because she couldn’t sleep and wanted to play with my hair. Then she moved on to stroking my earlobe. I’m tired today but I have to remind myself someday those are the moments I will definitely treasure.

    • Kara says...

      My 2.5 year old always makes me take my hair down so she can play with it. I love it!

  22. JO says...

    Such great comments! and yay for teens! As a mom of 4 now grown (in 6 years, 2 biological, 2 adopted) … there are so many parts of the teen years I adored: having so many great teen hangouts at our place (THE best place for teens to hang btw!) / having help with driving&dropping off (after I had several panic attacks teaching them to drive!) / enjoying mature conversations – even debates – and watching them become adults (so proud of them!). But there is something huge I would do so differently if I had a redo: recognize, understand and accept mental health illness (instead of blaming, fear and minimizing) during the teen years rather than seeing everything through the eyes of hormones and/or “teen-rebellion”. Hopefully as the years go by, the healthy conversations in our communities and families surrounding mental health, will open the eyes of more tired parents and no matter who deals with the mental health challenges, correct attitudes, good care and wise love can make all the difference.

    • Ange says...

      Jo,
      it must be hard to walk the line in recognising what is teen-rebellion and what is declining mental health. I’ll tuck away your reflective words and keep them as I go forward with my young teens. It’s a very good point. Thank you.

  23. Beth says...

    (i’m not crying you’re crying)

    • lkb says...

      me too.

      Especially the “your baby is in love with you”. I’m STILL crying about it (with my 5 month old sitting next to me).

  24. Elif says...

    When I was pregnant with my first son, I very naively asked my closest mom-friend, if her 4 year old daughter was the biggest source of joy in her life. Oh I still remember the surprise on her face, she told me she would rather call her the biggest source of constant worries. That answer had very much puzzled me. I still remember this and can’t believe how naive I was with my expectations about becoming a parent. Now I see it’s not always joy or worries, but both and more.

  25. Jess. says...

    To go along with the “your baby is in love with you” comment from HM, above, I submit this Pampers ad that has stolen my heart:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ewztvjm0A0
    I wish I could force all of the moms to watch it and internalize it. We are so much more than the way we look, and the people who matter are so in love with us. We should be, too! xox

    • eg says...

      omg the tears are rolling… thank you for sharing that.

    • Jess. says...

      (quick amendment to say I would like *everyone* to watch it and realize that there are people–not just their own children–who love them and will love them for who they are, and it doesn’t matter what we look like! You don’t have to have children or be a parent to have and deserve unconditional, laugh-with-your-mouth-open love!!! And we are all worthy of our own love and respect.) I know it’s a post about parenting, but, you know, it’s a comment about love. xox

  26. Dana and Sky Nelson-Isaacs says...

    Hi Shannon, my daughter is also an only and is 10 and a half. I am enjoying this time, too! Any tips for single-child parenting in the tween/teen years?

    • Elizabeth says...

      I’m not Shannon – but single parented my daughter who is now a delightful almost 21. We always had at least one tv show that we watched together – we would laugh and discuss and be shocked and talk about how some of the characters reminded us of people we knew. And it often led to conversations about her day and she would share something that she had forgotten about or something that made her really happy (or really sad). My mantra to her was “I trust you – you are going to make good decisions” – I would say just really make space for them. Even if the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned up or the laundry doesn’t get folded. The time is so short, they will be gone before you know it. But knowing that they can talk to you about anything, trust you with anything, and that there is one person in the world who is on there side – those are what you want to send them out into the world with.

  27. Hanh vu says...

    My children often catch me by surprise with their sweetness.

    Almost every night, as I exhaustedly and hastily try to get out of my 5yo daughter’s bedroom after reading her books and tucking her in, she’d call me back: “Mommy… You’re the best mommy in the whole world.”

    Then the other night, as I sit down, frazzled, to dinner, after frantically trying to get the said dinner on to the table, my 3yo son say, “Mommy, you look pretty today.”

    These comments usually come in the least expected moments, and remind me that the lenses through which my children view the worlds are so different than mine. Through those lenses, I am the picture of goodness and beauty even if I don’t see myself in that way. And that’s more than enough to make an exhausted, flustered mama happy as can be.

  28. V says...

    Claire’s comment on teenagers rings so spot-on.

    Growing up, my mom had very few rules, but the ones she did have were imprinted on my soul. I had no curfew, no rules against drinking, I was allowed to close my door when my boyfriend was over. But I was never to touch a cigarette, and I was never to get behind the wheel (or get in a car) if any alcohol had been consumed.

