Wiring My Jaw Shut

So as I wrestle with my emotions in trying to motivate Hope as well as provide her the support she needs to be successful, Absurdly Hot Therapist recently told me to really work on practicing “non-judgmental parenting.”


So after I finished laughing and thinking about how hot he is in his shawl collared therapist sweaters and cute colorful socks, I was like “Dude….”


Oh, don’t miss understand, I get it: Safe environment for Hope, protect Hope’s ego, support Hope, let her know I have reasonable expectations, but am totally cool with her working up to them…Yada, yada, yada.


Listen, I feel like I have the most amazing family in the universe. I also feel like despite our best efforts we can be a judgy bunch.

Like, PhD in judgy sometimes.

And oh, despite my best, dedicated, work hard efforts, I am soooooo a judging everything.


Oh yeah, it’s a problem, I know.

So, I’ve been working on it. My version of working on it looks like this:

“Don’t say anything because you might lose it.”

“Keep your pie hole shut.”

“Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up.”

“Do NOT respond to that smart a$$ text message.”


“Nope, not falling for it, not gonna do it.”

*Heaving breathing*

“Get yourself a martini, like right now before you rip her head off.”


This, this is my internal monologue.

We were in to see our primary care physician for double appointments today; I was shocked that my blood pressure was normal. I swore it would be through the roof. I would’ve bet the farm on it.

Seriously, I’d like to just get my mouth wired shut for the next year or two, then I wouldn’t have to worry about my mouth popping off when Hope said/did something unbelievable.

I’m honestly not sure how people survive this. I feel like all this new fan-dangled parenting might just kill me. My parents see me interact with Hope and this, this is the face they give me.


It’s all with so much love.


“You gonna just let that slide? You aren’t going to check her?”

You see, I try not to judge Hope and I feel even more judged.

Ain’t that some ish?

Now, I am not justifying my continued judgment of my daughter, but seriously, this feels like a no win situation for me, no way out. It is crushing my spirit right now.

Oh and my tongue has a bunch of chew marks on it from me biting it so hard.

I am staying the course though. I am working on letting Hope just fall into the natural consequences of doing or not doing whatever it is she’s supposed to do. She fed me a bunch of BS today about why she can’t/won’t do something to bring a grade up from a 28 to a 60.

I’ve bent over backwards like a yogi.

Her teacher has bent over backwards on a mat beside me.


I finally just told the teacher to let that grade ride; seriously, why are we killing ourselves? We care about her, but we understand and know how to work these algebra problems. She’s the one who has an opportunity to raise her grade.

The choice, ultimately, just has to be hers.

Le Sigh.

I wish that letting it ride really gave me peace. It doesn’t. I am still scared for her, but I’m going to take a big step back and try to just breathe, let her breathe and let the chips fall.

I still might need to get my jaw wired shut, though. I’m wayyyyyy too hot tempered to keep repeating all the mantras.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

8 responses to “Wiring My Jaw Shut

  • AdoptiveNYMomma

    Well your internal dialogue is better than mine most days.Lately it has been “OK breathe don’t go there you are better than this you won’t win” On the plus side you have a good looking therapist, ours is 20 something and takes most of her leads from me…sigh… You got it yes it is hard and family being straight up judgmental..well that is why I have to limit my contact with mine though I do love them dearly. Feel ya here truly I do.

  • Beth

    The sad part is that the more judged or shamed we feel (by our families, friends, society, etc.), the more likely we will judge and shame others (including our kids). If we can cultivate compassion for ourselves, then we will cultivate it for others, and vice versa. (And I have flipped the bird to my daughter behind her back. I’m not above that yet. But I’m working on it.)

  • Beth

    You might like Brene Brown’s book, _I Thought It Was Just Me_. It’s an excellent, research-based book on how shame works and how we can build up our own shame resilience.

  • Valarie Johnson

    I always find it helpful to think of the worst case scenario if I “let something ride.” For Hope, would it be that she repeats that grade? Would that really be the end of the world? I think colleges would give her a pass if she wrote a good essay about how she was adopted as a teen and acted out by flunking a grade, then woke up to how she needed to take initiative and make something out of her life…assuming that’s what happened ; ) You can let natural consequences happen and then she will learn that flunking really sucks. And next year she’ll be the oldest kid in her class and she’ll be working her butt off to prove she’s too smart to be there.

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      My own fears are my issue. My worst fears are in overdrive at the moment and it’s something I’m having a really hard time pulling back. Our therapy session this week was incredibly painful and I am able to see how my fear is affecting Hope. It’s something I’ve got to get on top of; it’s hard. Really hard because my fears and my desire to want so much for her is starting to hurt her and our relationship. It’s a tough pill to swallow. 😦

      • Marieke

        Totally seconding Brene Browns book. I’d start with dating greatly.. It might help in why You want To Be lees judgemental…

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