We Can’t Be Friends

No matter how many times she says it, it irritates me to the same level each time. Usually the conversation goes something like this: “Morgan can you please stop?” followed by “Morgan, I asked you to stop, next time I say it you’re going to get a pop.” And then she responds with full princess girl attitude “FINE, then, I am not your friend” and tries to stomp away usually followed by “and I’m never going to be your friend.” At which point, my woosaw abruptly ends with a demand to come back in my presence.

When she slowly walks back, unsure as to the wrath she will face I sternly remind her that no I am not her friend. I am her momma a job given to me by God and that job is WAY more important than being her friend. Recently, I have found myself  having to explain and reiterate this same point way too often for my liking.

In fact, I was so excited to see a local author Toshiba Austin-Smith write a children’s book entitled “I’m Not Your Friend, Mommy” that I bought several copies for my ”friends” with daughters. It’s perfect for toddlers and momma’s standing in the need of prayer to deal with what I hope is just a phase. The mere title is comforting. I guess misery truly does loves company. Whew, so I’m not alone, you mean I didn’t necessarily do something wrong to give her the impression that I cared about being her friend?

Yeah, in that respect I guess I am old school. I honestly could care less about us being friends, at least at this stage in her life. The thing about being a mommy is, you only get one shot to get it right and we all screw up in some regard. My goal is to minimize my screw ups and lessen the load of issues in her luggage set she carries into life.

The book tells a short story similar to my example of a mom who has to remind her daughter of the important role of a mother to raise and “train a child in the way he/she should go” and ends with this:

Today, my child, I am not your friend. But I will be your mother until the end. I will help you learn all you should know. And as you mature, I will let you go. When you look back over the years, You’ll understand my dilemma and share my tears. Yet know that God was there to see me through. He showed me love, and I passed it to you.

Preach my sista. Now that’s real talk. So I really need my daughter to understand how unimpressed I am by her un-friending me at the drop of a hat. This ain’t Facebook, this is life. The idea of being in the same category as her acquaintances at school that share books or toys with her is insulting. I have no interest in competing with them. My responsibility in raising her is almost overwhelming and if she tells me that nonsense one more time… Heaven help us both!

Friends

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11 thoughts on “We Can’t Be Friends

  1. I LOVE THIS ONE DIANE. HAVING MY DAUGHTER AT A EARLY AGE AND STILL MYSELF BEING A CHILD, NOT KNOWING HOW TO RAISE A CHILD WAS A JARRING LEARNING EXPERIENCE. I KNEW THAT I HAD TO FEED HER, CLOTHED HER AND MADE SURE I INSTILLED THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I RECEIVED FROM MY PARENTS. WHEN I WENT UNDER A ROCK FOR ALOT OF YEARS AND WAS NOT THERE FOR HER MY PARENTS WAS THERE. WHEN I CAME FROM UNDER THAT ROCK AND HAD MY SON I KNEW I WANTED TO TRY TO GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME. US AS PARENTS ARE NOT PERFECT AND WE FALL SHORT SOMETIMES BUT I BELIEVE WHEN WE INSTILL THE MORALS, VALUES AND PRINCIPALS THAT WAS INSTILLED IN FROM OUR PARENTS AND PRAY THINGS WILL WORK OUT. TODAY I AM BOTH OF MY CHILDREN MOM AND FRIEND. I WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO COME TO FOR ANYTHING. I BELIEVE WHEN THEY GET OLDER U HAVE TO PUT A LITTLE FRIENDSHIP IN THERE BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO COME TO TALK TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND NOT THINK THAT THEY NEED TO GO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO THEY THINK THAT ARE THERE FRIENDS. ONE THING THAT THEY DO KNOW IS THAT I AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE MOMMY FIRST AND FOREVER.

    • You are so right and I can’t say it out loud but clearly I am her friend. I have her best interest at heart, she fills an interpersonal need and I Love Her and she loves me, now that’s the definition of a friend. Maybe one day I will tell her that, but for now…she better ask somebody. LOL

  2. This is one of many situations that will have you about to “go there” throughout your parenting of your children. Girlfriend, as you can imagine there will be so many more situations that will make you question your skills over and over again. YOU are NOT alone!
    Three of your greatest strengths to help you along your journey as I’m sure you aware are your faith, your husband and your mother. Prayer always gets us through, you can tag-team with your husband and mom can give you a break. 🙂
    I recently heard Oprah share with Beyoncé a piece of information that was very useful to me being a mom of a teen and a 7 year-old, it went something like this…up until your children are about 16, you are their managers, after 16 you become their consultants. My interpretation is this, I manage my 7 year-old, he does what I say, when I say and how I say (at least that’s what I strive for…he is strong willed). Now, my oldest son who will be 16 in August… reverse psychology seems to work best. As we discuss school, chores and the like, I try to make everything his idea which he has positively responded to. This approach has been working well and has been a lot better than the usual response of “why?”
    Stay bucked in for the ride. You will always be her friend; it just takes a back seat behind being her mother first.
    Happy parenting!

    • I LOVE your list of “must haves” Your Faith, Your Husband and Your Mother, sounds like the title to a good book or at least an upcoming Chocolate Mother post. LOL. And thanks for sharing the job titles from Oprah to, from Manager to Consultant…that pretty much sums it up. Boy this parenting journey is a bumpy ride, I sure wish I didn’t have to dig so deep for some safety gear. LOL

  3. As usual, you nailed it!!!! As my father used to say, “If you like me, then I’m not doing my job.” And in some respects, he was dead on…our jobs as parents can be very daunting…it can be very easy to drift over into the friend territory..but we must remember that if we do that, we lose some of our power and influence as parents. My niece, who is the same age as ME, said the same thing to her mother this week too (I’m not gonna be your friend anymore – AND she walked away too lol) !!! I think it’s just what girls say at this age….take care and try hard to keep your composure lol

    • Please get this book for your sister, cause these little girls will try you. Glad to know it may really just be a phase though. LOL. I’ll check back in with you in a few weeks to see if I was able to keep my composure.

  4. I am so sorry I never gave you the book; because I have it as well. I must say we have read it several times and I also drive the point in that ‘No, we are not friends’. Thank you Diane. Also, I met a woman in the grocery store the other day and she said she had 9 children. My mouth almost dropped to the floor – she didn’t seem rattled at all – mind you they weren’t with her. She said they were home and a couple in the car; nevertheless, she said what helps her is Proverbs, she reads one a day (except Feb.) she doubles up. The point is – as some of the comments above we have so much more to look forward to. You are blessed that you have a community to help you – most “villages” are lost and if not, their still not what they use to be. So thank the Lord for you, books like hers
    & the Word!

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