“It’s not my job to make you happy.
I thought it was. When they placed you in my arms, I was certain that’s what good mommas do: we make our kids happy. I’ve heard it a million times. I still hear it echoing through my clouded thought almost daily. ‘They aren’t happy today, momma. You’ve screwed up again.’s
Then one day I realized you’ll be grown. You’ll be out of this house and out of this little, safe environment your father and I have built and into this big ole, crazy world. And when that happens, when that day comes, there won’t be much we can do to make you happy anymore.
We won’t be able to keep buying you everything you want. We won’t be able keep driving you everywhere you want to go. We won’t be able to keep planning vacations for you and activities for you and making sure you’re never bored. (Heaven forbid you’re ever bored and forced to be creative.)
We won’t be able to keep solving problems for you or saving you from difficult situations. We won’t be able to step in and give you ice cream every time you fall down or stand up to every person who hurts your feelings.
And the truth is, if I want you to be happy as an adult – and I do, more than almost anything – I have to stop acting like it’s my job to make you happy now, because it’s not.
It’s not my job, and to continue believing this great misconception is a great disservice to us both.
– It’s my job to show you that you are in control of your own feelings. It’s my job to teach you to appreciate and to be grateful and to notice the good things in your life.
– It’s my job to teach you how to be kind.
– It’s my job to teach you to sympathize and to lead with understanding.
– It’s my job to teach you to work hard.
– It’s my job to teach you to be brave.
– It’s my job to teach you to be smart.
– It’s my job to teach you to go after your passions without fear of failure.
– It’s my job to teach you to respect authority.
– It’s my job to teach you to value your relationships
– It’s my job to teach you money isn’t everything.
– It’s my job to teach you the freedom that comes with being yourself and with allowing others to be themselves.
– It’s my job to teach you that your words and your actions – they matter. They matter to you. They matter to everyone around you. They either build walls or they build bridges. They either fill in the gaps or they create a gap. They either heal or they hurt. The good ones are usually praised, but sometimes go unnoticed. But the bad ones…well, they either have outward consequences or inward consequences, because even if nobody else notices them, you have to carry them around, and they tend to get heavy, my child.
– It’s my job to love you without condition, without expectation, without reservation, without hinderance. It’s my job to love you in such a way that it teaches you to love others.
– And above all else, it’s my job to point you to Christ.
But it’s not my job to make you happy. Sorry, buckaroo. You’re going to have to figure that one out on your own.
I’ll make sure I am happy. I’ll make sure this house is happy. I’ll make sure to give you ample opportunities to create good things for yourself.
But your happiness, well, it’s yours; and it belongs to you and you alone.
I’ll forgive you seventy times seven and a million times more. I’ll give you grace. I’ll give you mercy. But I won’t let you off the hook because discipline isn’t fun. I won’t let stuff slide because it’s easier that way. I won’t let bad behavior go unnoticed because I can’t stand the thought of you hating me. I won’t make empty threats. (I’ll make less anyways.) I won’t fail to follow through.
But I also won’t make hollow promises.
I also won’t ever give up on you.
I also won’t ever stop praying for you.
I also won’t ever stop being proud of you.
I also won’t ever stop believing you deserve my very, very best.
I also won’t ever stop giving you my all.
We’re gonna have some good times. We’re gonna hug and kiss and dance in the kitchen. We’re gonna have ice cream dates and water balloon fights and inside jokes.
But we’re gonna have some rough times too. We’re gonna have some disagreements. We’re gonna have some down times.
Just know it’s all for your betterment. It’s all for your good. It’s all so you’re able to let go of my hand, walk out of that front door, and wave goodbye to your father and me and into a life you’ll build with God’s direction as the foundation, and hopefully, with a few of the tools you’ve learned from home as well.”
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Twitter here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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