It was one of those days in motherhood. The long, bumpy kind—where nothing seems to go right and everyone butts heads from sun up to sun down. The kids were especially wild, and I was especially grumpy.
Before I could even pour my morning coffee, there were spills, demands, and tears.
Mommy, can you get me that?
Mommmy, he touched me.
Mommmmy, I need you.
I can’t do this today, I thought.
Irritability hung over me like a dark cloud, along with the looming to-do list I knew I couldn’t possibly get done. I muttered under my breath, wishing the day away so I could crawl back under the covers.
We tried to turn the day around, the kids and I. I tried to be a fun mom, but I struggled at every turn.
The kids pushed each other’s buttons.
We all cried.
We tried again and again and again, only to fall down the same bad-tempered rabbit hole each time.
Some days are just like that, you know?
By bedtime, I was done for. I tucked everyone into bed and then stood in the too-hot shower and had a good, long cry. Because gosh, sometimes motherhood is heavy, and the mom guilt is even heavier . . . and in those moments I can’t help but think—
These are the days I hope they don’t remember.
The hard ones.
The frustrating ones.
The grumpy, overwhelming, not-my-best-self ones.
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I hope they won’t remember my deep, frustrated sighs.
I hope they won’t remember me raising my voice or the way I sometimes closed the door between us when motherhood felt utterly suffocating.
I hope they won’t remember the times I let my anxiety win. When I gave in and let it engulf me in darkness.
I hope they won’t remember the days I was too overstimulated by the chaos to be gentle with their hearts.
I hope they don’t ever look back and wonder—did I want this job? Did I want them?
It’s my biggest wish that someday when my kids are grown and look back on their childhood, the memories of the good days overshadow the bad.
I want them to think of picnics on the front sidewalk in the middle of sticky, sweaty, Popsicle-filled summers.
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I pray they can still feel the warmth of my arms as we cuddled under that well-loved penguin blanket and rocked back and forth on the porch swing.
Maybe they’ll smile when they recall family vacations we looked forward to all year—when we swam until we were pruney and tried every ice cream shop we could find.
I hope they remember how happy we were just being together.
There will always be days I’d rather they don’t remember—but if they do, part of me hopes it’s through the lens of their own parenthood someday.
Then, maybe they’ll understand.
Maybe they’ll remember how I read parenting books and listened to podcasts and tried new techniques and said sorry and pushed myself to learn and grow and do better. They’ll appreciate how relentlessly I worked on myself so I could be my best version for them.
I pray they’ll give me the grace that I struggle to give myself on the hard days.
I hope they know that even though I didn’t get it all right, I loved them with every last bit of me.
Everything I have to give is theirs—every sacrifice, every wish, every prayer.
Because being their mom? It’s my favorite. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted and so much more than I dreamt it would be.
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This wasn’t the first hard day, and it won’t be the last—but I hope the big picture my kids remember one day is a beautiful one. I hope it makes them smile and feel loved, valued, and cherished . . . because that’s exactly what they are, and everything they always will be.