One of my readers left the following comment and below you will find my response:
Thank you for this site, and for your honesty. On this rainy afternoon (won't spring ever come?) I am feeling depressed at how my five year old seems to take all that she has for granted and seemingly without joy--unless we are doing exactly what she wants to do when she wants it. I struggle between being too stern a mother and feeling guilty that I want a happy, healthy child who is also polite, considerate, appreciative, etc. at least most of the time. I don't know what the balance is. Everyone says, "oh all children are self-centered at that age," but I think about disadvantaged children who seem to have the ability to be thankful for the smallest things. I love my daughter, but honestly, motherhood does not come naturally to me. Thanks for listening. -Sandy
Thanks for your comment. Depression, worry and disappointment is something most people struggle with for different reasons and in different situations. Raising children is not an easy task and parents take on the huge responsibility of preparing them for adulthood. We also take on the responsibility of easing them through difficult periods and helping them to learn difficult lessons they would other wise have to learn the hard way.
I'd have to say, listen to your motherly instincts, where others would make excuses for something. If you believe this is something that needs attention and to be worked on, do so. I know it can be sad and overwhelming but do not allow yourself to be depressed and do not be afraid to share your feelings with others. It can be a refreshing source of relief to share these things with someone who you can trust and who does understand.
Though my little one is a bit too young for me to experience what you are going through with my daughter, I have gone through similar ups and downs with my youngest sister. At some point in her parenting journey, my mother kind of stopped raising my youngest sister (the one I never mention). Her rebellion and ungrateful phase extended beyond elementary school to now at 19. I feel like I raised my sister and made many attempts to help her, teach her, chastise her and explain to her why being so ungrateful and angry could be so destructive to herself and those she loves most. Though our mother complained and yelled, she was the first to make excuses for my sister's behavior. I look at the woman my sister has become and it truly saddens me. The truth is, the person that could have had the most influence in helping her grow through a difficult time which could have been just a phase turned a blind eye and made excuses. And now my sister has a a short fuse, potty mouth, anger control issues, the wardrobe of a stripper, self destructive personality and believes anyone that does not enable a lifestyle she wants has it out for her.
I know that our situation is different and I am not saying that your daughter will turn into a nightmare teenager and young woman. But I am saying that being attentive and being concerned while desiring to help your daughter through what ever difficult phases she will and is go through is commendable and wonderful. We all feel a little defeated sometimes. It was actually something I was struggling with on Sunday and had to truly pray and seek guidance about while in Church because of my youngest sister. So I do understand and want you to know that motherhood does not come naturally to everyone but if you care and you do your best, half the battle is already won!