My Kid is a Jerk - But I am a Good Mom 2

My Kid is a Jerk – But I am a Good Mom

Mom life. I have paced and stewed and cried and thrown up.  But after a hot shower, a glass of wine, 4 gluten-free cake pops, and half a Xanax I am prepared to go there.

Let’s do this.

I love being a mom… 72.3% of the time it’s a good gig. I am a yeller, yes. Obviously, I tend to eat my feelings. A pop tart every now and then might eventually kill me – but I have killed no one else.




And yes, I have been overly observant of others and sometimes voiced it here. And yes, I am accountable for raising these humans. They will require counseling.  We have a fund. However, they are human beings. Entities all their own, they do and say and formulate opinions and characteristics apart from my madness.


One of them was a bridesmaid or a best man? I don’t know – at a same-sex wedding the other day. Another one wears Bernie Sanders t-shirts and thinks “Bernie still has a shot…” Still, another has what appears to be “arrogant” political views and just bought a bumper sticker that says “you can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.” And none of these are the exact standards my husband and I embraced or imposed on them.

jerk (1)

And for those of you that don’t know me, we thought we were such great parents we invited three more children into the mix through foster care and adoption.  One of them is a biter. And when I say biter, I mean T-Rex, flesh tearing bites. Another one never ever stops talking and he will say ANYTHING. Like, “why is your head so big?” And “how comes you gots such an ugly nose?” Or “I hate your baby, I only likes my baby.”

And with those two, who we kindly refer to as the vandals, I keep my mouth shut when a child falls into tiger exhibit or shark tank at the zoo, cause yeah…  We will be on the news at least once before these two are raised.

And I don’t want to be “that mom.” You know her, the one who stands nervously next to a squad car while the fire department tries to figure out how to shut down the power grid so your sons aren’t electrocuted. I wring my hands, pray and question… “Where did they even get a Kentucky Fried Chicken hot air balloon???”

jerk (2)


I do watch them.

Yes, I do guide them.

I do pray for them.

And, I cut the crust off their sandwiches and I clean their ears and clip their nails?

Still, they are a hot mess.



Our 14-year-old can play the piano by ear. She’s had this ability since she was two. She can also sing… Like, really sing. And we take no credit for this. As a matter of fact, we think it’s weird and creepy. We sleep with our door locked because we are afraid of her. We tiptoe around her, fully confident we might make her mad and she will start a fire with her mind.

Of course, we are glad she is talented and we hope these abnormalities pay for her college. We daydream she becomes rich and famous and cares for us in our old age. But her accomplishments aren’t our accomplishments.

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She’s an entity.

She’s her own person.

And in this society, we tend to attach our parental superiority onto our children.  Furthermore, we have a tendency to point the finger when a kid messes up – and it’s all on the mom. “She really screwed that kid up…”


I agree with you, I probably did. However, there’s also the stuff that they just came with, characteristics that are part of their makeup.

On my bookshelves, you’ll find tattered copies of books about the strong-willed, impossible, defiant and learning disabled. In my journals, you’ll find the prayers of a worried, frazzled and confused momma.  And on my blog, you’ll read about the struggles, military schools, failed homeschool, visits to the police station, and terrifying incidents that I have met with as a mom.

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In my heart, you would find the broken pieces of a woman desperate to raise healthy, happy, God-fearing and decent humans. Alas, they are a part of my very existence – still, they are individuals.

And yes, my kids might do fabulous things. But I promise they will screw up too. They might offend you, they might get arrested, they might lead someone astray. And while I pray this isn’t the case, I can’t make them perfect.

In line at Target the other day I saw a young mom with an obviously autistic child – the struggle was beyond my comprehension. The fit the boy was having was painful to watch; worse still, the looks she received from those around her.




My daughter, myself, and another mom helped her with her purchase and got her and her son out to her car. She was dripping sweat and tears. And as we buckled the exasperated boy into his car seat she heaved sobs. Sobs that spoke volumes: “I am not a bad mom. I am doing my very best. My boy is my whole world…”





These children, yes, they are wholly a part of us. Still, they are wholly apart from us. They have a body and spirit separate from us. They have their own talents, abilities, shortcomings, and folly. One of them might require Zoloft. One might require a parole hearing. Maybe, one might cure cancer. And one might have a career at McDonalds and be happy in that role.

Apart from my hopes and what I deem a grand existence, they are an entity all their own.

So I wrote this blog for myself and the momma at Target just so you would know:

My kids aren’t perfect, neither am I.

But I am a good mom.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

What I am Reading:  Check out this PERFECT post by my friend Huffington and syndicate author and tightly wound sister, Katie M. Reid! An Open Letter to the Mom on Her Phone  

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  1. Bonnie Robertson on August 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    This is beautiful. Lots of tears falling.

    • jami_amerine on August 14, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you Bonnie, dry your eyes. You’re wonderful

      • Kelley on August 18, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        How do I join this blog? I would love to read more of what ever you have to say. I loved this.

    • Tramp McLean on August 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      I am not a mom- but I sure LOVE this blog. I work in social work and do lots of home visits with parents and foster children. This resonates and I think I will make them read this write up from now when I go. You are Awesome!

      • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        Thank you.

        • Robin Howard on August 17, 2016 at 8:49 am

          I so needed to read this today. Love your honesty and can so relate to all your shared. It encouraged me and me and reminded me that God is control and will bring me and my children exactly what we need to be conformed to Him, even when it is hard and painful, and not what we would choose.

          • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 8:50 am


          • barb on August 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm

            Well spoken. .

      • Beth in Tx on August 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Love this post. We have found that the Feingold program’s way of eating helped our foster children some. Not completely but some. You are a good mom. I am a good mom. Most mom’s are just doing their best and the ones who aren’t have probably faced challenges I have never even dreamed of.

        • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm


    • Audrey on August 17, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      This made me tear up so much! So well-written & true! ❤️

  2. Denise on August 14, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you!!! Being a mom is the most wonderful, awful, hard, beautiful, difficult thing ever.

  3. Kathy of the HavinsNest on August 14, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Jami, this is spot on. I love it. Thank you.

  4. Don McKelvie on August 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    This is a very good one. Laughing and crying.

  5. Angela Noel on August 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Hi! As I read this lovely post, tears pricked my eyes and I am smiling. A close cousin to “craughing” (crying while laughing) I believe this lesser phenomena is known as “smearing.” If not, then I made it up. But, I’m sure you get my point. I enjoyed every word of this post and fully agree with you. When my son was born I expected to feel pride. I didn’t. I felt love, enormous, crazy love, but not pride. He, from the moment he was born, was his very own self. My job is, as you say, to guide and to teach, but most importantly TO BE the kind of human I hope he becomes. The kind of human that learns from mistakes; has the courage to say both “I’m sorry” and “I love you;” and contributes the whole of his own unique self to the world we are building together. I live into the aspiration to be that kind of human every day. That, more than anything else, is the greatest gift I can give him as a parent. And while I too don’t know what mistakes he will make and have to live with, I know that I’ll be there to support his journey. I can’t and won’t ever be the “perfect” mom. But like the Jackalope, I’m pretty sure they don’t exist in the wild. So glad I found your blog!

    • jami_amerine on August 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      I am so glad you did! Heading over to yours now! Thank you!

  6. Edith on August 14, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks! I need this reminder every so often…

  7. Janet on August 14, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Oh, Jami, every so often God sends you to say exactly what I needed to hear–this is one. Bless you!

