Today, my darling, I could have done better. I’m glad you don’t know how much more I could have done today with you and for you.

So tomorrow, I’ll try harder. 

Today, it just didn’t go as planned. We should have read a few books, and we definitely should have gone on a car ride. We should have seen Grandma at some point, and we should have gone on a long walk in the stroller. But Mommy was too tired to read and drive, not in the mood to entertain Grandma, and thought it was too cold to go on a walk. We stayed inside and looked at each other for long, long hours. You didn’t seem to mind. 

But I promise that tomorrow, I’ll try harder. 

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I had to put you down for just a minute to get the laundry switched. Then there was the time I left you in your crib after your nap for an extra minute to finish up changing my clothes while you were crying and crying. Let’s not forget the time between naps when we watched TV because Mommy was out of ideas. I probably shouldn’t have had that half a glass of wine after dinner to take the edge off. I hope you don’t remember me saying be quiet out loud when you were clamoring for your next feeding session. 

My dear, I promise, I’ll try harder tomorrow. 

And what about all the things I was supposed to do and not supposed to do with you. Google has lots to say about how I’m supposed to love you correctly. We weren’t supposed to sleep together on the couch, and I should have engineered a way for you to sleep longer. We played too much around lunchtime so you got overtired quickly. You were distracted by the mirror behind me when you ate so you probably didn’t eat enough. 

So tomorrow, when we get a chance to do it over, I’ll try harder. 

I’ll try to predict your unpredictable schedule. I’ll be more perceptive, I’ll read the cues better and not leave the house right when you’re ready for a nap. I’ll bring an extra outfit to change you into when you blow out your diaper at an inconvenient time. I’ll try not to use the word “inconvenient” when it comes to you too. I’ll talk to Daddy more, tell him about our day, and connect with him more so we can start to learn what a family looks like rather than what survival looks like. I’ll try not to use the word “survival” when it comes to you too.

I’m not surviving you, after allwe’re learning together.

So I’ll try to learn more tomorrow. I promise. 

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I can try harder to unlearn what everyone advises me to do when it comes to sleeping, eating, and scheduling because in the end, it’s you and me, and we are figuring out this tiring season together. They say it’s OK to take a break from you. My dear, I will NEVER need a break from you. The break I get is when you smile at me from ear to ear. When you finally do sleep in your crib, when you do eat enough to look content and dreamy, when you giggle at the toys I dangle in front of you, when you nuzzle into my cheek with your perfect head.

It’s these moments in the day when I know I’ve tried hard enough to make it through, that I haven’t had to try that hard after all to love you as completely as I do.

My baby, do you hear me when I pray for us to keep trying? 

For the rest of my life, I’ll try harder tomorrow.

You deserve whatever ounce I have left. That was the promise I made the day you were bornto try harder, to do better by you. If not today, then I promise tomorrow. 

And when tomorrow comes, you’ll be there when before you weren’t. You are my new and best world—today, tomorrow, and all the tomorrows ahead. For that, we try on, together. 

Abby Kuhlmann

Abby Kuhlmann is a high school educator devoted to her daughter Kate and husband Ethan. They live in Denver and spend time reading out loud, playing in water, and walking around the Rocky Mountains.