My Friday 13th of parenting 1


“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life”

JK Rowling

It was on Friday 13th late last year, that things got really bad. The tension that had been building between mother and daughter hit breaking point.

In the midst of the getting ready for school angst that had become part of our daily routine, I turned to her with tears in my eyes and uttered these terrible words; “Honestly, I’m not even sure what to do with you anymore.”

I know!

Not my finest moment.

In fact, I would say it was the absolute lowest moment of my parenting to date.

I had reached my limit.

I spent the rest of that day in tears, great floods of frustration and pain, of anger and worry. I was overwhelmed.

I also spent that day texting people, reaching out. Letting others know that I had hit rock bottom and asking for help. I was unable to talk that day. But there was a flurry of texts back and forth.

It was only in getting to that absolute low in my parenting that I saw how desperate my need was to get some help. It was in reaching my limit that I finally asked for that help. And in the flurry of texts that went back and forth that day, I finally saw some hope.

Reaching my limit on that day, gave me a knock to my pride; for goodness sakes, I didn’t know how to deal with my own daughter!

But it also freed me from my posture of being strong, and my I can handle this attitude. It made me be honest with both my daughter and myself. It meant that I had to stop isolating myself and hiding behind the façade of being a good mum, who has it all together.

It meant I had to reach out and share the broken parts of my life with my friends, who were oh so willing to help.

That was absolutely my worst day of last year.

But it was also the point where everything started to change.

At the end of that awful day, I cuddled my daughter close. And as I hugged her tight I talked to her about what I had said that morning. I apologised and explained to her that it wasn’t her job to tell me how to be her parent. That wasn’t on her.

I explained that yes, on that morning, I didn’t know what to do with her.

But I also explained that I had spent the day trying to find people who could help, people who could help us both.

It was in reaching my limit, acknowledging my weakness, and asking for help that hope was able to rise.

For both of us.


About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at

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