I Love Being Your Mom Because Even The Hardest Days Are The Best Days

I Love Being Your Mom Because Even The Hardest Days Are The Best Days

Natalia Lebedinskaia / Shutterstock

I remember the day I gave birth to you like it was yesterday. But it wasn’t. It was two years ago.

I remember the second night with you in the hospital. Your dad had gone home to help your older sister get to sleep. He’d stayed as late as he could. My mom came in his place and slept on the hard, fake leather sofa in our room. She slept, but I didn’t. You didn’t. (You were a newborn baby after all — who would expect you to?)

I lay there on the uncomfortable bed, slightly tilted into a half-reclined, half-upright position, wondering if I’d made a mistake.

Could I handle more years of sleepless nights?

Could I handle two small children by myself when your dad went back to work?

Could I be a good enough mother?

The answer to all of these questions was “no.”

The truth was it would be hard. The reality is I called your dad at work several times a day crying. The brutal fact is I’m so flawed, as a person and as a mom.

But I didn’t make a mistake.

And now you’re 2, and I already know why they say things like, “It won’t last forever,” or “Don’t be the first to let go when your child hugs you.” I understand, too, that I’m not a good enough mother, but I’m what you’ve got.

I’m not in awe of you enough. I’m not always happy just sitting together and reading books. Sometimes I want to read on my phone instead. Sometimes I do.

But these days with tiny-you — even our hardest ones — are always my best.

Still, it hits me every night as bedtime approaches. Waves of our day’s moments when I could have been more present — when I should have reacted differently, when I needed to stop my own thoughts and be more available for yours — crash into me, and it hurts. It hurts because I’m not sorry.

I’m not sorry for sometimes wishing bedtime would come sooner. I’m not sorry for wanting desperately to just sit on the couch, alone. But what hurts is knowing each of these moments quickly add up, as I see your tiny face grow into more of a little girl and so much less of a toddler.

What hurts is witnessing how each day you need me less and less, and each day I have to let go a little bit more.

What hurts is knowing these minutes of you clinging to me and needing me for nearly everything are becoming fewer and fewer, until one day you’ll be left to choose how much of your time is spent with me.

What hurts is wondering if you’ll feel how infinitely I love you despite my marred humanness.

I remember the day I had you like it was yesterday. But it wasn’t. It was two years ago. Before I know it, it will be 20.

Before I know it, I won’t remember it as clearly.

Before I know it, I’ll be an older, wiser mother annoying new mothers with “how fast it goes.”

Before I know it, my memories of your babyhood will be what I hold closely instead of your tiny hand.

Being your mother is the hardest, best thing I’ve ever done. Being your mother is the hardest, best thing I’ll ever do.

I lay there on the uncomfortable bed, slightly tilted into a half-reclined, half-upright position, wondering if I’d made a mistake.

I didn’t. You remind me of this every day.

Every time your shining blue eyes twinkle at mine in a giggle, or your angry brow furrows in my direction, I see who I’ve made, and I know of the many, many mistakes I have and will make, their best correction will always be you.