“I looked down during my shower this morning, bleary eyed from yet another 4 a.m. wake up call, to a baby crawling between my legs and toys scattered between my wet feet. My three-year-old sat chattering on the toilet I still need to scrub, while the shrieks of her siblings pierced the background.
I had a laundry list of things running through my mind that needed to be accomplished and not a single clue how I was going to make it come to fruition. And I was weary. The soul deep kind of tired we as parents often feel, but is so often left unspoken.
Let me let you in on a little secret that took me a few too many years to learn, though. Just because you don’t love every second, doesn’t mean you don’t love your child.
Parenting is hard. Raising kids is not for the faint of heart. It isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. It’s okay to be tired, to struggle. It doesn’t make you a bad parent or person, it makes you human. I see you.
I see you late at night, your mind racing a million miles a minute, going over all the things you should’ve done differently; all the things you wish you could change. You second guess and question, your concern a visceral heartbeat in a chest so overfilled with worry.
I see you going room to room touching little heads, listening to their soft breaths. You’re so desperately in love, so desperately afraid to fail them.
I see you because I AM you. But you do you know who else sees you? They do.
They see you at every soccer game, every dance recital. They see you cheering loudly from the sidelines and silently in the background. They see you late at night with an extra glass of water, holding them through that last bedtime story. They see you peek your head in one last time. They see you smile softly during the tenth, ‘I love you most.’
They see you holding their hands as they cross the street. They hear you whisper, ‘You are amazing’ as you brush their hair. They see you helping pick out the perfect first day of school outfit. They see you labeling school supplies and writing messages on lunchroom napkins. They see you baking that birthday cake after a long day at work, and painstakingly picking out the perfect gift just for them.
They see you dancing with them in the living room and helping them with that last math problem and practicing their spelling lists. They see you packing their favorite lunch and giggling with them over that last joke.
They see you at their parent-teacher conferences loud and proud, always wanting the best for them. They see you clapping to their performances and your smile as you give them one last push on the swing.
They see you comforting them when they’re sick and holding them when they’re scared. They see you chasing the monsters from under the bed and chasing their giggling sibling down the stairs.
They see you. From their first steps towards you, to their last bike ride away. They see you.
They see you protecting them, teaching them, guiding them, LOVING them with every fiber of your being. They see you showing up again and again. They see you loving them through it, despite it, and because of it. They see you learning, growing, changing, and trying.
They see you. You don’t have to love every minute. You just have to love them.
And you do. With every fiber of your being. You love them. You love them through the messy. You love them through the hard. You love them through the tired, and despite your own self doubt.
You love them. And they, oh my dear sweet Momma, they love you so much too. You’re doing an amazing job.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Abby Murphy of Overland Park, KS. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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