    Because I had so little to rebel against, I did very little rebelling. I was often the designated driver for friends racing home to make curfew, I learned how to set boundaries around my own body, and after I spent one entire Thanksgiving vomiting from a hangover, I have never again gotten so drunk.

    When I did try cigarettes for the first time, I told her. The sad look on her face made me realize that my mom trusted me to make my own decisions and to learn from them. I wanted to keep her trust.

    • I am going to remember this.

  29. Ellen says...

    LOVE Claire’s comment about parenting teenagers. Such a good idea to start from a place of positivity, trust, and inspiration. (I also hate how often people start in on the “just you wait…” comments when it comes to parenting!!)

  30. Ok Hee says...

    I love the black and white picture on this post. Is there a way to get a print of it? So ubiquitous and intimate at the same time.

    Thank you.

  31. One of my favorite parenting comments on COJ over the years is “just add water.” If they are a little grumpy give them water to drink, let them play in the sink, give them a bath, etc.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Anyone remember the aurhor SARK?

      “If they’re cranky, put them in water.”

    • Sara says...

      I just thought of this comment earlier today when my baby was flipping out!! We ended up watering the garden together. Love COJ!

    • Robin says...

      Ha yes me too! I often think of this. It’s a good mantra for fixing what’s wrong with me, too.

    • Lizzie says...

      I always do this! After a terribly 50min drive in traffic my 8week old and I ended up in the shower together & he fed to sleep. Was such a good re set. Also strip them off and start again (more for the new babies 😂)

  32. Shannon says...

    Love all of these! I’m an only child and my daughter is an only. She’s 11 now and I’m embracing these tween years. She’s still so sweet and wants to hang out with me but she does have moments when I know the hormones are starting – I let her have her feelings and tell her it’s normal and okay to express herself.

    The fun thing about a tween is that she keeps me in the loop with new things, like VSCO girls, and she loves hearing about what things were like when I was her age. Time sure moves quickly! I love reading about great teen/parent relationships.

  33. Amy B says...

    Two stories – When my daughter, who is my eldest, was five, I was angry about something and made a decision that later turned out to be wrong. I remember walking to the bus stop with her and having a life-changing talk. I admitted to myself then to her that I was wrong and I had made a mistake. (It was hard!) And, told her, “I’ve never been mom to a five-year-old before. I think I’m going to make mistakes.” She said, “That’s ok, Mom. I understand.” Story 2: As a teenager (amazingly like being 5), she navigated life at full volume with passion and energy. As the only other woman in the house, I was constantly under the microscope. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions, hormones and both of us figuring out life. I made the decision to gain her trust by not talking about our challenges or her challenges to any of her friends’ parents. This was key because she would test me. We gained her trust – she called us whenever she needed us. I definitely found support for myself (how many times can you hear “I hate you” and NOT need another perspective?) Another challenging but 100% worth it tactic is to make yourself available when your teen wants you. This is super challenging at the end of a long day. We are really close now she is 22 and I don’t regret a thing. Parenting is a wonderful ride. It helps to have a good sense of humor, too.

    • Olivia says...

      This really rings true to me. I am sure it is hard not to discuss your trials and tribulations with your teenaged children with others, but my mother permanently damaged our relationship just with the things she told me she told other people. She is an open book (to put it mildly) and I value privacy, and it was so devastating to me when she broke that. I still can’t trust her, we don’t talk at all, and she can’t understand why.

      You’ve done the right thing by your daughter, and I intend to do the same.

  34. Giu says...

    I have a 2.5 year old son and have always pictured myself having boys for fear of passing on some mother-daughter issues I’ve had with my mum and let that cycle continue. Then my husband once asked me why I wasn’t thinking of other positive mother-daughter moments I may be missing out on, such as being there as a friend during adulthood, or on her wedding day as her greatest fan or by her side (or outside the theatre) when she’d give birth. Although none of the above may ever happen, these positive images have now replaced my fears and have made me more comfortable with the idea of possibly having a daughter one day.

    • Giu says...

