September 15, 2008


This has been a tough weekend at our home~ lots of power struggles. Bella has lost her all of TV privilege. The poor girl won't be able to see Mickey Mouse club house again till she is 15 (I jest, well ~ sort of).

These struggles are to be expected when you are raising a little girl with such a strong will. I embrace this strength in her but at the same time I find myself feeling unprepared for these battles of wills. When we have times like this I tend to go to my journal. Writing out my thoughts, fears and struggle helps me to put things into perspective and it strengthens my resolve to continue. It also allow me to look back and me see that while I have made my fair share of mistakes, more often than not I am doing pretty good job at being Isabella’s mom and that what I have to give is enough.

A Journal for Bella Book~
Bella, we seem to be butting heads almost daily right now. And daily I ask myself “am I doing enough?” “Am I strong enough?” “Am I lenient enough?” "Am I giving you enough time and attention" “Do I know enough?” “Do I show enough love” “Do I show enough firmness”

I never quite know if the actions I am taking are the right ones. I often go to bed wondering if I am teaching the things you need to learn or if I am just spinning my wheels. I see the little girl you are and I am so proud of how charming, delightful, precious and vivacious you are. I know that I have had some small part of that, and I am resolved to continue with all that I am doing even if we have to struggle through it.

So baby girl on those days that you get upset because I am not letting you do any and everything you want~ know that it is out of love that I am setting boundaries for you. When I remind you to share your things with your friends, it is not because I am trying to take something away from you, but that I am trying to convey the importance of giving and sharing all that we have.

And honey when I discipline you it is not because I don’t love you. Oh no, it is because I love you enough.


a Tonggu Momma September 15, 2008 at 8:24 AM  

Krista ~ This was beautiful. And I say that as the momma of another strong-willed little girl - I mean, the Tongginator? Who gives their daughter THAT kind of nickname? But if you met her in real life, you would totally get it!

Briana's Mom September 15, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

What a beautiful post. Briana is only two, but she is very strong willed. I can only imagine what the future holds. I hope I will do and say all the right things, but until I face it head on, I guess I'll never know. I am sure you are doing the very best for Bella. You are a wonderful mama!

Barbie September 15, 2008 at 10:05 AM  

That was beautiful. I have a very strong willed little girl too. I totally understand.

Debbie September 15, 2008 at 10:42 AM  

She will look back at this time of no “Micky” and thank you – for loving her ENOUGH to do what was best. I agree with the others, you are a good moma.

Joannah September 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

I'm sure parents of strong-willed children everywhere can identify with your challenges!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! September 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM  

These situations are so difficult...sometimes I fight the urge to give in.....we have a "strong willed girl" in our house!

What you wrote was perfect was very are a wonderful mother!


Lori and Pete September 15, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

I have two little girls, one very strong-willed and stubborn, and the other, easy-going and compliant. Believe it or not, the strong-willed one is much easier to parent. The other one gets pouty or strikes an attitude when she gets unhappy and it is so much more difficult to handle.

Your words were beautiful! Enjoy her strength.

Lori W

Daniella September 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM  

Krista - that was a beautiful entry for Bella. I too have a very strong willed child. The things that get us the most are hopefully going to be the traits taht will serve him well as an adult :) Boundaries are good. I remind my son that on a daily basis.

Michelle September 15, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

Beautiful post, Krista! I am sure all of us Moms feel this same exact way..thanks so much for sharing!!

Patricia/NYC September 15, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

Beautiful post! Thanks for reminding me so eloquently...yes, I have an extremely strong-willed daughter as well...sigh...

p.s. found you through Barbie over at Moments, Memories, Milestones...& I'm glad I did! :)

Growin' with it! September 15, 2008 at 3:05 PM  

ahh, life with a NORMAL child! fun, ain't it? we all survive. you are doing a great job.

hey, btw...that book i'm reading? it's pretty intense. i heard today there is controversy? anyways, since we don't know each other all that great. thought i'd put a disclaimer on it to read up first and see what you think. it is a hard one to read. but for me personally. very impacting. and spiritually for me...very challenging in my beliefs.

Barbie September 15, 2008 at 3:16 PM  

Krista, I nominated you and this post for a bloggy award. Check out my blog. :-)

Andrea September 15, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

Beautiful post. I think we all have days like yours. It is nice to remember why we have to keep going, because we love them enough to teach them.

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy September 15, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

Is Bella four? Because with all my children, I always said, "the fours are just like the twos, only they're taller." Hang in there, it ALWAYS gets better. : )

Michele September 15, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

Oh no, is Miranda rubbing off on Isabella? I too, worry about if I'm doing enough, spending enough time, etc. I totally understand what you are going through. As my keeps telling me, "This to shall pass." But, I keep asking her, "WHEN??" :-)

mah-meeee September 15, 2008 at 4:00 PM  

beautifully written! you are a great mom. you discipline because you care.

having two strong willed children, i can safely tell you that what you are doing to her is the best thing for her.

hang in there.

beautiful pix as always!

