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Dear daughter,

It’s not you . . . it’s me.

When I lose my temper and raise my voice a decibel louder than intended, I desperately want to tell youit’s not you . . . it’s me.

When I say the thing I immediately wish I could take back and I see the hurt in your eyes, I pray you see, baby girlit’s not you . . . it’s me.

When I use kind words and a gentle voice with your baby sister, and in the same breath only offer you impatience and exasperation, I desperately want you to know it’s not you (or her) . . . it’s me.

RELATED: To My Daughter When I Fail

When I’m not considerate with the words I speak about you while you are in the room, please hear me when I sayit’s not you . . . it’s me.

When I ask daddy to tuck you in because I can’t take one more minute, sweet girl, rest assuredit’s not you . . . it’s me.

When I need a minute, an hour, or even a day to myself away from this chaos of life, I pray you understandit’s not you . . . it’s me.

You see, sweet girl, when you look at me, all you see is your mama. And I love that about youyou see me with such innocent eyes. But the thing is . . . I am so much more than that. I am also a wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I am an employee, a volunteer, and a life-long learner. I am a sinner, but also a servant of God. And each of these roles, these responsibilities I carry, they can make life complicated sometimes.

In other words, I am human.

And I make mistakes. A lot of them.

And on the days when I’m pushed too far or stretched too thin in the other roles of my life, I fall short with you. I fall short as a mama.

I lose my temper.

I raise my voice.

I use unkind words.

I treat you unfairly.

I am inconsiderate.

I am impatient.

I am selfish.

RELATED: I May Fail, But I’ll Go Down Loving You

And unfortunately, it is likely that someday you will understand. You will know what it feels like to feel this way. And if nothing else, I pray it will help you see my heart for you a little more clearly.

But until then, sweet girl, please knowit’s not you . . . it’s me.

Previously published on the author’s blog

Parenting is a wild ride, but the strategies in Mindful Parenting in a Chaotic World have made it a little smoother for us! Too busy to sit and read? You can listen here, on Audible.

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Jen Hummel

Jen Hummel is a 30-something introverted Enneagram 1 and wannabe minimalist. She lives on a fourth-generation family farm with her handsome hubby, two daughters (+1 in heaven) and four crazy dogs. Yes . . . four. On any given day, you will find her in a graphic tee and stretchy pants sipping on an iced latte, because #basic. Writing is her safe haven and free therapy between bi-monthly sessions of the real deal. Jen's goal is creating community through authenticity + imperfection in her writing and IRL.  

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