      Oh and yes – Kim’s comment made me tear up <3

  35. Sarah says...

    This post and this comment thread are perfectly timed to when I needed them :) I have 7 and (nearly) 10 year old boys, who both seem to be going through…something…at the moment. Big feelings, lots of fighting, etc. I try to balance positive messaging along with consequences/reprimands when they’re not handling their feelings *ahem* “productively,” but often lately am left feeling depleted and just not great at momming. We were watching Harry Potter last night, and Harry was going through lots of his own anger and big feelings. When he told Sirius he worried he was becoming a bad or evil person, Sirius responded very earnestly that Harry was absolutely NOT a bad person. At that moment my older son reached over, patted my shoulder, smiled, and said “that’s a mama saying.” It was immediate validation that those positive messages are heard, even in the midst of chaos.

    • celeste says...

      I love this! My kids aren’t interested in the books, but maybe I should saw them Movies 1-3. Hang in there mama.

  36. Jill says...

    Kim! Your comment just brought me to instant tears! My five year old (and youngest) has been playing with my hair since she was a teeny baby who would grab onto it while nursing. She still twirls it with every snuggle/movie night/bad day/good day….its our thing. One of her first full sentences was “you take that pony out!” bc obv she couldn’t twirl while I had my hair in a pony tail. I love the feeling of her little hand snaking through my hair and its so so sweet to think it could still be a comfort to her when she is older.

  37. I can’t get over how visceral that photo is. I love it. I keep re-opening my browser to look at it and finding myself wishing my kids were young enough to stage a photo like that of our own (we are very much in the ‘omg mom has boobies stage’ as they roll on the floor with laughter). And of course tearing up at work before 9am with the reader comments. Thank you.

  38. I am a mom to a 3 year old and 1 year old twins. We are raising them to be independent and self sufficient – which means they want to do/try things that might not exactly be easy or age appropriate. I am constantly checking myself to make sure I am not saying no to something they want/ask for just because I am “The Mama” or because of some irrational emotion. If it is unsafe or hurtful towards someone else, they will get a firm no, and then the explanation of why they got the no. Otherwise, we figure out how to allow them to experience/learn within a safe framework.

  39. Ally says...

    That last comment brought me to tears. I am no longer a teen, and not a mom, but it just made me grateful for those moments with my mom where I am allowed to be her little girl; vulnerable and so taken care of just for a moment before I go back to being the strong woman I am.

  40. Kat says...

    Thank you, Claire, for believing in your teenager. I really struggled as a teen, and my mum was super harsh on me and still brought it up years later “you were awful, you lied to me, blah blah blah”. It made me feel so bad. I nearly cried reading your comment. Being a human figuring out your life is hard enough most of the time, and when you’re a teen and your hormones are going crazy it’s even harder. Having your mum believe in you would make such a difference. You’re a great mother!

  41. Katharina says...

    What a wonderful thing to read this morning! And so timely for me.
    Joana’s comment about loving your kids differently hit home. I was just thinking about it this morning.
    And Kara’s: yes! I was having a crap day yesterday. Everything she said is true.
    All the others and the new ones are great, too. Our oldest is still a few years away from being a teenanger but the hormones already start kicking in. I think she’ll be a great teen and these comments made me look forward to it even more.
    The motherhood around the world series on this blog is something I recommend to every new mum I talk to. I found it very eye opening to read about so many different approaches to parenting. There are so many different ways to do it right. I personally believe that if you respect your kids and if you can make them feel loved and save then you’re doing it right. Everything else is just a bonus and changes depending on the culture you live in.
    Yes to letting other mums (and dads) know that they are doing a great job. You need to hear it sometimes. Being a mom to a special needs child another quote has been staying with me for a long time now: Just because someone carries it well does not mean it isn’t heavy.

  42. Margaret says...

    The best parenting tip I ever read was to voice what you want your child to do instead of stop doing (“walk, walk, walk” instead of “stop running”) With a toddler who doesn’t understand that one mean action doesn’t make you a mean person it clicked for me today to call him what I want him to be. While he’s running around throwing and hitting instead of calling him mean I said “hey nice big boy let’s __” and it worked!
    Voicing what I want as opposed to calling out what I don’t like has changed so many of my relationships! It’s helped me to see the good in people. Often it’s embarrassingly difficult to do, but I think I’m slowly re-wiring my brain

    • Laura says...

      I read that tip years ago and it was such an eye opener for me. A toddler doesn’t know that when you say, “don’t throw your food on the floor” you really mean, “leave your food on your plate.” I’ve been trying it out with my 16 month old. She still throws her food on the floor but it’s not because she’s confused, she’s just being intentionally defiant haha.

    • Katie W says...

