Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

To my mom:

I’m lying on my bed hiding right now. I can hear the kids bickering as they get ready for bed, and a little voice calling for water and a song. I’m tired and weary to my bones. I will get up anyway. I will plant kisses on little foreheads and pray prayers. I will get the extra sip of water, and I will listen while they tell me about their toe with the sliver. I will say, “Okay sweetie, no more talking. It’s time to sleep now, ” but then I will still say “uh-huh” a couple more times as I sneak out the door.

Now that I’m a mom, I’ve learned that motherhood is a lot more about showing up than it is about anything else.

It’s about showing up when you are tired, and scared, and exhausted, and mad. It’s pulling yourself through the motions when you have nothing left to give. A mother’s love is about sacrifices.

Dear mom, there were times in my life when I expected perfection from you. I expected you to know what to say and to never get tired or upset. I expected you to be a goddess instead of a mother, and now I knownow I get it.

I dream back about my life and I can imagine how you must have felt (just like I do now). I can imagine it because I’ve walked 10 miles in your shoes.

Now I know, you were a perfect mother.

RELATED: Children Are Meant to Be Unfinished

I don’t judge a single decision you made or a single thing you said. I get it. I understand.

I understand what you sacrificed. I understand the sleepless nights. I understand now how you laid your life down for my brother and me. I understand how you put things on hold to give us all you could. I understand how you wrestled with every decision you made.

I imagine how you must have felt the first time you held us in your arms. How you must have felt such love, such magic, and oh so overwhelmed.

I imagine the tears you must have cried that I will never know about.

No matter what happened in our lives everything felt stable because of you. “It will be fine, you’ll be fine, we are fine,” you said. Now I know that you said that even when you were scared.

In my teen years and my young adulthood, I looked for what broke me. There was so much talk about counselors, therapy, and inner healing. All those things are good, sure, but I was broken because we are all broken. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, and it definitely wasn’t yours.

You did your best and that is the most precious gift anyone has ever given me.

You showed up again and again and again.

You came and tucked me in when you were weary to the bone. You tried your best to get it right, and you apologized when you thought you got it wrong.

I will never again hold you or anyone else to the impossible standard of perfection.

Thank you, Mom.

You did an amazing job.

RELATED: To the Tired Mom in the Middle of the Night

I understand, and now I know. And I have so much gratitude.

I know my kids won’t understand half of what I do. I know I will frustrate and confuse them. I know there will be times when they will wonder at how I let them down, and that’s okay. I haven’t been perfect, I have made lots and lots of mistakes, but I will keep showing up again and again and again . . . 

Just like you did.

Maybe one day they’ll walk 10 miles in my shoes, and they will know, but even if they don’t, I’m okay with that.

You taught me how to be a motheran amazing mother. 

Thank you, Mom.

Originally published on the author’s blog

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is a writer and mom of four kids. She is an avid coffee drinker, risk taker, and TMI sharer. She is a firm believer in keeping it real and believes our imperfections bring us together. She writes at https://wonderoak.com/. You can follow her there, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

Dear Mom, I See You Now

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Old photo of mother and baby

Mom, You were the one who first gazed down at me, counting all 10 fingers and toes and memorizing every detail of my face. You were the one who first recognized the distinct sound of my cries and knew my needs before I even knew how to voice them. You were the one who first really saw and knew me. I was with you nearly every day of my childhood, but I never really saw you as clearly as I see you now that I’m a mother myself. I saw and heard you teaching me so many things, creatively sparking...

Keep Reading

To My Mother-In-Law: Thank You For Being More Than I Ever Expected You To Be

In: Journal, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
To My Mother-In-Law: Thank You For Being More Than I Ever Expected You To Be www.herviewfromhome.com

I know you wondered about me, and the kind of person I might be. You probably feared that I was some interesting piece of work—a newly divorced, mystery woman that you’d have to grin and bear for the sake of your son. I’ll admit I was afraid myself. I was afraid that I wouldn’t measure up, and that you’d think I wasn’t good enough for your son. Through a year of dating I heard about you, but hearing and knowing are never the same thing. You cannot imagine the relief that washed over me after that first lunch together, after...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, You Made Me a Better Person

In: Grown Children
Woman and elderly mother, color photo

Dear Mom, You have made me a much better person lately but not in the usual ways. It was your dementia that really did the trick. Not that I wasn’t a good person already, but learning how to navigate the scary and unnerving path of your ongoing dementia has taught me so many things. I  cherish what I have in the here and now. I have learned to be so much more present and meet you where you are, and in turn, others as well. We often talk about your parents, my grandparents. You tell me they surprised you with...

Keep Reading