Sometimes when I am exhausted after a long day of work I go quietly to your room after you have gone to sleep and kiss you goodnight. I realize as I watch you lying there quiet and peaceful that you are growing so fast and my time with you under my wings is rapidly fading away. Before long you will be gone…chasing your dreams…making your own decisions…creating your own memories. Have I done all I can to prepare you for that? Will I leave you with happy memories of your childhood?
Part of me is filled with anxiety…fear that I have missed seeing you…missed enjoying you…missed laughing and running and playing with you. Have I been a good nurturing mom or will you only remember the crazy, frenzied, screaming mom that was often too exhausted to show you the kindness you needed?
My biggest regret in life will be if I have failed you.
I want you to know that moms are not perfect. We struggle and make mistakes (A L L T H E T I M E). We take on too much and may take it out on you. We are sometimes just one big epic FAIL!
I want you to know that you are N O T the problem…I know that I am the problem. When I yell at you for not understanding your homework instead of showing you patience and realize you are a child that just needs my help. When I rush to judgement instead of listening. When I lash out at you for playing too loud or making a mess.
I know I lecture and nag too much. I worry so much about raising the perfect child that I forget to see the beautiful child I already have. I know that I should not be so quick to judge you when you mess up…maybe you had just as bad a day as I had. Being a teenager is H A R D and I should respect that you have challenges of your own. Instead of dismissing you I should see that sometimes you may just need a hug.
I know that I am quick to snap at you and lose my patience. I always promised myself I would not be a yeller, yet some days I find that is all I am doing. Please know it is not your fault. All you wanted to do was make me laugh, and I should have laughed. I should have stopped and giggled and played with you for that minute. I realize I will never get those moments back and I hope I haven’t broken your spirit.
You should be silly and laugh when your brothers fart, tackle and wrestle like boys do. You should live in the moment and be adventurous and fearless. You should run wild while you have the chance and explore and learn new things.
I want you to know that it’s okay to color outside the lines…to not have perfect handwriting…to have a messy book bag and not want to brush your hair. It’s ok not to be perfect A L L T H E T I M E. It’s ok to make mistakes and fail.
I fail all of the time. It’s how I learn and grow. It’s how I become better and stronger. Mistakes will do the same for you. They will build character and strength.
I wonder what you see when you look at me? A mom who is work obsessed, stressed, exhausted and unhappy?
I want you to know that I love you more than my job…I love you more than making money…I love you more than anything else I have done in life. You are and will always be my greatest success.
When I look at you I am filled with pride. I am amazed at the person you have grown into…your character…your humor…your strength. I am grateful God blessed me with the opportunity to be your mom. You have taught me so much and brought so much to my life. I pray that my weaknesses do not detract you from all that you are destined to become.
On these nights when I watch you lying peacefully in your bed I pray for the strength to be a better mom. To be more patient. To be more kind and compassionate. To lead by example and give you the tools you need to succeed in life.
I pray that I have not broken your spirit but helped you see all that the future has in store for you. That my mistakes will not be your burden.
I will make an effort to laugh and play with you more. I will be silly and wrestle and imperfect. I will teach you how to be strong…To be confident…To be a role model…To be a leader.
I promise to work harder at enjoying our time together. I promise to look at you and see you and hear you.
I know I am flawed and make mistakes and am realizing that’s okay. Perfection is not the goal.
But know that I promise to always be your biggest fan and cheerleader. I will walk beside you and give you strength. I will forever hold onto these memories and will hold your hand for as long as you allow me that pleasure. So, as you continue to grow and eventually go off into the world to chase your dreams, I hope you look back on your childhood and remember how truly special you are.
Christa Gurka, MSPT, PMA®-CPT