  8. Cathy on August 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I love your blog more than I can say, and this post especially! I love your honesty and I love your sense of humor, and I wish I lived near you so I could know you in person. Your words reflect my heart and I am grateful that you share them with all of us ❤️

  9. Debbie on August 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    OMG, I could have written this blog, this is so my life. Motherhood is awesome, wonderful, crazy, heart wrenching,difficult and the most courageous thing you can ever do. Thank you for your words of humor and wisdom.

  10. Rhonda Lamoureux on August 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    My friend shared this on Facebook. I must say that I enjoyed the read and very much can relate. So, thank you for writing. I’ll be checking in with more.
    I am curious. Would you be interested in adding an affiliation to your blog? I’ve got one you might be interested in. No pressure, just info. Let me know.
    Thanks again for such a great article.

  11. Amy on August 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I have two STRONG WILLED boy’s. My youngest (8) is going through some very rough stuff. Lots of therapy and tests. Ct scans coming up and being tested for Autism. I have become his human punching bag, not only physically but verbally. It’s often very brutal. My 11 year old is just caught in the cross fire and doesn’t know how to deal. I’m struggling. Today was a rough day for me. I cried harder than I’ve ever cried. Then I came across your blog. Again I cried. But not in a bad way, It helped me remember this is not my fault, I have not failed my children. And everything I have done thus far has been worth all the bruises and black eyes I’ve received. I’m a dann good mom… Thank you for helping me remember that in a time I needed it so very much!

    • jami_amerine on August 14, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      You are an amazing mom. Hang in there friend. Prayers… Many prayers. ❤️

    • Amy Martin on August 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Prayers to you. I have been the mom in Target with the tantruming son with autism and the looks of disdain from other customers. I wish i had 2 kind moms stop and help us out to the car but sadly that never happened to me. I just wanted to say it does get better. Once my son learned to communicate his physical aggression and tantrums subsided. I believe he acted out in pure frustration. He is now 22 years old and handsome, has a girlfriend he sees weekly for double dates with mom and dad or with his aunt and her boyfriend. He participates in Special Olympics bowling, golf, baseball, and basketball. He got 33 home runs this season in baseball. He has a few close friends from his school and jobs program that he swims with, goes out to dinner, movies etc. He can write and read and play the ukele by ear. He still goes to OT, Music and Speech and am grateful he continues to learn and grow and progress. He takes care of our yard, our boxer and tortoise, volunteers with scouts, helps his married sister and his grandma etc. It gets better. It gets easier with growth and learning and acceptance. He still will ask strangers for their phone #’s, friend strangers on facebook, lack reasoning skills, struggle with following directions etc but he is so much more than I ever imagined. I just wanted you to know I have been where you are now and felt your pain and it does get easier . Sending you love.

      • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 3:11 pm


      • Missie on August 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

        I needed to hear that. I loved the post and I love to read people’s reactions. As a special needs mom, I constantly live in fear that she will have a difficult life filled with struggle and depression. It’s so heartwarming to hear of your son grasping life and having joy even with the struggle. I realize there is a lot of years in there where you struggled. Only now have I just started to understand how hard it is on the parents. If only stamina grew on trees! Blessings to you, Amy Martin and Jami!

        • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 8:55 am


  12. Linda on August 14, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Oh my goodness! Thankyou for your honest thoughts and words. I foster children too. I’m 54 and have a 5, 4, 1 and an 11week old on my own. Even though mine are young I could’ve written your post regarding the prayers and the tears. All I hope for is that they grow up to follow Jesus and be productive, kind members of society. I’m not expecting that much, am I? I’ve come to the place where I can see that I can’t control it. I hate that! Some days I’m glad they don’t have my dna, and other days I struggle against their own dna. I so want them to be the ones to break the cycle of everything you could imagine. Strangely though, as much as I struggle every day with the behaviours and the attitudes that are so awful, I’m connected to these children, that daily make me want to walk out of this house and only maybe come back. I’ve wondered if I’m a masochist! Lol!
    I know the struggle is mine and this is where I’m meant to be, now if I could stop taking things so personally……. He.he!

    • jami_amerine on August 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Bless love! ❤️

  13. Susan on August 14, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Straight to my heart! I am that mom. And I so need to be reminded of this every day!

  14. Jayne Walter on August 14, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Jami—thank you! I needed to hear your words! I was thinking the very same thing and I wondered if I was all alone! You answered me! God bless you and your family!

    • jami_amerine on August 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm


      • Sunny Jones on August 20, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        At a time when I feel like a complete failure as a mother, this blog came not a moment too soon. I have 2 beautiful strong willed daughters, my oldest tested every ounce of patience I never really had but has become a fully functioning part of society. She has a job, loves her boss and ethics I was sure she wasn’t learning as a child under our roof. She is a joy and calls to check on me daily. She does this because her sister seems to have sprouted two heads and quite literally rocked her families lives with so much hate and anger. Who is this girl? I have asked myself numerous times,” where did I go wrong?” She left our home just before her 18th birthday..she has spoken to no one in our family…no one. Only by the grace of God do I face every new day. And I thank God for showing me through my eldest that I am not a failure as a mother. My girl made her choice…she will have to live with the consequences. May I be ready to embrace her when she is finally ready to reconcile with us.

        • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm

          May you be ready. May she be safe. You’re a great mom.

        • sophie on August 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

          One daughter left and it was because she’s made her own choice. The other daughter stayed- and that was because YOU weren’t bad at parenting?

          Not because she’d made her own choice?

          That’s odd.

  15. THERESA SWANSON on August 15, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Two lines that helped me so much with our kids . . . .

    Love the children you have, not the ones you dreamed of.
    And . . . . it’s their journey, not yours.

    Our “kids” are 44 and 46 years old – you never stop worrying.

    • Mary shofi volpe on August 18, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      I totally agree with these statements but not the o e about it not being our journey too. Especially true with spe ial needs, as with our 27 year old son with autism
      He will sadly never be able to take care of himself entirely. So it is and will be our journey as long as we are alive.

  16. Abel Josephson on August 15, 2016 at 4:28 am

    So…..there I am….A Loving Father…bed-time story reader…and as the gentle moment comes for the warm good night….I say (seeking the special moments figurines moment with a 4 year old)…..I say to my daughter “Baby, you know I love you so much and I think of you all the time….your the best thing in my life”…..

    And to this…and to my surprise……this is the loving response from the tucked in child….”Daddy?…..your breath stinks”…….


    I get it Jami~!

  17. Deborah on August 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

    This is the world I live in as well!!!! Prayers for your family and your sanity!

  18. Jen on August 15, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I loved everything about this post. I laughed so hard I cried and I cried bc it’s nice to see someone else feels the same way. Facebook and social media have destroyed us making moms feel bad about ourselves. You know… those moms who have it all— perfect kids, husbands, jobs…. Thank you for starting my week off with a smile!

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thank you! Blessings on you and your day!

  19. laura dodson on August 15, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I’m seriously hoping that behind all the hearts on the fam pic that your older kids are flipping you off. Just saying.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Nah… Holding foster babies.