      I LOVE this advice!! I have a toddler so I’m going to put it to use :)

  43. Esprit says...

    We had four children in six years, and their teen years were wildly entertaining, to say the least. We tried to be home watching a movie or doing projects on weekend nights, because while several would be off with friends, inevitably one would be adrift without plans, and we could so easily say “awesome, let’s play (whatever board game we were consumed with), or choose a movie, or bake brownies.” We honestly loved those random times with just one, and always said so. No regrets.

  44. Sara says...

    The last comment! Absolute tears over here.

    When I was pregnant with my first, I would get so annoyed whenever anyone would tell me how fast kids grow up — and it seemed like I would hear that from people multiple times a day. It was so hard to fathom at the time, since being pregnant seemed to last approximately forever. Now that very baby is going to be 6 at the end of this month and how can that be possible?

    I told her I was going to contact the Department of Birthdays and tell them to make sure she stayed 5 for a few more years. She was like “NOOOOOO! You will not! ……is there really a Department of Birthdays?”

  45. Emily says...

    My 12.5 year old asked me if we could get him some deodorant (though he doesn’t yet need it but all his friends have it). We got some while out and about and went to lunch in between errands. Walking from the car to his favorite lunch spot it was unusually windy and he said, Mom, where does wind originate?

    And I stopped in my tracks because somehow my son—an almost-man—asked me something his toddler self would have said. Doesn’t that encapsulate motherhood? It’s part wonder, part letting go and sometimes on a windy day your child will remind you that they still believe you know more than they do and it will absolutely take your breath away.

  46. Sophia says...

    I try not to give Parenting advise, as every patent discovers patenthood for them selves and does what suits them or their families best. Just one thing I tell every expecting mom: you have to learn breastfeeding . Its always portrait as the most natural thing, but neither your baby nor you know what to do. Give iT time, you will learn together and your body will adjust eventually. Let the midwife check every leach as long as you are in hospital, so you establish the right behaviour. And pack the nippel cream in the hospital bag and use it. Because you will most likely have sore nippels,but that too shal pass. I know quite practical, but for me that was the best tip i got from a friend before giving birth.

    • LS says...

      Breastfeeding is not for everyone.

  47. I’m about to become a mother for the first time in August. I’m so excited but also feel like I’m trying to absorb anything and everything I read about parenting! I just want to be the a good mum! These comments make me realise that parenting is so unique.

    The TV microwave dinners comment made me remember something from my childhood. My mum was the same – everything was organic, homecooked, wholesome (lucky me!), but on vacation we would be allowed to eat whatever cereal we wanted, and we were allowed fizzy drinks. I have such fond memories of my brother, sister, and I excitedly agonising over which sugary/chocolatey cereal to choose in the Spanish supermarket aisle. And then later at the beach, happily sipping on Oranginas and Coca Colas. Still now, whenever I take a sip of Cola, I feel like I’m on holiday.

  48. Kristin B says...

    We have so much to learn from our children, even at a young age. The other night I was tucking my 4 year old daughter (my only daughter) into bed. I told her, “You are my favorite girl in the entire universe. Out of all the girls in the whole world, you are my favorite one.”
    She gently put her warm little hands under my chin, and with the most sincere tenderness replied, “But what about yourself?”

    • Christine says...

      This is so sweet and true! My husband was listing off all of the tasks he had to do that day and ended with an annoyed, “This is my life!” My 6 year old son touched his arm and said, encouragingly, “Yes, but not your whole life.”

    • Melinda says...

      OH MY GOOODDDD ❤️❤️❤️

    • OM says...

      Oh my goodness Kristin, this is so sweet! My heart melted!

    • Kara says...

      This made me gasp and brought me to tears. What a gem you have!

    • christina says...

      The sweetest thing EVER! Wow.

    • Sarah says...

      This story stopped me in my tracks. Cue the tears. Thank you for sharing. What a special soul she is and what a fine job you’ve done raising her.

  49. Renee says...

    I love the teenager comments! My 13 year old just reached 6 feet and it is bizarre to me to have another adult-size human in the house. I remember my mom looking at my sisters and me as teenagers and saying, “You’re all so big! How were you ever fit inside my body at one point?” I thought it was weird and gross then, but I so totally get it now. I’ll hear him talking and mistake him for my husband, or I’ll look over and there is a big person in the front seat of the car! He still lets me hug him (sometimes) and loves to read side by side in bed together. I hope he always keeps his tender heart–no matter how tall he gets!

