Dear child,

You are the single most important thing to me in the world. Words cannot convey the depth of the love that I have for you, nor the lengths I would go to in order to protect you from harm.

I am always here for you with an open mind and a listening ear. I will always support your dreams and encourage you to achieve them. I will always help you in any way I am able.

But what you may not know is this: I have no intention of being your friend.

I am your mother.

Right now, I am responsible for every aspect of your well-being. It will not be this way forever, but presently, I am responsible for keeping you safe. I am responsible for making sure you are fed, housed, clothed, and educated. I am responsible for cleaning up your messes—both literally and figuratively.

I am responsible for teaching you to think critically, hope optimistically, and love whole-heartedly.

I am responsible for disciplining you when you misbehave.

I am responsible for teaching you to share, to listen, to apologize, to forgive, to respect, to earn respect.

I am responsible for teaching you to be unabashedly yourself.

Ultimately, I am responsible for raising a productive, considerate, conscientious, and caring member of society.

I take this responsibility very seriously.

I don’t care if this means I am not as fun as other moms.

I don’t care if this means you roll your eyes, stomp your feet, or slam the door in my face.

I don’t care if this means you don’t like me at times.

Because I love you, all of the time.

And I will not sacrifice your health, safety, or well-being so you will think I’m “cool”.

I am not your friend.

I am your mother.

Someday, you will grow up and be responsible for making your own decisions. And you will have to accept the consequences of these decisions.

It will not be my place to tell you that you can’t do something. It will not be my place to say “No.”

Someday, I will have to be content with the knowledge that I did my very best, and the hope that what I have taught you will suffice and serve you well.

Someday, I will happily take a backseat to the family you have chosen and created for yourself. This is the natural order of things, and one that proves to me that I have done my job.

Someday . . . 

I hope you will confide in me as a friend does.

I hope we will do things together that friends do.

I hope you will consider me a friend.

But dear child,

Right now, I am not your friend.

I am your mother.

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I'm not your friend, I'm your mother. I don’t care if this means I am not as fun as other moms.

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a writer and soon-to-be Mom of two under two based in Washington, DC. When she's not waddling around after her one-year-old, she's binge-watching episodes of The Crown, freelancing, or "playing Army" in her other uniform that doesn't include leggings and a drool-covered hoodie (always a gamble whose drool it is). Find more from her on her Facebook page, ShowerArguments.