  20. Jane on August 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I love your story. As my girls were growing up ( They are 31 and 22 now) l remember the oldest putting me through so much. I never knew l could be hurt so deeply or feel the pain she felt when she got herself into the scrapes she made from her own bad decisions. She was fired at work, arrested for something her boyfriend did. Never came home after school or work. I spent many a night hunting for her with the excuse my phone was in roming and l didnt get any calls. To “l was fine mom!!!” She put me through ever trial and tribulations she could manage. Don’t get me wrong she was a very loving child but she put me through alot of sleepless nights and alot of grey hair. I never could guess what she was up to or who she was with. I did the mom thing. I spanked when she was little, l grounded when she was to old ( or big to spank.) l took away the car keys ( including the battery just in case she had a spare l wasn’t aware of!)
    I just kept praying for the best and hoping she would and l could survive. My youngest is the one who keeps reminding me that she IS the good daughter! And I don’t need to worry about her. But she too has been through alot with all the turmoil her older sister caused plus my divorce from their Dad who never had the time for them. He was to busy fishing. So needless to say she is the one in as she likes to call it, Life coaching. I never realized the crayon breaking and constantly busy mode was her way of keeping it together until she got older and started yelling and has a temper from hell!! But with Life Coaching she and l are learning to focus her anger from being a over caring individual and blowing up at any situation she can not control, to learning to step back take deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth. And if that doesn’t work going outside to smell the flowers or hug the dog who never gives up on her. And yes it all comes around because her sister finally got her, (l will call crap together.) And she is learning to help her sister breath through lifes difficulties. I felt like a failure and blamed myself. But our Life coach has assured me that l too am and was a good mom. But our children do choose their own paths and have their own ideas on life and even though l still think its their Dads DNA that screwed up my girls! LOL! We are all doing alright! After all no one ended up in prison, l never murdered anyone. My oldest has a very understanding boyfriend who lets her be the strong willed person she is. And my youngest is still home with me happy but determined life will go her way when SHE is ready! And thats ok! So all we can do is hang in there. Do lots of praying! And eventually everything will be alright!

  21. Byron Howard Friday on August 15, 2016 at 11:51 am

    A glass of wine and a Xanax? When a feature story opens with this it’s a huge red flag.

    • aphrodite on August 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Byron Howard Friday: I certainly hope you are not judging this mom. The only huge red flag I see here is you being the judgemental jerks from the blog post. Is this your idea of a joke?

      Jami, My kids are grown (pretty much.) The one we thought wouldn’t be too hot on his own is now great. The one we knew was going to great, is….but has a giant lack of maturity in some areas. You just never know. The only thing I really learned from the experience of raising them is that nature makes its desires known, nurture can’t fix everything.

      • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm


  22. Sandra on August 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I just found your blog and only read this one post but already I can guarantee I will love your blog! I live in a world that is very similar to yours, perhaps not as violent but that may be because the child who had the most potential for violence no longer lives with us…. yeah, we get lots of cold looks and judgmental comments for that act but I am sure you would understand if I were to explain. I will be following your blog from here on!

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks Sandra!

  23. EOzIA on August 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve read MANY a blog and my bookshelves (and Kindle and Audible libraries) are full of the same categories of books you describe, and this is the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to post. Were I a blogger (as my son’s therapist has suggested multiple times), I’d have posted something almost identical, but scaled down to just one kid. We live in a world of isolation with whole communities of traditional parenting ready to judge us and our kids, and judge us BASED ON our kids, because that’s how life works for them and all previous generations before them. The kid messes up and all the out-of-your-earshot chatter is “it must be in the home; yes, parenting is definitely not happening. If that was my child s/he would never get away with that and [whatever punishment is their go-to] would be dropped on my kid like a ton of bricks!”

    As you say, I watch, guide and pray for my child. I am also learning to stop tying my self worth and happiness to how and what said child is doing. You wish to high heaven they’d heed at least some of the guidance you’re providing, but I’m now accepting that, being in the last half of his teen years, I can no longer shield him. During one of Heather Forbes’ webinars on parenting teens she shared that one day her son stunned her by saying “Mom, I just need to learn my lessons the hard way.” That has really stuck with and helped me accept that my child’s missteps are his own journey and my job now is to just be there loving unconditionally and not be tying my well being to his. Your blog post also does that. Yes, you’re writing first to help yourself, but know you’ve helped me and others. Don’t stop; you are an excellent mom.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 12:50 pm


  24. Meredith on August 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    This is beautiful! I tend to blame myself for all their faults and jerkiness, but it’s so true. They are going to go off in the world and make decisions the have NOTHING to do with us. And, they are going to do the same thing when they’re little too. Right inside our houses. Thanks for the lovely reminder. I’m going to share this on my FB tomorrow. xoxo

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks friend!

  25. teresa mckay-horsey on August 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    thank GOD for mothers like you

  26. Holly on August 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    What a timely message for me. Reading this blog two days after I drove my 16 yr old to his dads…to live. My heart is broken. I tried so hard to be a good mom, to teach, to listen, to model- your post reminded me that I can’t fix him or make his choices. I can love him, cheer for him and pray for him. And…I’m still a good mom. But… at the moment, I’m a mom with a broken heart.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Praying for you right now…. You’re a great mom. ❤️

    • Pam on August 17, 2016 at 6:00 am

      Holly, I understand how you feel. My older daughter went to live with her dad at 18- she was causing all kinds of trouble and lying- where there are no strict rules. Her stepmother became her confidante and basically replaced me. I missed out on all the things you dream of doing with your daughter in her senior year- pick out prom dresses, graduation festivities. She is guided by her father who was a parent when it was convenient for him. He will only communicate with me when he choose to and predominantly by text. He tells me his wife is the girls “mother” as well. I’ve had many tears and many sleepless nights. Now my 15 year old daughter, who I have always been close to, is pulling away. When I tell her no or she doesn’t like my answer, she calls her dad and he comes and picks her up. And I have sole physical custody. She just left with him the other day and I have no idea when she will be back. The girls are so defensive of their dad and inside it drives me crazy as I know if I pursue this legally, it will push them further away. And somehow along the way, their dad thinks he is parent of the decade and tells me what I’m doing wrong. Raising teenage daughters is hard enough but extremely difficult if you have an ex (with a wife) who won’t back you and is not on the same page (actually a complete opposite book!). All I can do is pray and hope and continue to let them know how much I love them….. But I too am heartbroken.

      • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 6:02 am

        Bless you. Praying for you right now. This made my heart hurt. ❤️

    • Amy on August 21, 2016 at 8:11 am

      My 15-year-old son did the same thing last year. I had raised him since age 7 on my own, with very little involvement from dad. When he said he wanted to try living with dad, I was demolished. I cried and begged him not to do it, but it was a need that he had. To know his dad better and to have a closer relationship with him. I took it very personally-so I really understand how you are feeling. However, I now see that it was not about my parenting skills or anything he was lacking in my home. His father has stepped up as a parent since, and we communicate often about our son. They grow up and distance themselves from us in spite of our best efforts. Don’t blame yourself.

      • Holly on August 21, 2016 at 8:29 am


  27. Natalia Erehnah on August 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Incredible, lovely, heartbreaking, and makes-my-heart-smile post. Lately, I’ve been saying: Can you *please* practice being a decent human being.? We’re all works in progress, and just when I think I’ve figured something out, my children show me another facet of a situation. constant room for learning, growth, and improvement for me.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it.

  28. Jenny Field on August 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you so much for these words, so often its easy to take all the responsibility for our children and forget they have their own soul and choices. We are only part of their experience.

