I Don’t Love You Anymore

My hand slid over the door handle as I pulled on it to close the door tightly, shutting behind it protests from a three year old who did not want to go to bed.

I was exhausted from the drama that played out every night and then again in the morning when we asked her to put on a simple pair of underwear.

Holding the door open just a crack I reminded her that I would leave the door open the whole way if she sat on her bed and tried to sleep. I sighed heavily to myself and prayed that she found herself back to her bed quickly.

Checking the clock I could see that we were already 45 minutes past bedtime and I  was almost ready to call it a night myself.

“NO!” She screamed with a fierce determination that reminded me of myself, “you’re naughty!”

Her insult, however adorable, squeezed the last bit of patience from me and I shut the door, leaving her for a minute to think about whether she wanted to sit at the base of the door or be in her bed with the door open and the hall light on.

“Go To BED!” I yelled, certain my mind would explode.

Her cries grew louder as she banged her door.

“I don’t love you anymore!”

The knife was big and it went directly into my heart, I was thrown backwards and clenched my chest for effect, and looked at Brian who was waiting at the end of the hall.

We both stared at one another.

She’d never said anything like that before.

Knowing that she didn’t know the power of her words didn’t make what she’d said any less painful.

I remembered saying the very same words to my mother and now wished I could take them back. The sting crossed my body a million times over.

Reaching for her doorknob I opened it slowly and stepped inside.

I walked towards my crying daughter and scooped her up into my arms tossing away what the parenting books said, throwing out what experts report, and just followed my instincts.

My daughter needed to feel love and I wanted to give it to her.

I cradled her in my arms while her long, almost 4 year old legs draped over my arms.

Swaying back and forth I told her I loved her and hummed softly while I scratched her back.

Her tears melted away.

The tension left the room.

Slowly she drifted off to sleep and left me with an important lesson.

She’s 3.

I’m 33.

She’s still learning and is learning from me.

Every day I have the chance to teach her how to be a generous, patient, giving person. What a gift.

I make mistakes but have the opportunity to right them.

And that day I did.

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11 Responses to I Don’t Love You Anymore
  1. trish
    January 13, 2014 | 6:36 pm

    U make me cry…with these posts all the time. U r a good mom. And a good role model.love u kiddo!

    • multitaskingmumma
      January 13, 2014 | 9:14 pm

      Love you too..xoxo

    • multitaskingmumma
      January 17, 2014 | 11:45 am

      xoxoxoxo, love you!

  2. Farrah
    January 14, 2014 | 3:43 am

    Aw. That sort of talk just started when we hit 3. The first time I heard it, I was stunned as well. It hurts! I’ve gotten better though- since when I hear it I typically think it means I’m doing the right thing. Post-Christmas I hear that I’m going on the ‘naughty list’. I have Ice Age Christmas movie to thank for that 🙂

    • multitaskingmumma
      January 17, 2014 | 11:45 am

      Yes! I think we are doing the right thing too! I’ve also heard I’m naughty since Christmas. I know it comes with them growing up but it really pulls on your heart.

  3. Kimberly
    January 14, 2014 | 1:05 pm

    It’s hard to remember that they are so small and that their way of communicating frustration and anger is by blaming…and they have zero filter.
    Remember when Chase went to school and he showed me a picture of us. He said, “See this? This is a good mommy. You’re not a good mommy anymore.” Killed. Me.
    She loves you. They just don’t know how to say “Mom you’re being an asshole. Let me stay up!”

    • multitaskingmumma
      January 17, 2014 | 11:44 am

      GAH, I love you… Thank you for putting it in perspective. I was an asshole. But she’s still not staying up.

  4. Carrie Baughcum
    January 15, 2014 | 6:26 am

    Boy have I been there. Bed time is often not a fun time and when it runs into I worked all day, did the mommy and the house keeping thing oye those bed times are even rougher. It’s so hard when you know what your goal is, what you have in your plan. You’re ready to put it into action and ready to see it change whatever it is that’s time to change and then there is that… The child factor. Each with their own personality, their own plan., their own mind and their own spunk. The experts aren’t always wrong. They do hold wisdom but what your heart says is equally important and tomorrow is a new day…with a whole other bed time!

    • multitaskingmumma
      January 17, 2014 | 11:43 am

      You said it perfectly! Each has their own personality and their own plan. Sometimes I need a reminder of that. Thank you!

  5. Rusti
    February 24, 2014 | 1:33 pm

    wow. this… just… yes.

    Goose is now 5… but this week for the first time ever she said she didn’t love her sister. it hurt me just as much as the first time she said she didn’t love me.

    also like a knife to the heart? when she screams “you don’t love me!”…

    wow. I feel you, friend. good for you, following your instincts and comforting your sweet girl. you are her momma. you know what she needs, and you provide.

    *HUGS*

    • multitaskingmumma
      February 24, 2014 | 2:30 pm

      thank you! I didn’t know what to do when I first heard those words but I’m sure I will hear them many more times.

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