I’m not sure when it happened exactly . . . the day I stopped being afraid I wasn’t good enough to raise you.

And maybe it wasn’t even one moment, but a series of moments that stacked on top of each other slowly over time, eventually amassing enough weight to break through my wall of fear.

Whenever it was, I remember the difference between now and then.

I was so prepared. I read the books. I took the classes. I knew that on day one of life, a newborn’s stomach is about the size of a cherry.

I left nothing to chance.

RELATED: God Knew I Wouldn’t Be Perfect, But He Made Me Their Mother Anyway

But somewhere between the nesting and excitement, the baby showers and the folding of teeny tiny socks, I had a realization that scared me to death:

I knew how to care for a newborn, but I had no idea how to raise a childand there’s a big difference.

I mean, I knew how to give a newborn a bath, and I’d read about respectful parenting, but there was a pressure I felt in being someone’s primary role model that I didn’t expect.

How was I supposed to raise you to be the best person you could be when I had so many flaws myself? How could someone as messy as me teach you everything you need to know about life? Did I really want you to end up just like me?

RELATED: To the Mom Chasing Perfection, Be Kind To Yourself

I chased that perfection for what felt like a really long time. Maybe if I could just be together enoughgood enoughyou wouldn’t notice all my shortcomings, and you’d become the person you were meant to be.

A couple years in, I was tiredso tiredof the pressure and the image.

I remember the day I let it drop. The day I embraced my weakness and stopped trying to brush past it hoping no one, especially you, would notice.

I realized that apologizing to you when I’m wrong teaches a greater lesson than acting like I don’t make mistakes.

I learned that brokenness can be as good a teacher as perfectionmaybe even more so.

RELATED: I Can’t Save You, But I Will Point You To the One Who Can

I realized that flawless people don’t exist, and that despite anyone’s best efforts, it’s impossible to raise a flawless child in a fallen world.

But maybe most importantly of all, I learned that you’re my charge, my responsibility to guide and love and shape . . . but you’re not mine.

And as hard as that initially was to wrap my mind around, it was also freeing.

I love you more than you know, sweet one. And I will continue to read all the books and do the best I possibly can as your mama.

But I’m not perfect. I’m going to make mistakes in how I raise you, in what I model for you.

And it doesn’t scare me anymore because I know there is grace enough to cover my mistakes.

I might not be good enough. But there’s One who is, and you’re His anyway.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Kendra Barnes

Kendra is co-founder of Daylight to Dark, a lifestyle blog. She's a fun-loving wife and momma to a spirited, blue-eyed girl and a particularly jolly baby boy. She's an expert at holding down the fort, abandoning her coffee, and interjecting just the right amount of snark into any conversation. Through her love of writing, she aspires to share how she turns regular days into memories.