  29. Gracemarie on August 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you! It is heartbreaking to want to be a great mom and have such difficulty. I know I’m a good mom and that I didn’t fail. But when people ask me about my children, who are all out of the house and have left our lives, I find I want to share my whole story so they get the whole picture. I want a chance to defend myself when I explain how things have turned out. So many don’t understand. The heartache is real. The love is real. The emptiness of being childless, again, is real.

    Thank you!

  30. EOzIA on August 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Forgot to say I’ve also witnessed an autistic son and struggling mom in Target and felt helpless to step in. The very large, teenage or older son could not accept that they could not buy 20+ one pound Hershey bars and insisted on cramming them all in the bag at the checkout stand. The petite mom was calmly speaking to the son, but also desperately begging for the checker (who looked like a deer caught in headlights) to help her by taking the chocolate bars away. The store security guard came over, but was just as clueless and lost as the checker, and wearing his stern authority face. The boy began grunting and shouting louder and louder as he grabbed the bars back as fast as he could; customers all around stopped to stare. The mom didn’t even get to pay for the one bar she was going to allow him to have, because he suddenly ran for the door mall with 20+ bars clutched to his chest. Mom was desperately begging the guard “help me PLEASE! He doesn’t understand! He’s going to our car!” Guard looked both lost and disapproving of the mom, while mom just pleaded for him understand that there was no way she could force him back into the store to pay, so please just accompany them to the car. Last I saw of them the boy was a good 20 yards ahead and jogging, mom and reluctant, skeptical guard trailing behind.

    I recognized that the best thing I could do was pray, although I so wanted to step in to help somehow and just hug her, let her know someone cared, let her know she’s an amazing mother.

    That was a couple of years ago and I still remember and pray for her.

  31. Tonya on August 15, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    This is absolutely wonderful! Great message about how we all just do our best and to not get too caught up in the bad or the good. I have two biological children and two bonus sons. We just moved my daughter 3 states away to a great job as an attorney with the public defenders office after finishing three grueling years of law school (where we both almost killed each other too many times to count). We also just moved my autistic son out on his own about 5 miles from our home….but this is his second time out (the first one didn’t go so well). I get a lot of “great job mom”, “that’s so awesome, Tonya, you did great” and the truth is THEY did great, despite of me and my many shortcomings in the process. I did the best I could, but I know I made mistakes and probably still do when they ask for advice or even when I give it without them asking. My two bonus sons are also amazing, both in college and working hard in their chosen areas and again, I get a lot of kudos for their accomplishments but as you said none of their accomplishments are mine; in fact with the bonus boys…I didn’t even raise them. I was lucky enough to come into their lives when they were in high school and amazing people already. So while it’s nice to hear that my influence has effected the lives these now amazing adults, the truth is…they were in God’s hands all along. I just got to witness it 🙂

  32. K on August 15, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I saw this post on my friend’s wall.
    I have a parent to parent question for you. Our child has a relentless bully, and I recognize he has good parents, they try hard, and we share similar beliefs but their child hurts my child on a regular basis. It happened more times than I can count last year, and where I bought it all though all the steps of administration at school, it did not get resolved, because it continued thought school and into a summer vacation week long school.
    I attended every day of summer school to shelter my child.
    HOW do I reach this mother? I can’t protect my child at enough at school, and last year I volunteered countless hours, pretty much daily to make sure that my child was safe. I have a younger child and ultimately, this cannot be sustained, so I need to really reach his mom. We have had physical marks, standing on my child, kicking his head when he is down, emotion abuse, damage to personal property and it doesn’t seem to let up.
    Because the other child is bigger and stronger than my child it really matters, and to add insult to injury, my child has physical disabilities. I had tried personally to befriend this out of control six year old child, and tall knelt in front of him often and talked to him like a person, asking about him, to form a trusting friendship to help gain his respect and ask that he not attack my child. It did not stick.
    SO in the end, it is his mom, the parent that I see daily that really upsets me. I need her to control her child.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Good grief!! This is terribly sad. And you have actually spoken to the mother directly????

      • K on August 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

        Yes, many times. In person and on the phone. I have even consoled her then she looked like she might be undone but how do I put my foot down?

        • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 3:13 am

          In Texas you can file a police report…

          • Jennifer on August 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm

            We had a similar situation and after it still happening after school and parent talks our Tae Kwon Do instructor said to give my son a cell phone and start recording when he was being bullied (no one wants their bad activities on record!). That one little act did two things: My son, who was becoming anxious and upset felt like he had some control now and he got videos of it all and they really didn’t like that, especially after we sent it to the teachers.

          • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm

            That’s a good idea,

          • Jennifer on August 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            Tears. I have been that parent in the store with their autisic son melting down and there being nothing you can do about it, so thank you for helping that mom. While he is 14 and mostly out of those types of meltdowns we occasionally have public issues and I just have to wait and ignore everyone else. I have 4 other kids (one with another severe emotional disorder) and the few times I have had someone say, “It’s okay, we can handle them (him)” or “it’s not your fault that he was acting out” I have been reduced to tears. Thank you for writing this, thank you for sharing that it’s okay, it’s not all our fault. I try my best, I screw up, but they are human beings and I love that!

          • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm


  33. Michelle on August 15, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I so needed this, Jami. The tears are unstoppable. I have five of my own, and have fought similar battles. Two of mine are Aspie’s: brilliant and beautiful in their own way. I have been told what and how to raise them, and shunned for doing what I do and love best – being their mom. I lost them all when I tried to take my life due to all the harsh comments and lack of support from family. I didn’t have friends because my life was so absorbed just being mamma. They ARE my life and I miss them dearly. What I would’ve give to go back to just being mommy. Thank you for your beautiful insight to being a mom. It’s the most amazing gift we could ever be given. Bless you for having the opportunity to take on others. I used to be that mom that had al the stray kids at my house because they knew they were accepted and loved. I hope my children forgive me someday and maybe even love me again someday. Thanks again for the beautiful words.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Dear Michelle, praying for you right this minute. Healing, restoration and good things for you… A good mom. ❤️

  34. Josey on August 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you I enjoyed this.

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm


  35. Angie on August 15, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you. You have no idea how much I needed this. It brought me to tears but the good kind. I struggle with four kids one “normal” who feels looked over a lot, one with mental illness that can be violent, one with high fuctioning autism that at 12 has yet to make a friend and even adults calls weird, and my youngest who works for hours as hard as he can to just pass but is the happiness and most giving soul I have met. Thank not feeling alone is the first step .

