To my boys,
Some days I think I’ve got this parenting thing nailed. Everybody is happy, everyone is fed, everyone is in good spirits. It’s a pleasure to be living in those very moments. The ones that make your heart sing, even though they’re just very ordinary.
And yet, other days, most days, as I crawl into bed I feel as though I am failing. That I’m not always being the mum I want to be.
I want to be the best, and I know that some days I nail it. But if we’re being honest, some days I don’t.
I shout when I should cuddle. My frustrations spilling out of my mouth to your sensitive ears as I cringe hearing myself.
I lose patience when I should read the situation better. That it’s not about the yellow cup but more about you being tired. Yet I’m so tired myself I miss it.
I listen with half an ear to your stories, being caught out when you question me. Yet have the nerve to pull you up on your listening to me. How can I expect that when I don’t model it?
A million little things that I run through my mind that I could have, should have, would have done better.
I beat myself with the guilt stick and vow each night to try harder, to be better, to do differently.
Even though I focus on those bad points. The guilt. The times I feel like a failure. I know that I shouldn’t.
That every night as I put you to bed, arms wrapped around my neck and millions of kisses given, extra stories read and hundreds of giggles. The whispered I love yous and will you stay with me. The secrets about the day spilled, a “mummy can I tell you something” followed by the most important piece of news in your brain. The cuddles to sleep, back to sleep and when you wake up. Chats about our days and what we have planned.
Night after night.
Day after day.
You all get a little bigger. A little more challenging. You grow up before my very eyes.
And I look at the people you are becoming and I am so very, very proud of you.
Of your kindness.
Of your determination.
Of your independence.
Of your imagination.
Of your love.
Of your compassion.
Of your sense of humour.
Of your empathy.
Of all of the little pieces that make up each and every one of you.
And I realise that although some days I feel as though I am failing you. I am doing myself a disservice. Because as you continue to grow, to thrive, to excel under our parenting.
I know I must be doing something right.
I love you all to the moon and back.
And always will.