“Mama, you were given these children. You—no one else. You were given these children because you are who they need. You have the soul to love them even on their hard days. You have the motivation and love to give to these children everything they need. You have the heart to wake up every morning and do it all over again, even when you are exhausted. You have the smile that they crave and the touch to make everything okay. You are their sunshine and their comfort. You are theirs, and they are yours, Mama. On the days you are questioning yourself, remember this…you’ve got this.” ~ Unknown
I’m sorry that I’ll never be the perfect mother.
I know that I am the mother that you need, even if I wish I was better on most days. But I suppose it’s just that I look at your shining faces, and I think that you deserve nothing but the best—and sometimes, I don’t feel like that.
There is never a day that I don’t love you and kiss the earth with grace, because I am so thankful that I get to be your mama—but I am far from perfect.
I’m sorry that you weren’t meant to grow up in a “traditional family” with both birth parents living at home with you. I suppose this is what I am the most apologetic for—not because I wish things were different, but because we are looked at as atypical just because our family is a little smaller than most.
I suppose maybe it could have made life easier in some ways, if this had been the case—but I also know deep in my heart that this is the path we’re all meant to take. I needed this in order to become the mother you needed, and even if our path is a bit more twisted than most, it doesn’t mean that it won’t still end up being a beautiful journey.
I love you both so much that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for either of you.
But I am far from perfect, and sometimes I am just so tired. Not from being your mother and loving you, but from everything else that takes me away from those simple tasks. I’m sorry when I have to rush you through your morning, not letting you stomp in puddles as much, because I can’t be late for work. And I’m sorry for the times when I’ve had to unwrap your little arms from my neck as I tuck you in, because that’s when I begin my second—or maybe it’s my third—job. I’ve lost track.
I’m sorry that I can’t be like the other mothers who seem to have it so together.
I have to work hard for what we want—and while I would love nothing more than to curl up next to you in bed while you whisper your secrets to me, I also know that you need me to work for us. And so, I do.
I’m sorry for those times when I get grumpy at the end of the day—when I am trying to make dinner, and you’re asking to show me something for the hundredth time, and the phone is ringing, and the cat is throwing up something in the kitchen, and your sister is yelling from the living room, and it’s all I can do to simply stop and remember to breathe.
It’s all I can do to remind myself that days like this won’t last forever, but there will be a time when I’ll wish that they could.
I see the mother that you all deserve—one whose lipstick smile stretches across her face at all hours and whose hair is always perfectly coiffed. Surely, a mother like that would never have to make sure her children were wearing underwear before they went to school. She must never need a wet a cloth to wipe off last night’s hot fudge from her children’s faces before they dash out the door.
But then, I remember that you don’t need someone to show you what perfection looks like. What you really need to learn is how extremely amazing realness can be.
I’m messy-hearted and quiet—and sometimes, I feel like I’ve ruined you forever, and I am so sorry for that.
You’ll never see life through the limited views of conventionality. Whether it’s swinging your hips in the kitchen with me to reggaeton as I make rice and beans, or getting dressed in the “Black Lives Matter” police officer costume that you insisted on for Halloween—I’ve realized that “normal” is simply not something that’s meant for either of you.
You’ve already got soul—and, my darlings, there ain’t nothing else that’s ever looked so good on a woman.
And so, I’m sorry that I pray in bed before I get up, and that I shake my booty dancing around the kitchen before I go to bed. I’m sorry that I chase you around the house, and that sometimes, I like to lie in your lap so you can cuddle me.
I’m sorry if I sometimes ask you to be more mature or expect more of you than I should—but perhaps, most of all, I’m sorry for wasting time yelling about insignificant things like tooth brushing and clean rooms, when I could be spending more time laughing with you and just loving you.
I know that I am far from perfect—and in my mind, you deserve someone who never serves cereal for dinner or lets you eat ice cream out of the container—but I also know that there is no one else who could love you more than I do.
Please know that I am truly sorry for not being perfect—but I’ll never be sorry for simply doing the best that I can.
At the end of the day, even if you fall asleep with leaves still stuck to your chubby, little bare feet—if you have a smile on your face and love in your heart, then I know the day was just about as good as it gets.
And isn’t that what parenting is all about?
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina