Mama Bear – Just LISTEN!


My daughter was in tears last night at bed time. Her tears were because a friend hurt her feelings. A few careless and hurtful words flippantly said at recess broke her little heart and rocked her world. Kids can be mean, and yes, hurt feelings are a part of growing up. But my mommy heart still ached for her. My gut reaction wasn’t to just listen, but to instead jump in and “fix it”. I was tempted to start listing off all of the amazing friends she has. I wanted to tell her that she shouldn’t let one mean girl upset her when she has so many other awesome friends in her life. I wanted to highlight all of her amazing qualities and interests and reassure her that “so and so’s” opinion didn’t matter.

The thing I quickly realized though was that “so and so’s” opinion DID matter. When I chose to listen, I saw quickly that it mattered to my daughter. The words were hurtful and I couldn’t solve it for her. So….I just sat, created a safe space for her to talk and listened.

Just listening is HARD! I felt helpless. Every tear, every disappointment, and every bit of grief our kids go through hits us mama bears right in the gut. But the lesson I learned from my daughter last night, was that she didn’t need me to solve this for her. She needed me to be there. She needed to be heard and for me to LISTEN! 

Fixing things for our kids is part of the job. But as moms we also need to trust our instincts, hear what our kids have to say and teach kindness. I know this is certainly not the last time a friend will upset her, but my hope is that the next time I remember to just LISTEN! 

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Kristen Fazzio
Kristen is a mama to three blue eyed girls, Bryn (10), Maya (6) & Tessa (5) and has called Columbus home since 2004. She was born in Pennsylvania, but her family moved a lot when she was growing up. Her family has been in Ohio since 1999 which is the same year Kristen became a Bobcat at Ohio University. In her 4 years at OU, Kristen met some of her very best friends, learned to stumble with grace down brick streets, rowed on the OU Women’s Crew team, joined a sorority, fell in love with her now husband Justin AND earned a degree! A “big girl” job in Retail Real Estate at LBrands brought Kristen to Columbus, and if she’s being honest so did the guy. They married in 2007 and started a family in 2012. When baby #2 arrived in 2016, Kristen became a stay-at-home mom and 18 months later, baby #3 arrived! It’s the hardest and best “job” she has ever had! In her spare time, Kristen enjoys exploring Columbus, reading, running, Crossfit, decorating, documenting the days through pictures, hiking, yoga, organizing and labeling things, attempting to be crafty, bargain shopping, DIY projects and spending time outdoors. Her favorite things in life are the beach, her girlfriends, travel, wine county, Mexican food, bike rides, sunsets, red wine, french fries, ice cream and her of course family!