  50. PT says...

    On the teenage years:
    1. Give your kids every opportunity to make good decisions. Set them up for success and be present for their failures. It’s a tough world out there; and it’s best for them to experience as much as possible while you’re still able to coach them. What this meant for us, daughters in their 20’s, and what this means for us, son age 15, was and is – no grounding. I feel like we’ve experienced a lot, and in those not so proud moments, just by giving our kids the opportunity to do better often proved to be enough.
    2. Give some thought to what you consider to be age appropriate activity. Do your research. When actions/behaviors occur you’ll be able to respond by guiding and not judging.

  51. JO says...

    These are all wonderful!
    Often when I’m choosing between getting down on the floor to play with my kids or scrolling through my phone, or holding fast to a consequence or giving in out of impatience, I think of something my dad always said. He often told me, “One day when I write my book on good parenting, it will have just three words: ‘It Takes Work.’”

  52. Jeanne says...

    I just wanted to say that I really love the teenage years. I daresay I like them more than the toddler years because we can communicate at a higher level. Teens have such neat observations about the world around them. They are so sharp and so funny and feel so intensely. I can’t wait to hear what’s going on in their lives. My favorite moments are when my daughter (and sometimes her whole gaggle of friends) spill into the house and plop down next to me and say “We want your advice.” My heart bursts in those moments.

  53. Julia Wilson says...

    My most profound parenting learning is that now I truly believe that it is not about who our children become as a result of having us as parents, it’s about who WE become as a result of having our children. And if we recognize that and dig deep in the tough moments to look for the lesson that is meant for US to learn (vs the lesson we think is meant for us to teach) then the payback is two fold: 1) We are becoming our best selves and 2) Our children are watching us model that deep introspection and will do the same as they are able. It makes parenting a trans formative experience.

    • Emily says...

      I love this comment, thank you!! I’m a mom of three and my oldest is just by his own nature, a CHALLENGE. I often say that I’m thankful for him forcing me to be the mom that HE needs, instead of the mom I always thought I’d be (two totally different things).

      Your perspective about becoming our best selves through all of this is encouraging!

  54. Julia says...

    That last one has me weepy. I still (31 now) will go up to my mom’s house after a hard day and all I want is to lie next to her for a little bit. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. Snuggled up next to my mom will always be the ultimate sense of “home” for me.

  55. Brenna Wong says...

    All so gorgeous to read! I teared up at the last one, your teenager still being your little girl!
    Motherhood is SUCH a journey!

  56. Ari says...

    My parents were very trustworthy with their money. When me and my sister were kids, whenever we would go with them to the bank, they would use the accessible ATM and let us do the transactions. We’ve known their PINs since age 3. Later in life, it became passwords to their online credit card accounts. If they needed us to buy something at the store, we could bring their wallets. When I tell anyone about this, they are baffled. How could my parents trust I wouldn’t steal from them? It never occurred to me to; to this day, I haven’t stolen a penny from them. They always told me “if you need anything, just ask” and perhaps I just took that to heart. They trusted me with their money (even though we didn’t have much) and I, in turn, trusted that they would do their best for me. It taught me that the best kind of trust is circular, which I aspire to with my own son now.

    • SN says...

      My parents were the same way, and it taught me so much about spending, to how to grocery shop (my mom gladly passed that chore to me once I could drive!), budgeting, etc. Money is a huge part of life — and the more kids are aware what a family has or doesn’t have, and the choices parents have to make as a result, the better (IMHO).

    • Katha says...

      This comment stayed on my mind for a few days now.
      “When I tell anyone about this, they are baffled. How could my parents trust I wouldn’t steal from them?”
      This feels so wrong. Why would this be astounding? Why wouldn’t I trust my children? What does it say about a person if not trusting their own kids is the basic attitude? What does that do to the relationship?

    • Brooke says...

      Oooh I love this. I have a brand new baby and money and budgeting is something that’s always on my mind. I’m definitely going to use this approach.

  57. Louisa says...

    YES, CLAIRE! – I *hate* it when someone tells me how awful teenage years will be. Even if they will be awful (and I am not convinced they will be). When someone gets a puppy do you say, “enjoy it because he’ll die before you’re ready.” ?? No, you do not.

  58. Amy says...

    Thanks for the teenager comment from Claire. I can see my 8yo heading there, and it’s reassuring to reassure her.

  59. Chrissie says...

    It’s so cool to see a comment I wrote three years ago on the list! I still abide by the “let them do what they want rule” for vacations!

