The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering. 
Benjamin Spock

The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering. Benjamin Spock


The Day after the Day After Tomorrow


I wish I could always be

the fur soft blanket,

the cool pillow, the warmest cup of chocolate

for you dear one.

Not the grimacing harpy, the nagging ogress

the shaking finger of homework and underwear not  in hamper.


But I have to see the day after

the day after tomorrow and how you’ll know

to keep the lights on

and avoid the churlish dragon of a boss

ticking away at minutes from your dollars when you oversleep.


So I take away  screens 

and 9 becomes 8 and it’s still light out

and there’s no pixie avatar friend and 

for so many many many seconds you


really don’t like me.


And I really don’t like me, but I put

my thumbs between my fingers and hold on.


Until I can hold you and send you to bed

saying I love you no matter what–


Hoping that the day after, the day after tomorrow

You’ll show me I did the right thing.


Why isn t your room clean M









 I got to meet Dr. Spock once. He was the step parent of a friend. He was very kind to me when I broke up with my boyfriend at the party my friend was having. He listened to what I was saying and offered me options and then assured me I’d choose well. I still use that model today. 




  1. Yesterday I didn’t have time to write until nearly midnight. Tonight I’m trying to catch up on reading a few other writers in this month-long commitment we’ve made. Your story of Dr. Spock was charming . . . as was your poem that traces so well how difficult it is to be a parent.

    1. Jyllian M

      I hesitate to say I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to write late, but it is nice to know that particular road isn’t one I’m walking alone! Thank you for coming by 🙂

  2. Oh, Jyllian – I so want to hug you and your small one, because we have been where you are.

    There’s never been any homework, but my son, 11 now, can tell horror stories of homeschool lessons at the kitchen table; me yelling, him crying.

    Both he and his sister, 8, can remember my rages over the chaos of our home, the punishments endured, those many many many seconds where they outright, and rightly, hated me.

    I want to say so much that might ease this conflict, so that you can like yourself, without feeling you have failed your child…

    And yet, I don’t want to offend…and so I have left this tab open for days, searching for the words to offer you a glimmer that might, for you, bring deeper peace, in case, when you read them, they had the opposite affect.

    Now, though, I have a hug for you, if you want one.

    I’m linking this comment to my non-writing blog. There, I talk extensively about a way of parenting that gives kids the ability to learn to steer their own lives. A way to be the parent and a trusted friend looked to for advice and information.

    Maybe you will find something there that lets you exhale and relax, just a little.

    Your poem is hauntingly evocative, and shows your love and the anguished moments of parenting beautifully.

    Peace and love –
    Shan Jeniah

    1. Jyllian M

      It took me a bit to reply to this–too many activities this weekend. I so appreciate your kindness. It helps to know that this is a struggle that many people face. No one wants to admit to not having the perfect family/situation but none of us do because perfection is an illusion.

      It is obvious from your writing that you have worked hard to find a good way for you and your family and that is wonderful. We might not end up exactly in the same spot, but the desire for kindness and for our children to grow up strong, independent and happy is definitely shared.

      Thank you so much for coming to visit

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