My days of perfect parenting can be counted on one hand. The ones where everything goes smoothly from start to finish and we spend a relaxed and happy day together without so much as a disagreement.
Instead most days we face the challenges of everyday life. The challenge of finding time to do everything that needs doing, the challenge of solving endless problems and the challenge of trying to do better, trying to give you more of all the things I want to give.
Tiredness is a daily challenge that we face together. I get tired some days, you get tired other days. Many days we get tired together and we can end up shouting and snapping at each other.
You’re only 6 but on those tired days I can see the teenager flaring up in you, the fury at not being allowed to do everything that you feel like doing. At having to make choices or consider dangers. And I can end up shouting too. The tired mama coming out, run out of patience.
I hope you know that those days aren’t the real us.
I hope that my words and my shouting won’t stay with you.
I hope that you know that our clashes are fleeting, our differences insignificant and our harsh words meaningless.
Because as soon as I shout I am filled with regret and worry that this is what you will take with you.
I hope instead that you take with you our bedtime whispers, our bear hugs and butterfly kisses. I hope that my words of praise and my awe at everything you do are what truly sink in and fuel you as you grow.
Because baby girl, I love you to your soul.
It’s my love that I hope will stay with you and guide you through the years. May you know it and feel it there always, stronger than oak, and may it stay forever engraved in your heart.
So forgive me when I fail. And know that this mama loves your very bones. And that love will never fail.