Dear daughter,

Let me start by saying you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You are the ocean to my moon, the Yin to my Yang. You’ve done more for me in your six years than you can understand. And that’s why it hurts so bad that I’m not the mom I wanted to be.

I wanted to be the “involved” mom. The one on every field trip, and at drop off/pick up daily. I wanted to be the mom who spoiled you with huge Christmas presents, and fun kid-friendly trips. I even had a parent goal that I’d take you to Disney World before you started kindergarten. I said I wouldn’t yell too much, and I’d never take my adult issues out on you. I said I’d always do what was best for you and make the right decisions for us.

I’m sorry I’m not the mom I wanted to be.

Sometimes I get frustrated and I lose my cool. Sometimes I get upset with you about crazy things because I’m in a bad mood. Sometimes we don’t have extra money to get that toy that you wanted, or go see that movie you saw advertised on TV. But you never complain about it for too long, and you always say you understand.

I think about this throughout the day, when unexpected mishaps occur. Like me having a panic attack in the middle of 6 p.m. traffic, meanwhile you’re in the back seat saying, “It’s OK mama, we’re gonna make it.” Like only having $30 for your birthday present, but we made the best of it and you were more than grateful. Like us having a yelling match because this is the third time you’ve spilled something on your bed this week (and it’s only Tuesday). But I come back and say I’m sorry because after all, you’re just a child.

But I am sorry . . . sorry I’m not the mom I wanted to be.

I’m not the mom who’s organizing class parties or head of the PTO. I’m not the successful mom who buys her kids all they want and takes them on a vacation every month. I’m not the extra happy mom who never raises her voice or loses her mind. I’m not the put-together mom who has all the answers, not even sometimes. And I hate myself for it. In my eyes, motherhood is getting the better of me, and I have no idea what I’m doing.

But in your eyes, I’m all you could ever want and more.

In your eyes, I’m the cool mom who lets you paint the bath tub and all its walls. I’m the mom who dances with you and blasts your favorite songs. I’m the mom who talks you through your worries. I’m the mom who has you star-gazing and trying to heal other people. I’m the mom who stays with you when you’re sick and lays with you even though I know I’ll regret it in a few days. I’m the mom who apologizes when she’s wrong, and doesn’t deny the fact that you are indeed, sometimes right. I’m the mom who teaches you about the universe, spirituality, people, and empathy. I’m the mom who’s raising a beautiful person, inside and out.

I’m not the mom I wanted to be . . . but maybe that’s OK. Because even though I’m not that mom, I’m the mom I’m supposed to be for you. And if that’s good enough for you, my dear, it’s good enough for me.

I love you, to the furthest star and back.

All my love,

You may also like: 

I’m a Mom Who Doesn’t. You Don’t Have to, Either.

I Thought I’d Be a Better Mom Than This

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

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Megan Willis

Megan is a creative writer, mystical arts practitioner, and free-range mom of 2. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and is a former Early Childhood teacher of 12 years. Megan enjoys spending time with her family, writing, gardening, Netflix & food! 🥰