"Parent first. Friend second."
That is the message "The Bachelor" alumna Michelle Money, 39, wants to give other parents who might struggle with how to navigate a relationship with their teenagers, especially in the wake of divorce.
Money previously posted on her Instagram account that her daughter Brielle, 15, had suffered "severe brain trauma and a fractured skull" after a "terrible skateboarding accident" and was being treated "in the ICU on life support" at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"This is the worst experience of my life. ALWAYS MAKE THEM WEAR THE HELMET. ALWAYS. EVEN WHEN THEY PUSH BACK," Money wrote when she revealed the news on Instagram.
On Tuesday, Money posted the good news to her boyfriend Mike Weir's Instagram account that Brielle was in stable condition after surgery to relieve the swelling in her brain.
But now that her daughter is at the beginning of her road to recovery, Money said in her latest Instagram video that she is "processing a lot."
"I’m feeling mad and disappointed in myself today. I know it’s not helpful in this situation, but it’s where I’m at," she wrote in the video caption. "Raising Brielle as a single mom with 50/50 custody has made it difficult to ever want to argue with her. I only get her half of the week. I’ve made being her friend more important than being her mom.
"I regret a lot of things today. I hope this can be a strong reminder to make it your job to parent first."
In the video, Money admits through tears, "Now more than ever, our kids need parents who are responsible and who know what's best for them."
"I pick my battles with her, and I know she's a teenager, but I wish so bad that I wasn't so desperate for her to love me," she said. "I wish that I could see how important it is for her to possibly hate me until she turns 18 years old and can make her own decisions."
Money said she now feels she "should have stepped up more, should have been more proactive in getting into her phone and not letting her have Snapchat." She said she had asked Brielle to put a helmet on the day of her skateboarding accident, but that her daughter had talked her out of it. "I should have physically put it on her, because I am her mother," she said.
"I am pleading with you guys: Make it your job for your kids to hate you. Be that good of a parent, because everything that they are being consumed with is toxic. It's so toxic."
Money said she wouldn't continue to beat herself up, but she plans to change the way she parents from now on, and she hopes she can help other parents feel good about being more strict.
"Ask more questions. Get more involved," she pleaded.
"I should have put the helmet on her. Put the helmet on them, in every sense of the phrase, so they can be safe."