Do This 1 Thing to Minimize Resentment

Do you leave work only to come home and wait on people until you lay your head down at night? My kids are constantly asking for a glass of milk, an ice water, to look at something upstairs, help them with a project, decorate for Christmas, and to feed them. The nerve! I’m sorta kidding here but also feel like I’m CONSTANTLY picking up after everybody in my house. Of course, moms need to make sure their kids are fed, seen, and heard. I gotta say though, at one point I resented my kids for not being more independent. However, I eventually saw this as my problem and not theirs.

The Drifter

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Before I did this 1 thing, my middle daughter was drifting away from us mentally and physically. She would pick at her little brother to the point I felt it was traumatizing, stay in her room more and didn’t want to watch movies with us. She wouldn’t say I love you to us. I swear our breathing could embarrass her. Talking to her about her feelings went nowhere. I worried for her emotional wellbeing and felt hopeless.

I don’t remember exactly how I came to ask this 1 question of my daughter. Maybe I read an article or saw it in a social media post by Generation Mindful. Social Emotional Learning For Kids Via Child Led Play (genmindful.com) . It’s difficult to pin down where I read anything with so much information coming my way all day long. Either way, my takeaway from the article or post was the way you show love and the way someone needs or feels love are 2 different things.

I picked my daughter up from school one afternoon with the plan of asking her this question. I obviously gave her some time before jumping into the conversation. There’s no kid on the planet that’s ready to spill how their day went as soon as they’re picked up from school. After a few minutes went by I said, “I know we tell you we love you, but what can we do to show you that we love you? What actions by us make you feel loved?” That was it. And do you know the first thing out of this precious child’s mouth? “When you feed me”.

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A Light Came On

I promise we always have food in our house. We eat out way too much. There is the rare night we forget to provide a full-blown meal, and I’m not even gonna make the excuse we’re extremely busy. I’ll also say we spend thousands on food every month and are even trying to cut back. However, she needed me to feed her. So that’s what we did.  

From that point on me and my husband worked together to pay attention when she asked for food. My husband would mouth to me “that’s how she feels loved” or hold up a heart with his hands if I seemed bothered by her asking for a bowl of ice-cream after just sitting down to watch tv with the family. Please know he is great at grabbing food for the kids, but if she asks me, I need to be the one to show that act of love.

The Difference

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She’ll now sit on the couch with us and watch ‘Life on Our Planet’. It was so nice to look over the other night and there she was, feet crossed, hands behind her head laying out sitting with US! She says I love you almost every time she gets out of the car. Do you know how big that is? Well, it’s huge to me! She asks to do things with the family like play games.

I noticed after a while that I didn’t feel so resentful about grabbing any of the kids’ food. When I learned how she felt loved, the act of grabbing her something to eat or drink, even though she’s very capable, didn’t feel so daunting. It felt like, I love this child, and I want her to know it.

When you feel taken advantage of you can slowly become resentful. If you’re trying to wait on everyone and please everyone you can become resentful. But communication can bring to the forefront why they ask for what they do. Ask your kids what makes them feel loved. Start that conversation and you’ll learn so much from them. Heck, ask your partner as well. That’s a story for another time though. :)


Jenn Kemp, PMHNP, is a dedicated psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner with a personal and professional commitment to helping others overcome people-pleasing behaviors. Having navigated her own journey through these habits, Jenn combines clinical expertise with genuine empathy to guide her readers towards healthier, more authentic lives.

2 thoughts on “Do This 1 Thing to Minimize Resentment

  1. “When you feed me”. It’s so simple and yet something I know that I wouldn’t think of without asking. I’m going to do this today after the kids get home.

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