Shawnstribe September 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM  

A beautiful post, i know what you are going through, i too seem to be challenged at every turn....i really loved your post

Nicole September 15, 2008 at 4:30 PM  

Oh maybe it is something in the water... 2 of my 4 lost TV for acting way too disrespectful all weekend long. This to shall pass...

Marla September 15, 2008 at 4:39 PM  

Love the photos. Hang in there, if God brings us to it he will bring us through it.

Paula September 15, 2008 at 5:38 PM  

You are SO doing the right thing. I am going to have a feisty one on my hands too with Hannah. Thanks for reminding me thats its ok to set boundries.

Meredith September 15, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

Your an amazing mom and I know she will one day respect you for the foundation you've laid for her. I totally respect and admire you! I have a VERY strong willed child and there are days when life is really rough. Stay strong! See you in a month at the 15k!!!!

Amy Clemons September 15, 2008 at 7:09 PM  

Your sweet Bella will appreciate you for giving ENOUGH when she is older. She will likely mimic you in her own mothering. You are teaching her the right way. Every mother has doubts about the way she parents. One who doesn't isn't being truly honest with herself. I've learned that whether you are teaching the children of others or your own it is essential to evaluate yourself. Otherwise we can't appreciate what we are doing right and change what we are doing wrong.

Tiffany September 15, 2008 at 8:28 PM  

I also have a very strong willed little girl and I find myself thinking all of the same things that you said.
Thank you for posting this....

Ronda September 15, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

One of the hardest parts of being a parent. Bella will love you all the more for it. We have all been there and way to go for not giving in. You are a great mom!

Crazy Mama September 15, 2008 at 8:45 PM  

You are a good mama! She may not like you for it at the moment, but she loves you MORE because you truly care.
Just wait until she is a teenager. heh. Hang in there!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage September 15, 2008 at 9:00 PM  

I have a strong willed 3 year old son, and your words resonate in my heart!

I never knew it would be so exhausting :)

NoahandMaddysMom September 15, 2008 at 9:27 PM  

I am not sure if you are a fan o Dr. Dobson or not (not everyone is...), but his book "The Strong Willed Child" is fabulous...Noah had his "strong-willed moments" and I, along with many friends have found great ideas in it.
Your posts are always so beautful,and Bella will look back and forget what her punishment was and why, and rememebr only your love and guidance!!!

Our Complete Family September 15, 2008 at 9:59 PM  

Love what you wrote to your little strong willed princess! I have a strong willed Prince in my house and we're in the same boat quite often! Sounds like you're doing great though! Hang in there! Sneak in to peek at her when she's sleeping. Aww, they're so cute! That always recharges me and gives me the oomf for more bumps ahead in the road of raising kiddos!!! xo

Leslie September 15, 2008 at 11:29 PM  

All mommys and daughters go through this!!! My 15 year old and i still butthead ..ahh actually daily! LOL


Rebecca September 15, 2008 at 11:50 PM  

Well said, my friend. :)

Denise C September 16, 2008 at 1:52 AM  

OH Krista, you made me cry again!!!! This is so precious....I have much of the same thoughts with Chelsi even now that she is 12 years old! The struggles within our "mommy hearts" never change...but with God's grace and guidance....we do love them "enough"! Very well said!
Thanks for always sharing your beautiful heart so openly! I am completely blessed each time I visit you, sweet friend!

sara September 16, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

You put it so beautifully! I have had the same thoughts, but doubt my eloquence in voicing them! Boundaries, truly are one of the greatest ways you can show your love - Bella will thank you one day!!

Jodee Leader September 16, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

I can so relate to this post! We are in the same exact boat at our house.

You are doing a great job. Hang in there!

laurel September 16, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

Beautiful shots and thoughts. I believe just because you are thinkng about it, worring about it and trying to give enough, then you are giving MORE than enough. You have to start worrying if you are doing a good job, when you stop thinking about it. I have never met you, but from your wonderful posts, I can tell you are a very wonderful mother and your daughter is so lucky.

K September 16, 2008 at 3:23 PM  

This brought tears to my eyes! You beautifully worded that which us parents of 'spirited' girls go through. Thank you!

Kathryn September 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

Krista, this was beautifully expressed. My Katy (11 1/2 now) recently lost her computer privileges for a week for her, ahem, "high spiritedness".

It is a blessing to have strong-willed children; the Lord will accomplish much through their determination and confidence!

And, it is a humbling and perplexing thing to rear them, buoying their spirits without breaking their wills.

Most humbling and perplexing of all, He chose us to parent them.

I'm so glad He knows what He is doing, because I so rarely do!

Nicole September 18, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

Well said. I, too, struggle with those feelings as Gracie is indeed a strongwilled young lady. I get anxious when I imagine the teen years, and I pray I am helping her in forming a good foundation for all that life will bring her way.

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