Mother & Child


I wonder who you are
beneath the facade.
The chatter and clatter
remind me of the orange cones
used to deflect traffic.
I can see the road beyond
but can find no access.

Do you remember when laughing
felt natural?
When every move wasn’t calculated?
Have you buried yourself so
securely that you’ve forgotten joy?

I know that there is so much more
to you,
But you don’t see
the value
in who you are.

You condemn those who don’t
like the mask that you’ve created.

And though I rage within,
I do my best
to be

I wait
that someday
the performance will stop.

That someday you’ll realize
that the walls of
swagger and bravado
aren’t protecting you.

That someday you’ll remember
that you do matter
that you have
that you are loved.

At times we will see our children experiencing difficult times. The challenge for us is: How do we keep the door open when they’re slamming it in our face? My dead friends offer this advice: The most important thing to remember is that if you respond in anger you’re adding fuel to their fire. As hard as this will be for you, try to dispel the intensity of your emotions before you speak. If possible close your eyes and take three deep breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling as deeply as you can. Then, still before speaking, picture them in your mind at their best: smiling, happy and loving. Keep looking at your mind picture until you feel the calm peaceful joy that you shared in the past.

When they interrupt you, and they will, say some version of: I’ll have to think about it and get back to you. That’s it, no matter how much you’re baited, say nothing else until your anger has ebbed.
As much as you’d like to, you cannot control your child; you can only control yourself. By having and following this plan and maintaining control of your words and emotions, you’re giving them the space that they need to deal with their own emotions.


  1. Great advice! Beautiful post!

  2. Your post touches on my own memories of difficult time with my children. You give such good advice, Thank youfor sharing your heart. It’s an honor to witness.

  3. I think above all it’s important to stay authentic. I allow myself to snap every once in a while because frankly breathing in and breathing out while coming up with a textbook response would not feel right. Then again my son is pretty easy going and we don’t often have these tense situations, thank God.

    Great to read you again, Victoria – happy Blogging!

    • Victoria Juster

      Hi Tamara, Nice to hear from you! I agree authenticity is important. Kids are usually natural born lie detectors. They need to know that we’re being honest with them.

      • I remember these days and not too fondly I might add. Hang in there momma. They do come back to you eventually. You just have to give them some space and not let them walk all over you.

      • Victoria Juster

        Good advice, Elisa. It’s hard to believe that we probably behaved that way too.

  4. This is really touching. I can feel so much love from this poem. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Parenting can be so challenging – especially when our young ones are surly and their frown feels endless. Now that I have three adult children, I know the surly is temporary and while their choices aren’t always my choices, loving them is a better choice than the alternative.

    • Victoria Juster

      Yes, I completely agree. I hope that the younger moms take some solace in knowing that these moods are temporary.

  6. Dr.Amrita Basu

    Seriously parenting is a work on my own self .A very powerful post.The deep breathing ,before replying can help.

    • Victoria Juster

      I love that you said; parenting is a work on my own self. Just being a step has made me learn new things about myself and grow as a person.

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