    Now that my kids are a little older (13, 10, and 6), I’m trying harder than ever to make sure i spend time with them individually. My oldest son seems to be always be fighting with someone (I mean he is 13 after all) but when I do things with him alone he is goddamn delightful! We went out to lunch and then to see 1917 recently and it was so fun! We had great conversations and I got to see how he is outside of his siblings.

    • Lisa says...

      So cool to see my own comment up there! I still lay with my children almost every night, but as they’ve gotten older, we read books beside each other or together and talk quietly in the dark about fears and loves before we settle into our back to back positions. I still cherish this time with them of being present and still.

  60. Blair says...

    Parenting has been my greatest joy. I have three ages 7, 5 and 3 with a baby on the way. From the girl who was never going to have babies to the a mom of soon to be 4. They have been my biggest blessing and best surprise! Not to say everyday has been roses, but I know time is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed so I try to remind myself of this when we have rough days, a tantrum or someone is extra whiny. I have to admit, most my children are exceptionally well-behaved, are kind, generous and courteous. I don’t know if its me, them or a combination but we will keep rolling with it. To all the bedtimes laying together, road trips, swimming hole adventures and homework dates and everything in between I am going to treasure my time with them.

  61. Carrie says...

    These all had me tearing up. Today is a big day in my life. I am on my way now to have my first ultrasound with my first baby. I can’t wait for all the adventures that lie ahead.

    • Bee H says...

      Congratulations Carrie! I am sure it will be amazing.

  62. Emily says...

    Teenagers are the best! People would groan when I told them my kids were 14 and 12; 16 and 14; 18 and 16. But teenagers are so interesting and so fun! My daughter, now 19 and a freshman in college, is a peach. We talk or FaceTime at least 4x a week; we text daily; and she came home this weekend (my mom/her grandmother passed this week) to just spend time with me. It was wonderful. My son, 17 this week, is a boy…charming and frustrating and quiet and questioning…but hugs me good night and good morning every day and tolerates my kisses and we have the best discussions while he is driving me in the car. I loved all the stages, but I’m so glad to be reaching the stage where I enjoy my kids as people I like to hang with.

  63. Iris says...

    I’m on my first real week back to work after my second (and last) maternity leave and am tearing up left right and center. My baby is having a bit of a sleep regression and I’m letting myself travel back to last night (or only a few hours ago at about 3AM), rocking back and forth with him sleeping in my arms, gazing down at his beautiful face, knowing pretty soon it would be a big kid face like his 4 year old brother. It all happens so fast that we have to try and hit pause even in the hardest moments – when we so badly ache for sleep but roll out of bed anyway to get that fussing infant into our arms so that he’ll feel comforted and safe.

    • M says...

      Well, this comment made me cry. Heading back to work next week, also from my second and last leave. So ready for adult conversations again, so not ready to leave that balding little mullet.

    • Sasha L says...

      This is so beautiful and truthful.

  64. Lynn-Holly Fisher Wielenga says...

    Ahh these quotes and comments are marvelous to read. My son is four months old and my heart has already experienced so many emotions over the course of his life– overwhelmed and overjoyed and everything in between. I’m looking forward to all of these future stages of him!

  65. Jessica says...

    Parenting is being asked by your 4 year old to define the word “only” and the concept of “falling in love” both before 10am. That is to say, difficult, thought provoking, interesting and beyond words.

    • Erin says...

      It’s also your 6-year-old shouting “Mama, why is the sky blue?” through the closed bathroom door.

      “I’m peeing, can we talk about this when I’m done?”

    • Anne Dibbern says...

      YES. Or being told (matter of factly) this morning that you will die once he is grown-up and there is nothing really we can do to stop that.

  66. celeste says...

    Implementing Stacey’s and Claires! Attitude is everything.
    I really try to impart that it is OK if you mess up, and I say, “Mom made a mistake” all the time because I really made it all the way to 25 believing my parents and older brother were perfect. They kept the family shameful items from me to protect me.

  67. Colleen says...

    oh that last one…sniff, sniff

    • Katie says...

      I know, tear jerker!

  68. Clare says...

    Two of my favorite memories from my teenage years are thanks to my amazing parents:
    1. I realized on a Friday night that I wanted to hang out with my friends, but because they were all coupled off, they all had plans, and I felt very alone. When I cried about it to my parents, they took me to Blockbuster and then to get ice cream, and we had a wonderful time at home together.
    2. The night before my SAT, I stressed myself out trying to cram for it, despite not having really studied before. My dad said, “Oh look, Top Gun is on TV,” told me all I could do now was relax, and insisted I watch the movie with him.