    • jami_amerine on August 15, 2016 at 8:55 pm


  36. Gayle Arebalo on August 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Well obviously I’m not alone. It took several minutes to dry my eyes. My kids have needed Psychiatrists and Lawyers My kids have done remarkably well in school and still behaved stupidly enough to require bail money. My kids have given me reason to overeat and reason to see my own therapist but they have also driven me to my knees and to the word of God. Without the hot mess called raising 3 boys, I would not nor could not know God in the deep and satisfying way that I do. My kids may be a mess, but I’m a bigger one and I am ever so grateful that our God loves, forgives, rescues, and loves even more. I’m ever so grateful that these three teaching tools were used by God to rip every ounce of pride out of my heart. OK, He’s still ripping but I’m not nearly as judgmental or opinionated as I used to be. And compassion wells up inside of me every time I see a mom who struggles with these same challenges. So to all of you, any of you that find yourself wondering if you are a good mom; don’t listen to the world. Don’t judge yourself by the world’s standards. Go to the Word of God and let Him speak truth into your life. Believe Him.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 3:12 am


      • Holly on August 16, 2016 at 10:21 am


    • EOzIA on August 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

      It is quite the process He brings us through, isn’t it, but I’ve learned I will be thankful for it all at some point, so might as well be thanking Him for it now. Reminds me again of Corrie Ten Boom’s story. Her sister Betsie urged her to be thankful even for the fleas infesting their concentration camp barracks. She didn’t see why she should be thankful for creatures that caused such misery, then later when she was released from the camp she learned that the fleas were the reason the guards didn’t inspect or even enter their barracks. That enabled them to pray together and read the Bible that Corrie got to take into the camp when a guard passed her through without close inspection. Apparently everyone else had all belongings taken away from them on the spot. God had a plan for blessing (Jeremiah 29:11), but it required a process and time to be revealed.

      So strengthening to know we are not alone. <3

  37. Amanda on August 15, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Having a hard time typing this through my tears. Thank you…

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 3:12 am


  38. Laura on August 16, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Wonderful blog post!

  39. Alison on August 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Best essay on parenting I’ve ever read!

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 7:41 am


  40. Susan Foster on August 16, 2016 at 9:37 am

    My kids have been arrested. They have been in trouble at school. They can have sociopath tendencies. But I thought I raised angels. I did everything right. They had more than I had. But still I was the mother waiting on the phone call. And never did I believe they DIDN’T do it. I was always like, what have you done now. After about junior high, I was always like, what have you done now. It is still a struggle and they don’t like with us anymore. My husband and I raised them with everything. We are both their biological parents. I thought we would get extra points for that. But have mercy, they have put us through it. They are 22 and 24 and coming around the corner. I have a prayer War Room, like the movie. And most times, the prayers are directed to them. I feel your pain.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 10:22 am


  41. Amie on August 16, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Only recently have I stopped thinking of myself as a failure in motherhood. I always blamed myself when my son misbehaved. I felt everyone especially teachers were judging me. My son has ADHD and impulse control issues. During last years school year I had an epiphany. I realized I needed to accept him for who he was and stop wanting him to be someone he wasn’t. It changed my life.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 10:21 am


  42. Jenn on August 16, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Your blog gave me such peace! I really needed that and agree whole heartedly with everything you said. Thank you for expressing exactly what I needed to hear for my heart❤️

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 12:23 pm


  43. Beth on August 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I love you in a non creepy stalker sort of mom way. Rock on sister!

  44. Cassie on August 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Thank goodness for finding this today. I sobbed and sobbed last night after my son had a fit of rage at bedtime. Now here I am crying and thanking you for writing this. I needed it so much.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      You’re doing great mamma!

  45. Kelly Mayr on August 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Laughed until I cried! This is totally my family! We have 9 kids and we’re foster parents…..I can so relate! Thanks for writing this!

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  46. Sam on August 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for this. I really needed it. Especially today.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm


  47. Sommer on August 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love this! Have homeschooled my 6 kiddos from the beginning thinking if I just used certain life variables I could produce a certain outcome. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth! And thank You, God! He is so good. Life has brought me so many things that I never would have dreamed- good and bad. But all of them covered in the Grace of God and for His Glory. Even though I am often holding back tears because of the shock of things brought my way, by these beings of His, I wouldn’t change any of it, for anything. I am blessed every day to be surrounded by these people. In this life.

    This post is so touching to me and I am now a fan of sacredgroundstickyfloors. I’ve subscribed and can’t wait to read more. Blessings to you, Jami!

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you friend!

  48. Catie on August 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    I so needed this today. Tears welling up all the way through and still. Thank you for this reminder.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm


  49. Angela Alsup on August 16, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I have 2 adult children. Both spent every day of school in private Christian school, attended church, bible studies etc. I prayed with and for them. They both have furthered their education after high school and both are great people….so what’s my point? One has been arrested 3 times for unpaid speeding tickets and is wild as a coot. The other one is now a devout atheist. Both of my kids have taken paths I would have never dreamed, yet they’re both really cool people! I pray that one would settle down &close her mouth for once and that the other would rediscover his faith that he once enjoyed, but in the meantime, I enjoy them. They’re both soooooo funny & they both adore their mama. im not in control of them, so they do their own thing, and my fingernails stay bitten & my nerves stay frazzled, but I still enjoy my weird offspring.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 3:58 pm


  50. Kay on August 16, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    As the mom of 3 “grown” 20 something boys, I have always said that your greatest joys are responsible for your deepest heartaches. Mine were not, and still aren’t, the easiest. As much as I loved being a mom, I want them to know that there many ways to live a fulfilling life and it is possible to be very happy without kids or being married! Don’t do it just because everyone else is or you think you must!

  51. Beth on August 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I love your honesty and humor. Yes, I struggle too and mine are much younger! We can only plant seeds of faith and encouragement but they are their own individuals. Thanks for sharing- it’s good to know we all have a struggle and can only do so much, especially with strong-willed children.

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm


  52. Lisa on August 16, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Love love love…..
    It always baffles me when people say “oh you let your 16 year old quit field hockey? Well geez I can talk til I’m blue in the face but I can’t make her play!!! Can I??? There comes a time where you have to think I’ve done it all from kinder music to berry picking to disney world to church volunteering and you must start backing away from that child baby step like and let them figure it out…… Unless they are in a hot air balloon from kfc……

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      #word “you can drive them to the field… You can’t make them play field hockey…”

  53. Angie on August 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    My daughter officially claimed her independence whe she was barely 2 years old during a discussion about an minor incident at daycare that day. “Mommy, will you pweese stop whuhweein (worrying) bout me. You whuhwee bout you. I whuhwee bout me.”. My husband and I are quiet, laid back, rule followers, peace makers. We have no idea where this strong willed, risk taking, no filter, I’ll learn my lessons the hard way thank you very much child of ours came from. I spent many years thinking I must have done something wrong, maybe I should have stayed home with her, maybe we picked the wrong schools. Finally I realized that most of who she is is just who she is and all I can do is pray that God uses that fearless heart & mind to do good. We dropped her off at college on Sunday and we are celebrating that we made it to this point!

    • jami_amerine on August 16, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Yes!! ❤️

  54. Alyson on August 16, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Yes, I have those children too. From the one jumping trains to the next town and getting arrested for drugs when she didn’t even smoke. To the middle one who nothing phases. From the scorpion with a cut over because it was to noisey and the tarantula for show and tell. To the last one who told me at 5,”but mom, I’m standing in the line their not supposed to drive here.” Yes, the road was 45 miles an hour. They are all 3 adults now and doing well, what a relief.

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 5:15 am

      Geez! A relief indeed! Sounds like a couple of mine.

  55. Aleesha Sattva on August 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Some kids are easy to raise… others, notsomuch. Fortunately for me my kids have gone through phases of this at different times so I almost always had one who was a breeze.

    I’m a good mom. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learned from most of them.

    And I agree. Kids are just people who haven’t lived on this planet with a fully developed brain for as long as we have. They’ll learn, grow, change, grow some more and perhaps change completely many times in their lifetime. Our job is just to make sure they arrive at adulthood safely hopefully with as many fingers and toes as they came into this world with.

