Dear mama (who isn’t sure if she’s getting it right),

Maybe your son is mad because of a boundary you set, maybe every single morning is a fight to get everyone out the door. Maybe your daughter has been rolling her eyes so hard you heard your mom’s voice jump out of your mouth, “careful they might get stuck like that.” It’s not really the rolling eyes that bothers you, it’s the fear of losing her heart.

The truth is you care. You care so, so, much.

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Maybe you find yourself lying awake at night thinking about your day and wondering if you got it right. Maybe you feel like you should know how to parent through every challenge, but the truth is you don’t always know. Maybe you find yourself sitting on the couch after you’ve taken away screen time and can hear them stomping around in their room. You look at the ceiling and wonder, Do they know how much I love them?

The truth is you love them. You just love them so, so, much.

Maybe you agonize over every decision like which school to send them to and what food to feed them. Maybe every trip to the grocery store feels like a moral crisis of what to buy that’s organic and what to buy that’s cheap. Maybe even the littlest decisions like gymnastics vs. dance run over and over in your mind.

The truth is you try. You try so, so, hard.

Kids don’t see all you do. They don’t always know how much you care, how much you love them, and how hard you try (and that’s OK). They’re too busy plowing through developmental milestones and testing their limits.

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But you and I, we know the truth, and my friend I’d like to just give you a hug. If they don’t know to say it, let me say it: thank you for caring about them like you do. Thank you for loving them the way you do. Thank you for trying how hard you try.

It matters and someday they’ll see it.

You’ve got this, mama.

Wonderoak by Jess Johnston

Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is a writer and mom of four kids. She is an avid coffee drinker, risk taker, and TMI sharer. She is a firm believer in keeping it real and believes our imperfections bring us together. She writes at You can follow her there, on Facebook, and on Instagram.