    • Jules says...

      Dads and their really quiet sneaky parenting moves. The best.

    • Leanne says...

      I love this. My very stereotypical farmer dad used to yell downstairs “Your show is on!” on Friday nights and I’d come upstairs to snacks and Dawson’s Creek and some very chill father-daughter time. <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so cute :)

  69. Megan says...

    Thanks for including comments about parenting teenagers. I’m only a year in, but having the best time. What’s difficult is marriage with teenagers! They stay up late! They want to be a part of adult conversations! They notice inconsistencies!

    • t says...

      I didn’t think about that. So true. I am going to have to do my best to get my s%&t together before my kids get too old.

    • Marlena says...

      They force us to keep it real! I have loved the teenage years (for the most part) because having these new, fresh set of eyes and ears helps keep me young and honest with myself. I heard my daughter tell me many times during arguments with my husband, “Okay Mom… that was petty.” or “That was not nice”. It almost feels like the tables turned and they suddenly had some wisdom to offer me as an adult.

      PLUS, I love that I get to be the “old fart” telling bad jokes and getting eye rolls from them. My parents never told me how fun that is. lol

    • Emily says...

      Holy carp is that true about marriage and teenagers. I have 2 with 1 more kid almost there. The 2 older ones call me out all the time. You cannot pull one over on them. They will state what they see and any inconsistencies. It is painful sometimes and humbling.

    • Fiona says...

      Yes! I also love this new kind of relationship with my now teen kids, -appreciative humour and in-jokes. They call me on my idiosyncracies, but usually in a nice ,”oh Mum!” way, with an eye roll. It makes me feel seen as a person, and I think as one they like…. My 10 year old son , on the other hand, loves me just however, which is also lovely!

    • Caroline says...

      I have also found that letting your teenager have the “last word” can help a lot! I don’t mean let them get away with bad behavior or real disrespect, I mean that in the course of an argument, state what has to happen or what you think, including any consequences, but then let them voice their disagreement (as long as it’s relatively respectfully stated!). They need to save face; they are desperate to be respected as the drivers of their lives.

    • silly lily says...

      Emily, I think you meant to say Holy Crap, but I just realized — I like Holy Carp better. My new go to.

    • P says...

      and it starts early too! My 9 yr old totally can pick up moods of my husband and I and she will call us out on it. She will also tell us to get over something, or to stop being moody. it’s annoying but also spot on! free therapy that she will most likely need therapy for later in life…

  70. Andrea says...

    Completely subjective advice for those who will one day have an teenager in their home: There will come a day when you are dropping said teenager off at school and he/she is suddenly in a huff about something that you think is insane and they are thinking, “…how could you do this to me?” and you are thinking, “…are you serious right now?” Before you call them an ungrateful (insert name), stop, take a deep breath. This has nothing to do with you. They are in the process of developing their own lives/world/universe and you may feel your place in it shrinking. It will be so much easier to for them to talk to you about it/share in it with you/come back to you if your love remains steady in the meantime. So instead, just smile, tell them you love them, and have a good day followed by “ungrateful (insert name)” silently to yourself.

    • Leanne says...

      I listened to a podcast once that said that kids go through the same wonky brain/emotional development things at puberty as they do when they’re toddlers. And I feel like that really puts things in perspective – they’re just really big toddlers sometimes and need you to be gentle with them (and yourself).

    • Marlena says...

      This made me laugh!! Oh, how many words have I saved my teenagers from hearing right after “You got this!” or “Have a great day!” hahaha The key word for parents of teenagers is OMISSION. lol

    • Kim says...

      This, and also to remember that they have a lot going on….and about 99.9% of it has NOTHING to do with us. They are working through so much and doing their best, just like we are. xoxo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this thread!

    • Sarah says...

      Wow!! So much wisdom!! Thank you.

    • Megan says...

      TRUTH. I have a gifted (read genius) kid and I have to do the same thing. He’s only 10, but the emotional intensity of a gifted kid is so much like parenting a toddler or a teen. I have to keep a good sense of humor. I keep *words* under my breath or occasionally I just send the shot glass emoji to my husband.

    • Tristen says...