    Thanks for writing this. It made me feel less like a failure and more normal.


  56. Kenda Balkiewicz on August 17, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for this! I raised four beautiful sons and two beautiful step-daughters and a step-son. All of our children are imperfect individuals just as we are imperfect parents just trying to do our best in this crazy world. One of my sons suffered a sports injury in high school which, after a series of unfortunate events, culminated in a serious IV drug addiction. A couple of years, thousands, literally thousands of tears, five failed rehabs, lost trust, lost friends, and lost jobs, later, he is seeming to get his life together. Only by the grace of God has he (and I) made it thus far. I thank you for this particular post because you would not believe the vicious attacks he and I have received from so called friends and even family. People telling me it’s MY fault he’s a drug addict, that he deserves to die, that he is a worthless piece of trash…all horribly hurtful things for him and for me. YOU dear lady, provided me with a ray of sunshine and encouragement and just like the lady in Target, I’m just a mom doing the best I can with a son who has a serious problem. Thank you! ❤️

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Kendra, stopping to pray for you and your boy now. May God be Glorified in his healing. Love, Jami

  57. Jennifer Kinney on August 17, 2016 at 7:31 am

    This post spoke volumes to me. I have three children none of them alike. The tears and the sleepless nights wondering where I went wrong went police call my house yet again because my child snuck out and wrecked another car. I didn’t raise them this way and yet…… I to will never point a finger because I know all to well how that feels. Watching all the “perfect” parents judge me and my children. Thanks I don’t feel so along……

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Oh the middle of the night police call. #theworst

  58. Janet on August 17, 2016 at 7:53 am

    This is great. My hubby and I get told all the time you are to strict and when your kids grow up they will be so wild. I say you know what we are raising these kids the way we feel God is leading us to and praying they are able to make good choices when they are adults. But when they become adults their choices are then fully theirs. They aren’t perfect and never will be just as we are not. But if we don’t teach them how to make good choices and what consequences are now they will really mess up later. I know we mess up but I also know we are good loving parents who want the best for all 6 of our kiddos. Thank you for this article. Also ppl need to realize kids can be raised by the same standards and be completely different. I know because my sister and I where. Thanks again.

  59. Pamela Madrid on August 17, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I loved reading this…My son who is going to be 25 this year has autism spectrum and mood disorder. I remember all too well the fits he threw in stores or somewhere out in public..the nights he got through all the locks on our doors and got out side at night, and a police officer who loved across the street brought him back to me all the time. I had to sleep behind locked doors at night myself and lock away all sharp objects as my son would try to stab me with something sharp and said a voice told him to do it. As time went on he became better at controlling his moods. I have 3 kids, two grown and one 15 yrs old..all of them are very different..My youngest has some anger issues but takes more out on herself rather than others..I am a strict mother and people have told me that they will retaliate later, however my kids have grown to be very respectful hard working youngest gets all “A’s” in school and has set her own goals in life. People told me, even a therapist once told me, that i was not parenting my kids right…My sister told me i was a horrible mom a few times…Only my kids have never gotten in trouble excepts for a couple of outbursts from my son in school sent him to the principals office..and well i will not get into the trouble her kids have gotten into..My kids are proof that I did and am still doing a great job. My parents made tons of mistakes and I know i make mistakes often as one is perfect..but my kids will tell me what i do wrong so i can correct it..I love being a mom <3

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Me too

      • Trish on August 17, 2016 at 11:21 pm

        Currently sobbing, half a bottle of wine consummed, my kids are giving me a run for my mom eyes.. Thank you for this. Drying tears of failure as I write this.

        • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 3:03 am

          … Wish I was there

  60. Tracy Bach on August 17, 2016 at 10:24 am

    THANK YOU!!! Great article! I want to scream when I hear people say things like “That kids gonna be such a spoiled Brat because his parents never discipline him”, Or “that kid needs a good ass whopping”, or “your to easy on them” or the famous…”My child would NEVER speak to me like that, or if they did that would be the LAST time they did”, and this is only a few but there are hundreds! Both my kids were, in a sense “spoiled brats”, and yes I was the mother who was “too easy on them”, and yes my kids sometimes (more then occasionaly probably)”Spoke to me like that”…what ever that is, and guess what…they are now very well rounded, self sufficient, self supporting, respectful, trust worthy members of society that I am SOO VERY PROUD of!!!!!!!! Kids are supposed to be spoiled….to a point. I was not to easy on them….I prefer to say I nurtured them rather then raised them like a drill sergeant!! And lastly EVERY child is a some point disrespectful, and yes my kids was spanked on the butt when I deemed necessary. There job is to be a kid and to mess up….and it’s our job to guide them in the right direction. And teach them how to laugh at themselves and have a little fun along the way!! And no matter how well or not well a child is raised…..what they CHOOSE to do as an adult, legal or not should have NO bearing on their parents and how they were raised. Once adults…..that’s their conscious decisions. And that is my 2nd biggest pet peeve!!! Drugs, alcohol, breaking the law, happens to children from all walks of life and upbringing! Don’t judge. And my biggest pet peeve of all— to all the people who do, or who have no children but like to preach about ‘If that was my kids”>>>>>>Until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes….don’t pass judgement….because you have NO idea what you would actually do! Kudo’s to the author for being real and putting it out there!!! I am not a perfect parent and NO ONE else is either…own up to being human!!!

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 10:25 am


  61. Glenda on August 17, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Thanks so much. My children are grown, but my son’s teenage and young adult years were hard on all of us. then I blamed myself for a very long time. But he said that he made his own choices and it was not our fault, but mom’s take on the blame anyway. Thank you for permission to keep leaving the past in the past. Sometimes it tries to come back by again. Blessings.

  62. Becky on August 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Tears falling here too. I really needed this…especially today. I am mom to 9 children. 3 bio, 4 adopted, 2 foster. Our family and its dynamics are not typical. And a lot of days, this journey is painful, yet it’s what God has asked of my husband and me. So, we power on. Some days I want to scream, “But we’ve raised you better than this!!” Yet I know that they have to work out their own relationships with God, and as you said, they are their own entity, with a free will (much to my dismay sometimes). Thank you so much for your own vulnerability here. Thank you for offering encouragement to us moms.

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm


  63. Chris on August 17, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I vacillate – every 2 seconds – between thinking I am the parental equivalent of Hitler, burning down swaths of my children’s ability to function normally in society, and knowing that despite all the crap I put up with as a parent, I did my best and loved them well.

    “And in this society, we tend to attach our parental superiority onto our children. Furthermore, we have a tendency to point the finger when a kid messes up – and it’s all on the mom. “She really screwed that kid up…”

    I think that in the past couple of decades, society has placed too much emphasis on what parents “could” have done instead of what they “should” have done. We’re all living up to an unobtainable standard, parents and children alike. Gone are the days when children were allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Gone are the days when parents were allowed to screw up and it was just called “life.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting it all into perspective. May this go far and wide….

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you!

  64. Nichole on August 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you for this. I am currently struggling with feelings of total defeat as a parent. At this point I can only pray and stand on the promise. They are definitely their own entity, and sometimes they surprise you for better or worse. Thank you again for the reminder. I am a good mom.

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      You are indeed. ❤️

  65. Bonnie McGlumphy on August 17, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    So blessed to read this. My daughter is a foster mom. Right this minute she is dealing with a 9 year old having a complete meltdown. I needed to read this. God in your journey.

