This morning my 6-year-old was upset with me because I insisted she tidy up the mess she made after breakfast, making her a few minutes late for school. You see, some mornings I sort of let her get away with it because I don’t want her to be late, but this morning I was like: “I’m sorry, it’s your responsibility and if you took your time to do it and now you’re gonna be late, it has nothing to do with me’.
When she finally left the house with Mike, I gave her a kiss and said “have a great day sweeties” to which she replied – “you’re not my best friend anymore”.
I thought about what she said and realized that there was a time that her words would have upset me and made me sad. There was a time that all I wanted was to be her “friend”. You know, the one she’ll want to hang out with, go clubbing with and tell all her secrets to. But as I watched her walk down the street on her way to school this morning, it suddenly hit me:
I don’t want to be her best friend.
I wanna be her mom. That person who will love her unconditionally no matter what, who will give her guidance, teach her stuff, be her biggest supporter and cheerleader, tell her she’s smart and beautiful and encourages her to follow her dreams and be brave and kind, but at the same time will also tell her when she’s being a big brat and not let her get away with it. Teach her that she has responsibilities and expect her to pull her own weight. Say “no” and sets boundaries if and when needed and not behave like her crap does not stink, just cos I happen to love her more than life herself.
I want to be her parent and that means that some days, I’m gonna be the ‘bad guy’. That means that on some days she is going to hate my guts, she’s gonna think that I don’t care, that I don’t understand, that I’m mean and old and that I don’t get it.
But she will also know that, no matter what, I will always have her back.
You see, my daughter is going to have plenty of “best friends” throughout her lifetime, but she will only have one mom, and that’s the gig I wanna have for better and for worse, not just for my sake (cos let’s face it, I am not gonna be up for clubbing in my 60’s no matter how cool I am), but mainly for hers.
So my darling little girl, I am truly sorry you got upset with me this morning, but I am not sorry one bit for doing my job as your parent.