When Mommy isn’t at her best

To my boys,

When I became your mommy, there were so many things I wanted to do with you, and for you. I wanted to be such an amazing mom to you based on everything I have read and what I’ve learned. I wanted to continue the family traditions I loved and discontinue some of the (few) missteps of my own parents. I knew I wasn’t a Pinterest mom, nor would I ever be a stay-at-home mom for you, but I wanted to do everything I could right. I wanted to have dinner together as a family every night where you would eat everything I put on your plate without a fight and we’d talk about the good and bad of our collective days. I wanted to focus and struggle together over homework. I wanted to laugh over puzzles and games together when you had your friends over. I wanted to have discipline mastered so I would just quietly and calmly count to 3 and you’d listen every time. I wanted to always say yes when you wanted to play catch, I wanted to take you on hikes and to volunteering sessions and carnivals and everything possible that we could do together. I wanted you to go to bed every night feeling grateful to be alive. I wanted a house of calm composure, laughter, joy, and I wanted to feel so connected with you that you’d never look to your peers for belonging!

I realize that we really aren’t nailing all of these things. Sometimes, it’s cold and I’m tired when you want to play catch. Sometimes, we screw all of these things up in one day. Sometimes we’re stressed. Sometimes we yell – when you haven’t listened the first 5 times.  Sometimes, we’re working opposite schedules and long hours and when we finally get home, we aren’t as patient and joyful as we should be. Sometimes, we’re over budget for the week/month and we made mistakes on the things we said yes to, so we’re breaking promises now, trying to negotiate without losing your trust.

There are times, maybe lots of times, where we are not our best selves.

There are times we wish we’d responded or reacted differently or done something more. There are times our energy doesn’t stand up to our planned goals as parents. But I want you to know that we’re trying and we want you do learn to be okay.

You live in a house where we come home stressed and inattentive sometimes. We are not 100% shining stars all of the time. We can be quite faulty stars much of the time. But I want you to know that, no matter what, home will always be your safe haven. Whether you are shining or really in a dark, sullen funk, it will always be your place of comfort and full acceptance.You are not growing up in a house with abuse, addiction, You are growing up in a house where we argue (sometimes) about money and making a decision about dinner. You live in a house where dinner isn’t the same time every night and pizza and Subway happen now and again. You live in a house where we may break electronics rules on long winter days so you can play hours of Playstation online with your friends (well past pediatrician’s recommendations). We want you to see that things aren’t perfect. That relationships will falter and require revisiting communication. We will bend rules but go back and reestablish them. We will fall, falter, screw up, make some rash decisions, maybe become a bit emotional….and then we get back to business again. We aren’t striving for perfection here, we are trying to maintain us.

Through it all, I want you to grow up knowing it’s okay to not always be your best self. But that when we really make mistakes with each other, we work on fixing it all together instead of pretending or ignoring our real feelings.




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