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I yelled at you today. 

It was the ugly kind of yell. The kind where my voice gets deeper and louder and your little eyes grow wide. As soon as it left my lips I desperately wanted to pull it back in and choose patience—only, it was too late. 

Losing my temper with you is something I’m never proud of, and it’s one in a long line of things I’m working on.

The thing is, being a mom is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.

I’ve learned patience isn’t such a strong suit of mine. I’m always rushing you—even when the situation doesn’t require rushing. I get irritated when you do certain things, and sometimes I forget that you’re still so young. You’re still just learning.

Some days I struggle to be present with you. My mind wanders to all the things that need done, instead of focusing on the beauty of the time I’m sharing with you. It breaks my heart to think of moments I’ve missed because I had my nose stuck in my phone on the days when I just didn’t feel like momming. 

I’m so dang tired. They told me I would be, but I didn’t truly understand how mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted I would feel some days. Exhausted from answering a million curious questions and coordinating our family’s schedule. Exhausted from hanging onto the edge of the bed all night while you slept soundly in the middle. Exhausted from beating myself up over my mistakes all day long.

There are times I barely recognize myself from the woman I used to be.

Most of the hobbies I once loved have been untouched for years—I’ve let so many of my passions go that I secretly wonder if there’s anything of substance left to me apart from being a mom.

Sometimes, even the normal ins and outs of our day seem overwhelming. Brush teeth. Get dressed. Pour your cereal. Sign your school papers. Call the bank. Pick up the blocks. Load the dishwasher. Make a doctor appointment. Read you a book. Thaw dinner. Give baths. There’s so much to remember to do all of the time.

And on days like today, I struggle to find my patience. I snap at you. I get upset about little things that don’t really even matter.

I’m so human it’s not even funny. I make mistakes daily—sometimes the same ones over and over again. You’d think I’d learn. 

Motherhood is tough, and I often wonder if I’m strong enough to carry it all.

But honey, don’t be fooled—even on the hardest days, getting to be your mommy is absolutely the biggest honor of my life.

Oh, how I love you.

I love the way you reach for me first thing in the morning when your eyes are still puffy with sleep and you nestle into me for cuddles until you’re fully awake. 

I love when you ask questions about the world around us. Even though sometimes it wears me out, your curiosity is one of my favorite things about you. 

I love when I’m cooking dinner and I feel your little lips leave a kiss on my leg as you run by.

I love the way your eyes light up when you’re excited, and your little body jumps up and down because the joy coursing through your veins can’t be contained. 

I love the way you teach me things daily. I know more about myself than I ever did before . . . it’s like you’ve shown me who I really am. 

I love the way you forgive my mistakes, and how you make me want to be a better person. 

I love hearing your tiny voice say, “I love you, Mommy.” 

Someday, little one, if you have kids of your own I think you’ll understand

You’ll see all of the ins and outs of parenting that often go unnoticed by the world. The things that make it such a tough, demanding job that challenges me daily.

But I know you’ll also see the love then. The same love I’ve felt for you since the first time I felt you flutter inside my tummy all those years ago.

Motherhood is hard, but loving you is the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward

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