“An open letter to my children:
I am the backpack of the family.
I carry all of your things, while you run towards your friends.
I hold all of your jackets, toys, and food.
I am your silent cheerleader.
I make sure my hands are full, so yours are free to do what you love.
You may not see me much, as I am often in the background at birthday parties, barbeques, and dinners.
I am the one holding your jacket, so you can wear your dress.
I am the one holding your plates full of food, while you pick over what you actually want to eat.
I am the one sitting down last at dinner, because I need to make sure your dinner plate is full, first.
I carry a lot.
Physically, and mentally.
I am the one who carries your belongings, but I also carry your problems.
I am the one who you come running to when you get a boo-boo.
I am the one who listens to all of your worries, and helps you solve them.
I am the one who may not be the most patient during the day, but I promise when you’re sleeping, I always stroke your face, and tell you, ‘I’m sorry, I love you.’
I am the one who sits silently on the couch watching you play, while I fold your laundry. I know it seems like I’m not wanting to play with you, but I do.
I am the one who you think gets upset at you a lot, but it’s only because I love you. And I feel overwhelmed sometimes with all that I am carrying.
I am the backpack of my family.
It’s not an easy job, and it’s a job that you don’t really see, but I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
I love being your safe place.
I love being your backpack.
Put it all on me. Physically and mentally.
Love, your mom.
The backpack parent.”
Read more from Caitlin:
‘Wait for the man who saves you the last piece of cake. Who makes you crack a smile, even if you’re mad. Who sees you making dinner and says, ‘You cooked, I’ll clean.’: Woman urges ‘you’ll realize you were never asking for too much’
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