Friday, 2/7/14

Friday at last

I am so glad it’s Friday. This week has been hard. And Friday makes it feel like the weight will lift a little bit, even if just for 2 days. Natalie is 9. She’s sensitive and struggling. Her little heart is longing for deep friendship and she hasn’t found it this year. She struggled our first year here too and the two friends she bonded with last year aren’t in her class this year. And I guess aren’t playing with her at recess. They’ve moved on.

Little girls can be so fickle.

It breaks my heart as many nights I tuck her in and she tells me of her struggle with loneliness. I totally get it. I love Pittsburgh, I really do. The move has been good for our family but people are so established here – like born and raised and sometimes living next door to their mom, grandma, aunts and uncles (and sometimes in the same house they were born in), so they don’t have much margin for new people. I was the same way in Virginia so there’s no judgment here. None whatsoever.

But my little girl needs a bosom buddy. She needs her Diana.

When she’s home she lashes out at her sister and continually picks and picks until my other sensitive beauty is sad and lonely. It’s becoming a vicious cycle that we’re all sick of. I’ve tried being a disciplinarian and taking things away or making her do chores or practice loving her sister through different activities. But in the end, “hurt people, hurt people.” (not to mention she might be starting to get hormonal… could it be?)

I invited two little girls over today after school, one for Ains and one for Nat. I’m hoping we can establish some bonding that way. I’ve talked strategies for her at recess and tried to figure out things out remotely, but it’s not working. Trips to the guidance counselor aren’t either. So playdates it is. I’m praying too. That God would supply her every need.

In the meantime, someone tell me what to do with a hormonal little girl who struggles with friendships. I wasn’t affected by puberty like this and have no idea what to do with it. Seriously. Someone help a poor mama out!

10 thoughts on “Friday at last

  1. Wendy

    It’s hard to see your children struggle with things, especially if it is something that wasn’t a personal struggle of your own. My oldest will be 18 in 12 days. She is in an awesome kid….kind, good hearted, smart, hard worker but definitely hormonal. She is social, but reserved at the same time. She is also very hard on herself, which at times manifests itself with her being mean to her little sister or me. It’s easier to lash out at others when she is feeling poorly about herself. She has also struggled her whole school life with trying to find that perfect friend. She has lots of friends and does many things with them, but has never had that one friend that through thick and thin has stuck with her. When she was younger, I blamed it on the area we live in (outside of DC, very competitive, parents over scheduling their kids in an attempt to make them perfect, etc…) Last night, as I sat on my couch after having a discussion with her about her not wanting an 18th birthday party, I realized she is who she is. She’s not me and I’m not her. I can’t make her see into the future and the regrets she might have by not doing something because it might take some planning and she might get hurt by who doesn’t show up. I finally figured out that’s always been her problem (for lack of a better word). She doesn’t want to put her neck out in many apsects of life, including friends. It’s easier for her to just not have a party, then it is to feel any sort of rejection. It was a lightbulb moment for me. She is going to have to figure out that road all on her own. At times, especially lately, I have quietly berated myself in my head for not trying to change this aspect of her personality (because I believe it has limited her in many areas of her life). I now have come to terms with the fact that I can’t change it. She is who she is. I can guide and love, but her “battles” will have to be fought by her. So I guess what I am trying to say to you is and you probably already know this anyway….Natalie is who she is. Making friends and keeping them might always be a struggle for her. She might have a huge group of friends but then wonder why so and so is not her friend. The only thing you can do is love her, tell her not to give up, be the voice of reason and encourage her to be spend time with kids that you feel are good role models. It’s hard. You are a good mama and she will figure it all out. Maybe not the way you would, but what works for her.

    Reply
  2. Lisa

    My Savannah sounds just like Miss Natalie, a lot of the things you said I see here at home and now a lot of things make total sense. Thank you Wendy for making the comment She is who she is and I totally get that, so much you wrote made sense. Thank you both for sharing and caring.

    Reply
  3. Kerri

    Been there and done that. I’m the Mom like you, I never struggled with those issues – but my daughter is. And it became much worse in during middle school. No matter the amount of talking it just didn’t get better … Tears & more tears. Everyone hated her ~ she never did anything wrong, it was never her fault. I finally called our health care provider because we knew the hormones were an issue too. Vitamin B Complex & take it regularly … it seriously made a huge difference. No melt downs in 2 months

    Reply
  4. Carey

    Hi Leighann! I’m coming out of hiding for this post that would have my mama heart aching too. My oldest is quiet – not one to run up to other girls and include herself on the playground – and I think it takes her longer to develop friendships than other little girls in her class. I personally think that playdates make all the difference in the world!! A little interaction outside of the classroom creates a different bond than just “classmate”. I hope this playdate helps Natalie feel connected and loved!! Let us know:)
    Carey Barsotti

    Reply
  5. Maggie

    I used to always say that Julia struggled with finding her bosom friend too. I would tell my little Anne of Green Gables that as she got older, the chances of her meeting her Diana would get better, but in the meantime, she needed to be content with herself, her talents, her family, and most importantly, Jesus. It was really hard for her, but when friends did come along, they weren’t her sun and stars and her moods did not revolve around them. I’m glad it worked out this way. I see girls who had friendship come easy for them when they were young, and when that friendship is taken away from them, they seem moorless and lost.

    Reply
  6. Becky

    I agree that play dates could help a lot.

    I also believe that lacking friendships teaches us to look to Jesus. So ultimately this could be a good thing. But it know as a mom looking in that is still painful to watch in your young daughter!!

    Makes you realize that those baby and toddler years may really have been easier!!

    Praying for you.

    Reply
  7. Catherine

    Hey leighanne,

    Love you and your family. Ryan is the sweetest!!
    I read your post and thought WOW! Sounds like my son.
    But his was his WHOLE school career! Never a best
    Friend! Ever!!! He’s 18 now and still no best friend.
    Breaks this mommas heart everyday. Iam praying
    It is a short spell for your sweet little girl. Thanks for
    Always being honest and keeping it real. It’s a blessing.

    Reply
  8. Denise Schlimgen

    Sometimes as they get involved in sports and other activities kids find a special friend because they have things in common, more than just being in the same class/grade at school. I’ve seen kids (when I was teaching) who 1 year seemed to be loners and the next year be in the group of 4 or 5 friends who did EVERYTHING together. Praying with you that she finds that 1 special friend that lasts a lifetime.

    Reply
  9. Amanda

    Leighann,
    Being a mom is hard! Why didn’t anyone warn us??? Because we would have still done it because of all of the other awesome stuff ;). She is going to be fine. She will find her Diana. It took us until we were in 6th grade ;). Love you and praying for you!
    Your Diana :)

    Reply

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