“You can feel like you’re failing and still BE LOVE.” – Rachel Macy Stafford

I reread the quote a few times as tears began to form.

It felt as if those words had been written just for me.

Feelings of failure had been sweeping through nearly every aspect of my life as the pressures of motherhood and other challenging circumstances had overtaken me.

As I allowed Rachel’s words to sink in, a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in weeks began to settle in my heart.

Maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough credit.

I know there must have been times when my own mom probably felt like she was failing. With four kids, a demanding job as an elementary school teacher, and working long hours alongside my dad on our family ranch, her plate was beyond full. I’m sure there were plenty of moments when she felt stretched to the breaking point.

But you know what I remember most about my childhood?

Snuggling up on her lap in the rocking chair.

Picking strawberries next to her in the garden.

Crawling into her bed to lay beside her after I had a bad dream.

Her smiling at me from the stands at all my sporting events.

She might have felt like she was failing. She might have worried that, at any moment, all the plates she was spinning would come crashing down. She might have wondered if she was enough.

But all I felt was love.

Even on the hard days, mama, you ARE love.

Even if it feels like you are failing, you are still love.

When the dishes are piled high in the sink and the laundry has been on the couch for three days in a row, you are still love.

When you forget it’s your turn to bring the soccer snacks, you are still love.

When you lose your patience and raise your voice, you are still love.

When you don’t know all the answers, you are still love.

We all make mistakes. We all fall short. But the things you might beat yourself up over are not what your kids will remember.

They will remember snuggles on the couch and how safe and cozy it felt with your arm wrapped around their shoulders.

They will remember living room forts, and helping you bake, and singing songs together in the car.

They will remember the ways you believed in their dreams, no matter how big or small.

They will remember all the ways you “showed up” in their lives.

When your head hits the pillow at night and the mama guilt starts to set in, please remember . . . 

Your failures are easily forgotten.

But your love?

Your kids will remember it for a lifetime.

You may also like:

I Want to be a Perfect Mom—But I’m Not

I’m a Mom Who Fails Big but Loves Bigger

To My Daughter When I Fail

Mary Ann Blair

Mary Ann Blair is a stay-at-home mom living in the Pacific Northwest with her two little gentlemen and hubs. She loves connecting with other parents who like to keep it real! Her work has been published on Her View From Home, Motherly, A Fine Parent, Perfection Pending, That’s Inappropriate, Pregnant Chicken, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Red Tricycle and in Chicken Soup For the Soul. She can be found at maryannblair.com or on Facebook at Mary Ann Blair, Writer.