Fryday: Emily

A month or so ago I was scrolling through Instagram when a friend had posted picture of her and her daughter with the caption that was something to the effect of “we’re so alike we drive ourselves crazy.” I laughed and immediately went to comment, because I can so relate to that! My oldest son Hayes and I are alike in the most frustrating ways. Neither of us have any real sort of patience with life. We love things to be on our own timeline, when we have our minds set on something, good luck trying to sway us! We are needy of our loved ones’ time, easily disappointed, unreasonable at times, and overly senstive. Wanna have a play date? Just kidding.

Now don’t get me wrong, Hayes is one of the most incredibly sweet and amazing kids I’ve ever known, and I am insurmountably proud of him everyday. It’s just that when those all too familiar frustrating personality traits witness themselves in him, it sort of throws me back to my childhood. To a time when those same things got me into trouble, caused me heart ache, made me feel sad or small. I simultaneously want to hug him and tell him it will be okay, and also run and hide, because seeing how hard it is to deal with a Mini-Me shakes my self-concept to the core.

frydayemNow back to this Instagram picture. I was reading the comments on the feed, another friend said something that sort of changed my life. (See darling husband? Instagram isn’t a complete waste of time!) She said that she believed we are sent children that are just like us as a way to teach us to more fully love and accept ourselves. Even now, a month later, reading those words sort of paralyzes me into a deep reflection. I am constantly holding myself to this invisibly high and unattainable standard. To do better, be better, lose the pride, forget the need to be right, say “sorry” first, be less critical, be more fun, be less self-absorbed, be better understood. A never ending game of personality addition and subtraction. I picture it like those cartoon accountants with their green visors, never-ending calculations and miles long strips of receipt paper, and it’s exhausting.

So what does this mean for Hayes and me today? It means nurturing the noble qualities, and teaching him better ways to cope with the frustrating ones. It means asking myself everyday, “How would three year old Emily have wanted to be treated in this situation?” and trying my darndest to do that. To picking my battles, to saying “yes!” and “sure!” and “of course we can, Hayes!” as much as I can in a day because positivity means everything to the both of us. After a few short weeks of this, I almost can’t recognize myself as Hayes’ mother, and I am seeing more of the amazing Hayes, and less of the frustrated short-tempered Emily. It has been absolutely wonderful, self-healing, and my Fryday breakthrough.


37 thoughts on “Fryday: Emily”

  1. I had a frustrating day with my three year old – very similar to myself – boy yesterday. This was just what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you.

  2. This is just perfection! Thank you for sharing. My mini-me is my nine year old daughter. Oh how that dear girl frustrates me. I’m constantly having to remind myself to handle her the way I would’ve liked at her age. But I really appreciate what you said about how you’ve also learned to love yourself more. That’s a new thought to me. And I think I’ll start trying that out. Everyone needs to cut themselves some slack at some point, right? Thanks again!

    1. So you’re saying it doesn’t get easier? 😉

      I am the last person to cut myself slack, so it’s been hard for me, but I think we can all stand to love ourselves a little better!


  3. Thank you for writing this just for me. (You did, right?) Seriously, going to take these words to heart and make changes.

  4. Made me teary, Emily! Thank you for sharing! We can all learn so much in parenthood, but oftentimes we allow the “no’s” to cloud that…and so much more

  5. You’re amazing, Em!! Your entire list is things I struggle with/ need to work on. I really do want have a play date! Xoxo

  6. Thank you Emily! This blog post spoke right to my heart and was a breath of fresh air. I had my husband read it right after me. I can honestly say reading this just changed me. Thank you again!

  7. I’m due with bebe #1 in four days and this is exactly what I needed to hear today….thank you Em! This one goes into the mental notes file…

    1. Congratulations!! You’ve probably had your baby by now, thankfully they don’t sass you too much for awhile. 😉


  8. Em, wow I really needed to read this! Thanks so much for sharing… It put some meaning as to why I get frustrated at times. Seriously this changed me. xoxo

  9. “We are needy of our loved ones’ time, easily disappointed, unreasonable at times, and overly sensitive.” That definitely could have been written about me! Let’s hope our kids take after my husband!

  10. Amazing. I loved every word of this, and yes, that sentence just about paralyzed me too. I have a two-year-old and lately he’s certainly letting me know he’s two. It’s been tough and as a consequence, has left me feeling less than stellar about myself more and more frequently. Parenting is hard, but that’s why we do it, right? The refiner’s fire? That, and service is a surefire way to make you love someone a million times more. Thanks for your blog, ladies. I don’t know y’all, but love what you do!

  11. “we are sent children that are just like us to teach us to more fully love and accept ourselves”

    What about those who can’t have/don’t want children? Are we forever condemned to not fully love and accept ourselves?

    1. You probably won’t see this, but absolutely not. I should have worded it that it was ONE of MANY ways to help us to learn to love and accept ourselves, it’s definitely not the only way.

      Thanks for your comment, anonymity is definitely not necessary here, we appreciate candor.


  12. I can relate to this 100%. Alice and I are too alike to get along sometimes and butt heads constantly, its hard. But I have been thinking these exact same things recently and am trying to do better (also I feel like your description of you and Hayes could be about me and Alice if you changed the names). Thanks for posting about this!

    1. I love this! I never would have guessed, Alice seems so independent and confident! If you ever visit Utah, let’s get together!


  13. Yes yes and yes! Exactly how I would have described my almost 4 yr old daughter and myself. We butt heads but I’ve learned, like you, to say yes to more things and to be more patient. We’ve had quite a few good days in a a ROW (!!!) and I was thinking why, and I’ve realized when we are both fed (lol) and not taking life too seriously, we have the best time and our days out doing things go much smoother and less meltdowns (for everyone!). we just recently moved, and right now, we are all each other has (daddy is studying for the bar…) so I need to go easy on her more often and she gives me the same respect back.

  14. Okay, talk about an “aha! moment” for me….seriously, you just perfectly articulated exactly what has been pressing on my mind for the past couple weeks. It really is crazy to see my personality traits (good and bad) mirrored back at me every day.

    The other day, I took my two boys (Adam-24 months; Asher-4 months) to the park and I was baby wearing Asher as he he was screaming hysterically and Adam was running away from the play structure and towards this forest….and I just wanted to scream, “SLIDES! SWINGS! STOP! I’m doing this for youuuuuu!” But I could barely hear myself even think as the crying drowned out all other thoughts, so I raced toward Adam–ready to scoop him up and just head back to the car, ready to feel defeated and label the day as a park fail….BUT THEN…Adam stopped, squatted down, and picked up a minuscule-sized insect (how did he even see it?!) and held it close to his chest and started rocking back and forth saying, “Oh baby brover [“brother”] beetle….so cuuuuuute. Oh no, crying. Mommy hold you. Sh sh sh sh…”

    I just stood there.

    He was mimicking me. And I liked what I saw. I will never forget that moment.

    Thank you, THANK YOU for putting into words what that moment meant for me. I love this blog–thank you for showcasing the beauty of raising small children while still keeping a balance of authenticity. You three inspire me!

  15. Babies are napping and I am catching up on Fryday’s, which I just love, by the way.

    Emily, I so appreciate this post. Perfectly written and I think everyone can relate to this sentiment.

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