Chin Up, Mamma, You're Doing Good: A Letter to Myself

I don't know if it's my current pregnancy hormones or the 4 in me (shoutout to all my fellow enneagram lovers!) but lately I have found myself so overly sensitive about my children growing older.  My oldest is nearly six and about to lose her first tooth.  Is there any mother on the planet who has shed more tears over a loose tooth?  Please, I would love to know!

Sometimes, I am shocked at times audacity and its willingness to rob in plain sight.  With that comes one of my biggest fears:  to look back on this time of my children being young and thinking that I did not do enough.  

I should have looked up more 
I should have played more 
I shouldn't have gotten so angry 
I should have held them more 
I should have paid more attention 

The idea of having these thoughts one day, it terrifies me.  More than almost anything because well, I love my children almost more than anything and I want to be the very best for them.  But parenting is hard and there are days when I am exhausted and I don't want to play.  There are days taken up by discipline and I get frustrated.  And there are days where I just flat out get lazy and zone out on useless things.

For some reason it's always easier to remember the days where I feel like I have failed.  Not too long ago I was having a conversation with my husband about this and he said something like this:  "for all the times you feel like you have failed there are a thousand successes and yet you always remember the failures.  You need to shift your focus."

He couldn't have been more right.  As mothers, why is this so hard for us?  Why is it so hard for us to see ourselves the way that others see us?  I wanted to take my husbands advice and take ownership over my fear.

So here is what I did.  

I got myself a notebook so that I can take record of my successes as a mother and all the times that I:

Do Look up  
Do Say yes to play 
Do Remain patient 
Do Hold them  
Do Pay attention

It won't be everyday but the things that stick out the most I want to record because I want to remember.  Someday I want to remember that I did good.  

I can't believe I am going to do this but I decided to share an entry that I made a few days ago, a letter to myself.  It's a little vulnerable but I feel like there are a lot of mammas out there carrying the weight of fear just like the one that I am trying to shed myself.  I hope that this helps.  I hope that it inspires you to do the same so that one day you too can look back and know that you did good.  That you did your very best and that overall your best is what you remember.

Dear Me,

Today you didn't fail.  I know someday you will be old and your children will be grown and because I know you, you will be hard on yourself.  You will look back and think that you didn't do enough.  So I want you to document these days more often to serve as a reminder that you love your children fiercely and for all the times you fail, you succeed far more.

So today... 

You started teaching Hadessah to use the potty for the first time and you kept your cool when she pooped and peed on the floor.  I am proud of you for being patient.  When Ezrah came home from school you played outside with her.  You threw the ball back and forth and talked about numbers, only Ezrah wants to talk about numbers.  Then you watched her show off her gymnastics moves over and over and...over again.  You zoned in on the proud grin of hers.  I am proud of you for cheering her on.  Sometime later you came upstairs to zone out on your phone but you stopped to think about the precious time that's disappearing.  You put that useless thing down and scooped up your two and five year old to play some more.  Ezrah wanted to play "mommy" so she cooked you and Hadessah dinner and you ate all of the pretend pancakes she put on your plate.  Then you laughed out loud deeply as you watched Hadessah whisk together her own pretend dinner.  Her mannerisms are all her own and they bless you with joy.  You zoned in on their imaginations.  I am proud of you for pursuing creativity along side of them.

There were times during this day when you felt exhausted but it was also filled with belly laughs, and butterfly kisses, and a hundred "I love yous" this day was good. 

There is nothing you can do about time.  It's as if someone left it out in the hot sun, it melts away quickly.  But let's freeze time in the pages of this book.  You can make the best of it and you will keep finding a thousand new reasons to fall in love with your babies as they continue to grow older.

Keep reminding yourself of your victories, let's remember more days like today and one day you will look back and know that you did good.  You love your children fiercely and I am proud of you for being their mother.


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