I am writing these words with tears streaming down my face. I am not sad, but I am worried. I am worried about whether I am wasting my time on things that aren’t nearly as dear to my heart as you are, my precious child. I am worried about whether I am focusing on things that aren’t worth focusing on.
“I love you more than words can say,” I whisper under my breath while I am watching you nod off.
I tuck you under your blanket, smooch your chubby cheeks once more, and walk back to our bedroom. I throw a glance at Daddy snoring the night away, unaware of the emotional turmoil taking place on the other pillow.
I love my life. I love waking up to the sound of your giggles. I love making breakfast for Daddy and you, driving you to school, and chugging one too many Starbucks lattes on my way to work.
I love working, too, but I don’t love the fact that my work prevents me from celebrating every little milestone, every victory, and every chance you’re going through as you’re growing up.
I love keeping our home neat, clean, and sorted out, but I don’t love the fact that I don’t get to spend that time with you. I don’t love the fact that I don’t get to watch your favorite TV show with you, snuggle under the blanket before bed, and share little secrets before bedtime.
I love you, but I don’t love the fact that I don’t announce that as often as I should. I guess I think I don’t need to say that because I am your mother, surely you know that I love you. I don’t want to smother you with my love. I – I don’t know.
Did I give you enough love today? I can’t help but overthink every word I exchanged with you over the course of the day. I can’t help but become overridden by guilt because I allowed another day to go by without channeling all my effort, affection, and attention onto you.
I was the one that was chosen to create you, nurture you, and teach you everything you need to know. I was picked out of the bunch to watch you grow, evolve, and become the perfect little person you are today. I was placed on this Earth to be your mother, there’s no question about that.
I know you don’t understand what I am talking about, but one day you will. One day you will be fortunate enough to have your own family and your own children. When that day comes, you will understand everything I am talking about. One day you will understand why I am wondering whether I was a good mother today.
I rushed through the morning because I was running late for work. I was screaming at Daddy because he forgot to wake me up and you hopped onto our bed, giggled, and whispered “Inside voices, Mommy.” I giggled, too, but I wasn’t there.
I made breakfast for everyone, poured myself a cup of coffee, prepared your outfit for the day, brushed your teeth and clean your little face, made you presentable, and started rushing you out the door.
I remember now that you were trying to tell me a story about something that happened while you were sleeping, but I didn’t even listen. I caught a glimpse of your face staring at me in the rearview mirror while I was dropping you off, and my heart broke.
I thought you looked like you were going to break down at any moment. I swallowed my tears and uttered, “Goodbye, baby. See you after school!”
I dropped you off at the gate, watched you walk away, and drove off. I spent the rest of the day replaying the morning, recalling your little face in the rearview mirror, and wondering why I felt guilty.
I tried to figure out whether we forgot to do your homework the night before or prepare you for a test. I tried to remember whether I needed to sign a permission slip or send something to your teacher.
I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me, but I knew there was something – until it dawned on me. I didn’t hug you goodbye.
I hustled through the evening, cooked dinner, folded laundry, ran you a bath, and prepared you for bed. I thought about the hug a million times but I didn’t have the strength to bring anything up. I thought you’d laugh at me for even thinking you’d be upset.
I tucked you under your blanket, smooched your chubby cheeks, and gave you the biggest hug hoping you’re going to remember what happened when you wake up tomorrow morning. I walked back to our bedroom, threw a glance at Daddy snoring the night away, and wondered.
“Did I give you enough love today?”
“Did I ask you about your day?”
“Did I do my best?”
I hope I gave you enough love today. I hope I didn’t make you believe you weren’t as important as my work, my chores, and my responsibilities. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. I hope I wasn’t hard on you. I hope I hugged you, reassured you, comforted you, and told you “I love you.”
Because I do. I love everything about you. I love how patient you are when I’m bursting at the seams. I love how understanding you are when I’m running late for work and I don’t have the time to make you your favorite breakfast. I love how smart you are, too.
I hope you know you are my everything. I hope when someone asks you, “Do you know how much your Mommy loves you?” you respond with “More than anything in the world!” I know I don’t always say these words out loud that often, but I need you to know that Mommy will always love you no matter what.
I hope I loved you enough today, my dearest, and I hope I love you even more tomorrow.