Earlier this year, my daughter started acting out. She’s too old to have tantrums, and she wasn’t having trouble in school.
Her anger management skills were non-existent, and we briefly went to therapy to sort out some issues. But now I’m so glad to say that my daughter and I are getting closer. I’ve struggled with being a single mother for most of her life, but things are changing.
My daughter spent most of the summer in her hometown with my family while I stayed home, packed, travel, and took a breather. I went to see her for her birthday during that time, and I missed her so much. Her voice was changing, she seemed taller, and she definitely a little darker from daily swimming at camp. When she came back home–to our new home–I genuinely did a better job of giving her attention and spending time with her rather than being so tied to my work (I work from home). We do more things together that she enjoys. We make smoothies, enjoy “tea time” together, and watch movies together (both at home and in the theatre). I like being at home (or someone else’s) the best, but I stretched myself to take her to *some* of the “kiddie” and family events that I don’t naturally gravitate to. We play games and occasionally eat out (not several times a week like before, but enough to make those times special and like more meaningful treats). Homeschooling her next year will definitely mean more time together (all the time!!) and a closer connection. But I’m already seeing those benefits.
I’ve also been fortunate to always meet neighbors and friends in the community who also have only children that are girls. One of them is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, but the family member who was supposed to come to take care of her only daughter is stuck up north (thanks to Hurricane Sandy). Like me, this young lady is a single mom of a spirited girl, and I know what it’s like to try to make travel plans that spread over school days. I didn’t hesitate to say yes when she asked me to keep her daughter for a few days. My daughter is going to love having a playmate!
Is there someone who you have gotten closer to this year (or away from), and your life is better for it? Who is it, and why?