Sometimes I get mad when I rearrange my work schedule so I can make it to my son’s high school sports games.

Because it’s really not that hard.

Because I can’t imagine just deciding to not be there.

Because I know these years go by too quickly, and I want to be as present as possible.

And because my parents couldn’t do it for me.

Sometimes I get mad when I find myself booking a therapy appointment for one of my children because they need support for their anxiety.

Because it’s what they need.

Because their needs are greater than mine.

Because that’s our job as parents.

And because my parents refused to do it for me.

RELATED: Growing Up in a Broken Home Made Me a Better Mom

Sometimes I get mad when I sit down with my children and husband to coordinate our schedules so we can watch our favorite TV show together.

Because they are the people I want most to be with.

Because they are part of my heart.

Because spending time with them refuels me.

And because my parents never did that for me.

Sometimes I get mad when I plan a trip every few months so my family vacations togethereven super cheaply. 

Because when it comes to quality time with your kids, you can make it work even if it means pitching a tent in the living room.

Because with family is where you are supposed to feel most loved.

Because those trips create some of our favorite memories.

And because my parents rarely wanted to do it with me.

Sometimes I get mad when my children’s out-of-state uncle asks for them to fly down and visit him.

Because I will miss them.

Because before we know it, they won’t be living with me anymore.

Because I love spending time with them.

And because my parents never seemed to miss me when they shipped me away to stay with other people most weekends.

Sometimes I get mad when my children show me their real, raw, and sometimes ugly feelings.

Because children should be able to trust their parents to hold their emotions without judgment and repercussions.

Because that’s our most important job as parents.

Because how we respond to their emotions can be life-changing.

And because my parents didn’t let me show them mine.

Sometimes I get mad when my friends share photos and stories of their parents showering their grandkids with love.

Because that’s what grandparents are for.

RELATED: Dear Uninvolved Family, I’m Sad You Don’t Care Enough to Know Us

Because children deserve to feel special.

Because I see how much joy it brings to other children.

And because my parents never gave that to my kids. 

Sometimes I get mad at just how much being a mom has defined me.

Because now I see what a gift it is to be someone’s mom.

Because all I want is for my children to know I love them with every ounce of my soul.

Because being a mom is the greatest honor of my life.

And because my parents never made me feel anything but guilt for being a burden.

Yes, sometimes I get mad at what my parents weren’t able to give me. But I always find comfort in the knowledge that generations of pain, trauma, and chaos have ended with me. 

Because I refuse to pass that on to my children.

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Jenni Brennan

Jenni Brennan, LICSW is an author, podcaster, college professor, therapist, and mother. Her work centers around the topics of grief, health and wellness, relationships, and parenting.

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