I never thought I’d be the type of mom who has the time to write lengthy letters and talk about what she’s going through, but I’m trying to prove a point to myself.
I’m on my own right now, sipping on my morning coffee, reminiscing over everything we’ve been through together, and thinking “I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone how I feel.”
I want to change that. I know this is going to sound odd, but I don’t know whether I ever worded how much I love you.
I think you’re aware of that because of everything I do for you and everything we do together – from snuggling before bedtime and hugging each other every time we say goodbye, to finishing each other’s sentences and making each other sandwiches.
But I don’t think that’s enough. I don’t think you should grow up without hearing your mother say “I love you.” I don’t think you should go through life speculating whether saying “I love you” means you’re weak.
I love you, my child. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I love you more than I’ve ever thought I’d be capable of loving.
I know I’m not perfect, but I hope you never forget how hard I try.
I constantly overthink and overanalyze everything I do because I’m terrified of making mistakes, disappointing Daddy, and letting you down. I repeatedly beat myself over every moment of weakness because I’m mortified of failing the one good thing I’ve ever done.
I don’t think you’re aware of that because you’re little, but I spend my nights going over everything I’ve done that day. I put you to sleep, make myself a cup of tea, and beat myself over everything I’ve done wrong.
I forgot to pack your diapers when getting you ready to go to Grandma’s. I forgot to tell Daddy he needed to pick you up from Grandma’s after work. I forgot to do the laundry before heading out which means none of us will have clean clothes for tomorrow.
I’m a hot mess, aren’t I? I know I’m not perfect, but I try my hardest.
I tried my hardest even when I made you chicken nuggets for dinner for seven nights straight. I remember planning on being the best, most put-together, prepared, ready-for-everything mom when I found out I was pregnant.
I remember talking down on women who didn’t prepare homemade baby food. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about being a mother, but I was wrong.
I love you more than words can say, my child. But I have never been more tired than I am right now. I have never been more overworked, overwhelmed, and overstimulated. I know you deserve better than chicken nuggets and I beat myself over that every time it happens.
I want to make blueberry muffins, pancakes with butter and syrup, and scrambled eggs, but I don’t have the strength to cook when I come home from work. I want to get my hands on those cute Bento boxes I see on Instagram and pack a bunch of snacks for you to munch on, but I don’t have the time.
I know you deserve more. You deserve better. You deserve the world.
I tried my best even when I forgot to hug you goodbye because I was running late for work. I’m not good at making myself feel better, am I? I’m torturing myself with every mistake I’ve ever made and I’m starting to think you’ll never know how hard I tried because I never seem to succeed.
I love that we have the little rituals we do before I go to work and you go to Grandma’s.
You get on your tippy toes and you stretch your arms up, signalling you want me to pick you up. You place your hands on my face and you touch my nose with your nose. “Nose kisses!” you exclaim repeatedly. “Nose kisses!” I say back as I hug you, hold you tightly, and put you back down on the floor.
I don’t think you understand how much I cherish those moments. And I know I forgot to hug you goodbye the other day when I was running late for work. But I need you to know I spent the rest of the day thinking about that, beating myself up over that, and hoping you’d let me make it up to you.
I tried to be the perfect mom even when I slipped and said a bad word, and you repeated the bad word back to me. I didn’t even know you were listening to me. I was freaking out because I couldn’t keep up with the housework and I was listing things I needed to do out loud.
I uttered a bad word and turned to you to check whether you heard me. And, of course, you repeated the entire thing back to me and laughed. I laughed, too, because I didn’t think you would repeat it to your Daddy or your daycare teachers. I remembered what happened when I was getting ready for bed, though.
I felt bad because I didn’t want to be that mom. I didn’t want to be the mom who forgets to pack her children’s diapers. I didn’t want to be the mom who prepares food from the frozen section of the supermarket.
I didn’t want to be the mom who’s a bad role model to her children. I wanted to be the perfect mom, the one who gets everything right from the get-go, the one who finishes everything on time and keeps everything under control.
And, even though I’m not perfect, I hope you will never forget how hard I try. I hope you can forgive me for everything I don’t get right, every time I don’t show up on time, and every moment I miss because I’m busy. I hope you can remember the one thing that matters the most: I love you with everything I have.
Love, forever and always, Mom.