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Bless you. And prayers for your daughter. ❤️

  66. Kristen Hewitt on August 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    This piece made me cry and laugh, THANK You for sharing your journey. I’m sure that mom at Target needed you and your support, just as we all do.

    • jami_amerine on August 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm


  67. Jennifer Weedon Palazzo on August 18, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I need to hear this one.

  68. Kim on August 18, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Thank you, such a great reminder that they are there own entity and I need to accepted that. 5 adopted all from differ t circumstances all with different hurts that I can not heal and only God can. Many days I fell like a failure based on their decisions and actions. Thank you for the reminder that I am a Good mom. Thank you for having a heart for the mom in Target.

    • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 6:55 am


  69. Susan Marangoni on August 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

    This…yes this spoke volumes to me. A friend pisted it and I just finished a blog on WordPress after months of being away. I had those stares and I am a good mom of both birth and adopted kids. I’ve had the police and taken it personal that it was a flaw in my parenting when actually it is an illness that never goes away but he seems so normal when looking ar him. Thank you for posting. It touched me deeply.

  70. Kimberly Clark on August 18, 2016 at 10:15 am

    My kids are jerks, too. You’re welcome, America. (You should have seen them BEFORE they were mine!)

    • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 10:18 am
  71. Karen Costner on August 18, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I can and do relate to a lot of the same feelings as a mom….I also know that I love my children unconditionally (regardless of the right or wrongs they do).. I tried and continue to try and be a good and supportive mom. I have made my mistakes in the past and will probably make more in the future just as they will as individuals and as parents. I pray to God daily for guidance and assistance in this and in keeping them in his hands. Thank you for sharing and thanks for some eye openings words of wisdom. I will lift you and all mothers in prayer daily.

    • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 10:27 am


  72. Shari W on August 18, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Thank you…. as nose diving home school mom who had cried a lot this week. Thank you. We are testing at the library and I read this and sort of snorted and choked obnoxiously several times while trying to be quiet. I appreciate you. I am going to read it again.

    • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm


  73. Susan on August 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I love your honesty and the truth that is here. No parent should judge another–it is the hardest job in the world. I have 4 children. The oldest is an addict and had behavioral issues growing up. I have another son who is an amazingly talented dancer–it even took him to Switzerland his senior year of high school on a full scholarship to train there. But I often tell people that I am not responsible for the choices my oldest son has made–I did my best to teach and raise him to be responsible and make wise choices that would put him on a path of happiness instead of destruction and misery. But, I also say, I cannot take credit for the success of my other children. They are all their own person, with unique ways of interacting with the world, and I was just blessed to accompany them on this journey. I love them, I pray for and with them, I have tried to be the kind of person I hope they can become (and, like all parents can exceed–since we all want our children to be better than we are), and I walk on their journey as a mentor, if they let me. The journey is long, and never-ending, but it is a beautiful journey.

  74. June on August 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    When I studied sociology years ago at a college at Rutgers Univ., there were enough case studies to scare me about child rearing for this lifetime. I adopted the mantra’ cats not kid’s. But life takes over and birth control is not always controlled. When I had my own son, got mono but triumphantly nursed the baby as he sucked my brains out. as well as my energy I soldiered through it (I blame my debilitation on the doctor whose wife was head of some breastfeeding cult he never suggested that I stopped!) The piece de resistance was that I had no support as my parents were deceased, and my husbands family was useless. Over the years, the twists and turns that happened with my son left me feeling mentally weak. Bad teachers…weird mothers and on and on. I just wanted to tell you that parenting is exhausting and not always rewarding. But when it is….drink it up. Hang in there. It gets more interesting over time. Thank you for the beauty of your honesty.

  75. Shannon on August 18, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Truer words may never have been spoken. The best part was the ode to a military school. And my shock when I recognized a photo of a place I have stood with my own son as a photo op after drill and/or inspection. A little validation that perhaps I’m doing ok. Thank you.

    • jami_amerine on August 18, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      You’re doing great!

  76. Brenda Pomorin on August 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    This sounds exactly like my life…. Thank you for sharing

  77. Bree on August 19, 2016 at 5:08 am

    I loved this and it brought a good cry that I didn’t even realize I needed! Thanks so much for sharing!

  78. Tara on August 19, 2016 at 6:45 am

    This was the most refreshing and encouraging blog that I have read in a long time. From a momma who might need therapy for just survivng summer with my kids, Thank you.

    • jami_amerine on August 19, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thank you friend!

  79. Kindra on August 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

    God bless you for having the ovaries to share this post. You saved me today from feeling like a total failure.

    • jami_amerine on August 19, 2016 at 10:48 am


  80. Heather Chandler on August 19, 2016 at 11:48 am

    OH how I needed to read this today. I too have taken in a child (he’s 19) to “help” raise. I literally spent the morning in prayer, praying that God give me the ability to be patient, loving and yet strong and determined to “give this boy a raising”. THANK YOU for saying what every mom feels at some point. The Lord always sends someone our way to pick us back up and today, you are my someone. May you continue to be blessed (and sane) 🙂

    • jami_amerine on August 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

      God bless you and you bonus manbaby! May he grow in wisdom and stature and love for our God!

  81. Sherry on August 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Holy cow, it this accurate. We do our best and they can still mess up. Or not live up to their potential (or what we seem to think is their potential). They choose their own lives, sometimes in spite of the values we raised them with. We compare them to our friends’ seemingly perfect children and sigh. We worry for their futures. We drink and cry and worry when they mess up again. And yet we love them more than life itself.

  82. Julie on August 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I get the overall message of this post & couldn’t agree more. (I really relate to & enjoy the vast majority of your posts, although I just started following your blog recently.) The only thing that brought me up short was when you said, “One of them was a bridesmaid or a best man? I don’t know – at a same-sex wedding the other day. Another one wears Bernie Sanders t-shirts and thinks “Bernie still has a shot…” Still, another has what appears to be “arrogant” political views and just bought a bumper sticker that says “you can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.” And none of these are the exact standards my husband and I embraced or imposed on them.

    Maybe (hopefully) I’m misinterpreting this somehow, but it seems to me that you’re saying standing up for a friend at a same-sex wedding is “not a standard you or your husband embrace”. Huh? Would you mind clarifying your comment? I really enjoy your blog, but I’m afraid I don’t want to continue reading if that is truly your opinion.

    • jami_amerine on August 19, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Really, all I was saying is that they are forming their own views outside my wing span. All three of them have taken on opinions that differ from my husband and I, just like my husband and I have opinions we disagree about. I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with any three. Just observing that they are developing relationships and world views that are their own. I respect all the of the adult babies, and I am glad (not proud because they are their own entity) that they are compassionate and strong in their convictions. The contrasts weren’t meant to be judgmental or political, I was just trying to show their individuality. For more on how I see the distractibility of such issues you can read the post after this one, Your Sister in Christ, A. Butthead. ❤️ J

      • jami_amerine on August 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

        That’s the name of the post… That looked like I signed it like that

  83. Michelle on August 20, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Yes!! And THANK YOU!! What Mother ever dreams she will get a call at 2 in the morning and the caller ID reads County Jail!! Been through that nightmare and have dealt with much grief, soul searching, and second guessing. In the end I came to realize – God is good, my son is His, and my prayer has always been – “Lord, your will and your way, whatever it takes to bring my children to you”! Newsflash – God uses Jail! He is still a Good God and in control! I’ve had to LET GO and LET GOD!! This post encouraged me!!

    • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 7:00 am


  84. Zoe on August 20, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for this, from a mother who never expected to be in court, to get calls from the cops, to somehow become comfortable with the intake process at various psych hospitals (pro-tip: eat before you go, it always takes hours and hours and that is not a time to be shaky hungry).

    I’d give up my life in a heartbeat if it would “fix” him. But nothing will, and I did everything I could, and I am a good mother.

    • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Yes, you are.

  85. Angie on August 20, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    God How I LOVE a mom that is REAL….. Tears streaming down my face. I love this so much…….

    • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm


  86. Erika on August 20, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    As the tears stream down my face I have to tell you I am that mom who has had the child with the melt down in a store. The death looks go thru me line a knife from those around who don’t understand that my precious foster child has been traumatized has ADHD and Autism. He doesn’t have social skills and doesn’t transition well. Thank you for helping that mom as I hope that one day not if but when it happens to me again someone as special and understanding as you will offer to help. God Bless.

    • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Bless you Erica. You are loved, prayed for and understood. You are an amazing mom. I love you. I will pray for you. Ian thankful for all you do to serve this boy. In Christ, Jami

  87. Karen on August 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Very refreshing and humorous! Our kids have their own minds, thoughts and behaviors which we get to influence but not control. We think we’re teaching them, but really, I think we’re the ones learning a TON! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • jami_amerine on August 20, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Karen!

  88. Lolli on August 21, 2016 at 2:02 am

    THANK YOU!!!!

    • jami_amerine on August 21, 2016 at 6:38 am


  89. Christine Carter on August 21, 2016 at 8:26 am

    If I could find the time, I would sit with a glass (or three) of wine and read every SINGLE post you have EVER written on this blog and anywhere else…. Oh that would be such a GIFT.

    Love love love LOVE this. (Like I love everything you write.)

    • jami_amerine on August 21, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Thank you Christine… As always, I am humbled you enjoy it – love your blog and style.

  90. Chelsey on August 22, 2016 at 12:33 am

    I am not a mom, but this was amazing. I am an auntie to an extremely strong-willed 2-year-old. There are times when the fits thrown at the store will ruin the whole day, but her mama is doing her best and when I have an opportunity to step in and help, I do my best. The looks sometimes received in the store as this child is negotiating why she wants a particular pair of shoes over another (usually wanting the more expensive shoes and that’s why she negotiates) or why she wants a new tu-tu or a new dress astound me. Then there are those people who have whispered as they passed by, “Just watch. She’s gonna change the world one day. It will all be worth it.” And they make each day, each fit a little more worth it. Yes, she is her own person and she already makes her own rules, but the adults in her life are working to influence her so she uses her powers for good instead of for evil. If she’s gonna change the world, I would rather have her change it for the better.

  91. My Kid is a Jerk – But I am a Good Mom on August 23, 2016 at 7:01 am

    […] post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Follow jami at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  92. […] post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Follow jami at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  93. Tara on August 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

    THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES FOR WRITING THIS!!!! I am crying tears of joy because someone else really “gets it”!! I read a blog recently in which the mom took full credit for her children’s good behavior, I was eye rolling the entire time! I just keep thinking, “she got lucky!” Yes you can teach kids how to behave, how to treat others, how to know right from wrong, but ultimately it is up to the child to make their own choices. Each person has different struggles and what comes easy to one may not come easy to another. My oldest taught himself to read at age 3, I got congratulated, I usually replied, “He taught himself, I didn’t do it!” Just like I cannot take credit for his academic gifts I cannot be blamed for the things he struggles with. Children are unique and I can only do my best for mine, it just might not turn out the same as is does for another parent of another child.

    • jami_amerine on August 23, 2016 at 11:08 am


  94. Cristina on August 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I just had the worst day homeschooling my oldest and now I’m trying not to ugly cry and scare all the children after reading this. Thank you for writing this and sharing. It’s obviously touched a lot of moms and it was exactly what I needed to hear today.

    • jami_amerine on August 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Bless you.

  95. Jean on September 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love this!! So much truth. I thought maybe it was just me, my husband and I have four kids and sometimes all I can do is shake my head and wonder lol! and that’s awesome that you helped the woman in Target.

  96. Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard on September 5, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Yup. All this! I just wrote a post a few days ago about my child having an epic meltdown at Toys R Us when she was three and how it was so bad, I had an epiphany. This is not a reflection of my parenting. This is her not being able to cope. And I have a choice, help her learn to cope the best she can for who she is or get angry and embarrassed by her behavior. I chose compassion and to stand my ground over the not buying you a Christmas gift in September! We can’t parent them perfectly, we can just point them to Him. Heck, He is the perfect parent and look how messed up we all are. Not sure how we think we’re supposed to be perfect or raise perfect kids. I’m shooting to aim my child to Heaven, not Harvard and make sure she knows where true love and grace lie. The rest will be on her shoulders soon enough. And I have to do my best to accept responsibility for my own garbage while not giving her too much baggage and let her work out her own salvation with fear and trembling as I do my own. Great post!

    • jami_amerine on September 6, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Thank you! Love your blog name… AMEN!

  97. Martha on September 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you so very much.

    • jami_amerine on September 6, 2016 at 6:47 pm


  98. Mom in reality on September 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Boy did I need this reminder today. Thank you.

  99. […] Source: My Kid is a Jerk – But I am a Good Mom […]

  100. Janelle Thietje-Dunn on September 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Oh my, thank you. I’m “that mom” – the one with the 6 seemingly feral children. The ones who defy “taming”. The ones with more energy than God gave the Energizer Bunny. The ones who in some combination or other have Tourettes, ADHD, a processing disorder, chronic rigid pelvic floor, dislexia, genius-level IQ, average art ability, unbelievable art ability, musical ability that is so advanced it is truly strange, etc. They are the ones who do literally climb the walls of the house and every tree known to man. The ones who are very direct and are close talkers. The ones who, one-on-one wow adults with their insight, heart, and creativity, but in a group, we’re rarely invited back a second time. Thank you for pointing out – I’m doing my best, but they are who God wired them to be and, as I’ve said 4598797856893 times in the last 18 years I didn’t get a single “push-button” child.

    • jami_amerine on September 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Love you!!!!

  101. Hali on September 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I needed this today because sometimes I am a great mom and my kid is a jerk, and sometimes I’m a horrible mom and my kid is great, and sometimes those two juxtapositions happen within 15 minutes. Thank you. It gave me a much needed cry.

  102. Gina on October 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I needed this today. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with all of us. XO

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  105. Deborah on January 10, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Can’t even…
    Thank you…
    Every single word…thank you…

  106. […] nights later, the lady baby spent the night and the next morning at breakfast she said, “Geez Sophie, you punched me in the throat like 8 times in your sleep last night.”  Without looking up from […]

  107. […] recently received an email in response to my viral post “My Kid is a Jerk, but I am a Good Mom…” The reader informed me that she was unfollowing me because of this […]

  108. Your Kid Is a Jerk. (But You Are a Good Mom) on August 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

    […] post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Follow jami at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  109. […] I could go on and on, but the point is, we battled all these behaviors (and worse!) for years while I beat myself up (truthfully, I still do) about it. If I was a good mom, why did my kid act like such a jerk? […]

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