      I just have to say that I teach 7th-9th grade and have a toddler, and there is a LOT of common ground! My son’s meltdown over the green sippy cup = my student’s meltdown over the sleepover = my quiet tears at the sink mourning my youth. We all carry our inner child and inner snarky teenager. I love that teenagers have a sharp eye for hypocrisy and still have the energy to tackle it. They really do give me hope for the future.

    • Annie K. says...

      I love these comments about the teenage years.

      Is anyone up for telling me that things get easier sometime after age three? Like, sometime soon? Anyone?

    • CL says...

      I work in a middle school and during one of the parent nights, we have parents walk their kids schedule and sit down where they sit and see how they go about their day. (the classes are about 5 minutes where the teachers just say hi, etc). It is eye opening for the parents to see everything their kid has to go through each day. It’s exhausting. It’s overwhelming. Before the night was over, one of the moms said, “I am in awe of my son now. I have no idea how he does this each day. I’m EXHAUSTED!”

    • Jess. says...

      Annie K. – I have long held that the terrible threes are a thing, much more than the terrible twos. BUT, four is a delight, in my experience. My youngest was the dreamiest four year old (his favorite game was to go around being overjoyed to find the number 4 out in the world; it was like living in an adorable episode of Sesame Street). He lost his first tooth when he was four (which isn’t necessarily typical), and I remember very vividly the way it seemed we were straddling two wonderful worlds–he was still so “baby” in many ways, and such a joyful “big kid” in so many others. I can close my eyes and see him holding up that first bloody tooth and cheesing so hard I though his face would burst. Ugh. Four is fun, I promise!

  71. Erin Lane says...

    I have a teenage boy and I love it. Its about meeting them where they are at and trying to see things from their perspective as well as guiding them along the way. That is if you want to have a good relationship with them. I have enjoyed this child from the day he was born. Every chapter is different and challenging in its own way. Adapt and keep that sense of humor.

  72. Megan Lec says...

    The last comment just sent this newly pregnant momma (with a 2.5 year old as well) into tears at work. My son has recently found a love for being rocked like a baby. He finds it hysterical and shriek screams “rock a bye baby” as I sway with him in my arms. While its leagues away from the late night silent swaying from his newborn days, it still is this little window of a reminder that he’ll always be my baby.

    • Erika says...

      My 2.5 strokes my hair sometimes, and my heart will literally shatter if this happens when she’s a teen.

  73. Justine says...

    Awww, these were heartmelters.

  74. Sarah says...

    I’m a mom to two 18 month old twins (one boy and one girl) and we finalized their adoption in September. I have a hard time visualizing what they will be like as they get older. My daughter just learned to give hugs and she hugs without abandon. This morning she gave me the biggest hug around the neck before I left for work and for a moment, I had a vision flash of me hugging her at 18 years old. Her precious little toddler body was so tiny in my arms, but for a split second, I can see her as an adult in my arms– her hair long down her back, her little nose fully fitting her face, and her eyelashes with mascara. I told myself, this flash will be reality in fewer breaths than I can handle. In both moments of time, I’m just so, so proud of her.

    • Hannah says...

      I loved Claire’s comment. My mom never liked those types of comments either and felt that teenagers would rise to meet what was expected of them. She genuinely enjoyed us as teenagers and let us know, and I hope to do the same with my daughter.

    • SG says...

      Congratulations Sarah! You’ve made such a big difference in not just one but two lives through their adoption. I am sure your daughter will give you that wonderful heartfelt hug at the age of 18. And yes, it goes by so fast. My daughter will be 10 in June and I feel like we just had her as a baby. The first year felt so so long but it has sped by since then. You sound like a wonderful mom for being so present.

    • Another Hannah says...

      Sarah,
      I always wondered what my son would look like as he got older, too! We adopted our little guy a month after he was born, and he’s now 4.5. We know his birthmother, but we never met his birthfather and don’t have any pictures of him. At first, he looked a lot like his birthmother, but as he got older, he started changing little by little. At first it was big things like his eye color turned hazel (birthmom’s eyes are that bluish gray that many babies are born with), then dimples appeared on his upper cheeks. So I went through a period of confusion and grief about not knowing the other half of my child’s DNA. But then, as he started showing his personality, his smile started looking more and more like my husband’s, he started scratching his head like my brother when he got stressed, and he started wiggling his eyebrows for all sorts of expressions like I do. I feel like I now know what he’ll look like in another 10 years.

    • M says...

      Sarah, what gorgeous thoughts! Congratulations on everything being finalized!