Dear Daughter, I Don’t Have All the Answers

Parenthood is hard. It’s hard as heck. I feel like not enough people are talking about just how hard it is being a parent. Ma, how the heck did you manage to make this look so easy?  I honor any parent that has made the decision to be fully present in a child’s life. It is a humbling experience. There are times that I think I am a bad mother, although I know I’m not. There are days that I feel really great about being a mother, too. Those are the days that I slay this motherhood thing! Breakfast on time, playtime, lunch, and nap all happening on schedule. I call those days ‘A’ days. I love those days because I am fully engaged and present with my daughter.

Then there are the days that I’m not fully present. Days that I’m exhausted and just want to sleep in because I don’t have the energy to sit on the floor crossed leg playing drums and singing. I don’t want to laugh, make silly faces, or blow bubbles. I just want to sleep and catch up on the latest show of whatever. I want to have adult conversations and interactions. I beat myself up after I experience days like these. I start to feel guilty and think that I’m a bad mother because I wasn’t capable of remaining fully engaged with my daughter.

My mother reminded me that there are no perfect mothers. That every mother finds their own way to navigate motherhood and that there’s no perfect way. I believe we aspire to be perfect but I recognize that regardless of how perfect we attempt to be as parents, children will always believe we are the worst parents in the world at some point in their lives. I’ve accepted that there will be a phase in my daughter’s life that she will believe that she hates me. I can only pray that she’ll reach the space in life to understand that I did the best I could with what I knew just like my mother did with me and like her mother with her.

All parents are just doing their best based on the knowledge that they have, because our children will exist in a future that we don’t know anything about we can only guide them but so far. They will have to find their own way but we must be sure to equip them with tools to understand how to navigate the world. The times may change but the processes remain the same. So for now I enjoy the days that I am able to be fully present, but also honor the days that I find time for rest by any means necessary and not feel guilty about it. As a mother, I’m doing my best. Not knowing all the answers, figuring it out as I go along, learning to ask for help when I need it, (I’m still working on this one), and being patient with myself and the process. Above all else, knowing that I am not perfect and that I will never be.

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