Our fabulous group of Vancouvermom.ca’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers had so much fun with our Christmas Traditions blog train that we decided to choose a new topic and do another one. This time around, our theme is: The Mother I Strive To Be.
When I finally sat down to write this piece, I struggled with putting my thoughts and feelings into words. I decided that I would write myself a letter which I don’t think I have ever done before. So, here is the letter I have written to myself on the mother I strive to be.
There have been times since Portia was born, where I’ve seen you completely defeated, frustrated and feeling so totally isolated and alone. I know you’ve cried and have blamed yourself for many things since you became a mother. You have questioned your decisions and regretted your mistakes. There have been many moments where you’ve wanted to leave the house, run far away from your crying baby/needy toddler, and never go back. I’ve watched you scream out loud alone in your car (and that was very weird). I remember your envy some mornings when Brian would leave for work. I saw the pain in your heart when 4 month-old Portia rolled off the couch and then sensed the relief when you confided in friends who told you that happened to their babies too.
And whenever those fleeting moments of frustration, guilt, worry, and pain go away, I watch you being happier than you knew was possible.
I’ve watched your life transform in ways that no one can prepare you for. You and Brian sneak into Portia’s room every single night before you go to sleep. You give her kisses and tell her you love her. When you’re out for a walk and Portia’s tiny, soft hand finds its way into your bigger, rougher hand, you fall in love with her like you did when she was first born. I can feel your heart exploding with happiness when Portia wants to cuddle with you even when you feel like you have ‘things to do’ and you ‘don’t have time’. The satisfaction you get from making her laugh uncontrollably is beyond measure and you wouldn’t trade this crazy role of motherhood for anything in the world.
Never forget to steal extra hugs, even when Portia one day resists them. Make sure Portia is always full, clean, clothed and warm enough. Don’t let a day go by where you both don’t get fresh air. On the cold days, bundle your baby girl up warm. On the hot days, make sure she has sunscreen and lots of water. Listen to her trying to form full sentences and never wish-away the sights and sounds of learning. Take deep breaths when you’re feeling Frustration rear his ugly head. You now know that you can conquer those emotions.
Spend those extra five minutes sitting in the car before daycare drop-off singing together to Raffi- even if you hoped to have those extra five minutes at work. Those are five minutes you will never have back. Reflect back often on how quickly time goes so that you don’t take your time together for granted.
Appreciate having a ‘tea party’ on the floor for the 100th time. Appreciate that you are lucky enough to have Portia in your life that you get to have tea parties on the floor at all. Encourage Portia to try new things and resist the urge to catch her every time she falls. Let her work through a puzzle without pointing out the right piece. Allow her to problem solve and question.
Teach her how to read and print the letters of the alphabet, but let her write her own story.
Above all, go easy on yourself! Being a mother is the hardest thing you’ve ever done and you’re surely going to make so many more mistakes down the road.
If you follow your gut and believe in the decisions you are making, you will be the mother that you strive to be.
What is something you would include in a letter to yourself about the mother you aspire to be?
I am at the end of the blog train this time around. To read the other mama’s posts on “The Mother I Strive To Be”, visit the list of sites below.