To My Child: I'm Sorry I Wasn't There For You

by Eden Strong
Originally Published: 
motherhood busy
BraunS / iStock

To My Child:

I’m sorry I couldn’t play with you today. I know you wanted to spend time with me. I really wanted to spend time with you, too, but today it just didn’t work out, and as sad as you are, I feel even worse. I wanted nothing more than to be with you.

You’re growing up before my eyes; I’m constantly reminded by everything from your outgrown gym shoes to the wisdom my older friends love to give me when they say, “Before you know it, she will be in college.”

But today, I didn’t get to play with you or snuggle you, because I wasn’t able to ignore the lengthy list of things I needed to get done at home and work. In motherhood, I’m busier than I ever thought I would be, and I have more responsibility than I could have ever imagined. I’m sorry that it’s taking up the time that I would rather be spending with you. It kills me to miss out on so many things in your life, but as I always remind you, I will try to have more time for you tomorrow.

I know this isn’t fair to you. Please try to understand that I don’t get to be as involved as other parents not because I love you any less, but because I love you so much that I’m trying to make a better life for you. I know you’re young and right now you don’t understand, but someday you will. One day when you’re older and have kids of your own, I hope that you will look back and know that everything I did was all because I love you.

Right now, you don’t seem to understand that, and I don’t know why, because I tell you all the time: “I need to get this done so that I have time to spend with you tomorrow.” I truly don’t understand why you tell me that I don’t even love you when I’m always telling you that I want to spend time with you, tomorrow.

Today, all you seemed to understand was that your mother was too busy for you. I tried once again to explain it to you, but after seeing the tears in your eyes and hearing you say, “I just want you,” I’m starting to wonder if maybe I am the one who didn’t understand.

Maybe I’ve been so focused on providing for tomorrow that I forgot to give you what you needed today. Maybe I failed you by expecting that one day you will look back and understand where I was coming from. But it never occurred to me that it might be me who looks back and realizes that I never understood where you were coming from.

Maybe everything that you need to learn in life is not going to be learned tomorrow, because maybe it’s being taught right now.

Today, you needed to know that I love you. I don’t think it was you who didn’t understand—I think maybe it was me.

I’ve been so focused on making a better tomorrow that I forgot to pay attention to you today. I’m not sure how I’m going to make time for everything, but that’s no longer my concern, because today I’m going to show you that I love you, and tomorrow I’ll figure the rest out.

Today you are learning, and I need to be careful what I’m teaching.

Thank you, my child, for teaching me what I clearly didn’t understand. I’ll always be here for you, even if it’s today—especially if it’s today.

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