A letter to my children: I won’t always be the perfect mom

Mornings are a busy time at my house. Getting everyone dressed and ready for daycare and work on-time is quite an undertaking. We often run around the house stressed, yelling at each other. One particular morning as I was getting ready, my son walked up to me with tears in his eyes and buried his face on my lap. When I asked him why he was crying, he replied that he was sad that I had to go to work and couldn’t spend the day with him.

I hugged him and told him that I was sad as well. Of course I’d much rather spend the day with him than being at work. This made him smile. He lifted his head and asked me:

“Mom, will you be my friend forever?”

With these simple words my own eyes filled with tears.

I held back the tears and told him I would, though I knew deep down inside that I wouldn’t be able to keep that promise forever.

In my son’s eyes, I am perfect. Everything I do and say is perfect and he believes that I will always be the embodiment of perfection.

Both my children look up to me. They turn to me for important questions (Where does rain come from? What happens if I stick peas up my nose? Can I watch television now?) They expect me to have the answer to everything. They look to me for guidance and examples on how to cope with every day challenges. My daughter copies my very move, convinced that I always know what I am doing.

My children think that everything I do is always the right thing.

But dear children, I really don’t want to disappoint you, but I won’t always be the perfect mother.

There are going to be days where I will fail you. Days where you will want to scream at me. Days where you won’t even want to talk to me. As you grow up, you’ll want me to let you go. And I’ll want to keep you close. We’ll fight about almost everything.

You will misbehave, I will try to correct you. We might say things we don’t really mean. You’ll tell me I work too much. I’ll say you spend too much time on your phone. There will be times where you will want to go out and I won’t let you because you have homework. You’ll be mad, and then I’ll doubt my judgement.

You’ll try to play your father against me, I’ll tell you white lies about what’s in the pasta (yes there were veggies in there.) Maybe I’ll cook you things you don’t like. Or unwillingly force my vegetarianism on you even though I know you really love hamburgers.

I might make a bad decision now and again. Maybe I’ll misjudge a situation and cause you unnecessary stress. Maybe I’ll embarrass you in front of your friends or even in front of your lover. Maybe I’ll judge your choice of clothing. I may voice my opinion about your hair. I may even complain about the noise you call music.

Yes, I will probably insist that you learn how to play an instrument. And I will make you try out different sports until you find one you like. I may never let you go swimming alone, because I fear you might drown. Even though you are a better swimmer than I’ll ever be.

Maybe we’ll go on holidays together, even when you tell me that it’s not cool to go with your parents anymore and that ‘hiking with a hangover really sucks.’ I’ll tell you for the twentieth time that you shouldn’t be drinking so much, but rather focus on studying.

You might call me at 4 am to ask me to pick you up from the club because you can’t remember where you put your bike or your keys. I’ll come get you (and your bike) and tuck you into bed. You might be sick the next day, I’ll bring you soup.

And maybe one day, when I’m old and you’ll have a family of your own, you’ll tell me that I did a good job, even though I wasn’t always perfect.

Dear children, please remember this, I might not be the perfect mother in your eyes forever and I may not always get it right, but everything I do, I do out of undying love for you.

Because I will always be your mother. And I will always be your friend.

Written By: Alyssa Demkes
Dutch girl Alyssa is a yoga instructor and a mother of two beautiful children. She also enjoys reading english classics and philosophy books. (You’ll often find her in dusty old bookstores) If she’s not there, she’s probably in the kitchen preparing healthy and delicious food for her family. For Alyssa, perfect happiness is sharing a home cooked meal with her loved ones. She shares her discoveries and thoughts on her personal blog and is happy to also share the love via Happygirl Yoga.

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