Dear Child of Mine
I want you to know that I will always love you.
I loved you when you were the size of a grain of rice and your heart beat was undetectable. When you made me sick and took away my ability to tie my own shoe laces. The strongest motivator to go through two days of the most pain I have ever felt was you. We hadn’t even met but I would have endured that pain for as long as it took to bring you into this world.
When you screamed at me for hours and refused to give me sleep, I loved you in every sob and exhausted scrap left of my being. When your head was adorned with delicate, golden curls or when you scowled with the flick of one eyebrow, I swooned at your beauty. You could be covered in snot and vomit and I still think you are the most lovely thing I have ever seen.
When you pulled my trousers down in the middle of a busy airport, when you lay on the floor of a playground and wouldn’t walk when I asked you to, when you broke three windows in one house, when you took out all your moods on me and that time when you said you hated me; I forgave you in a second and I loved you the whole time.
I have never felt so hopeless at a job than I have during my motherhood career. There have been times when I have truly sucked and failed miserably at being your mum. The times when I screamed at you because your dawdling made me late for work, or when I chose to watch TV instead of spending 10 minutes talking to you before you went to sleep. I have felt such shame at how badly I have done my job. And yet, despite the fact that the pay is non-existent, there are no holidays and motherhood has taken the biggest toll on my physical and mental health, it’s by far the best career choice I have ever made and I will never, ever, resign or retire.
I don’t care that you have made me dull and risk averse. Before you, I loved an adventure away from home. Now, all I can think of when I travel away from you, is when I can get back to cook your dinner. I used to love pushing myself physically, now there is a little voice that asks, what if I got hurt and I couldn’t take care of you. Plus being a mum means I have to say no so much and be responsible all the time. I know you won’t believe this but I used to be way more fun than that.
Becoming a mum meant I had to change so much about myself. Some changes just happened, some I had to work at, but they were all fuelled by this need to give you the launch pad to live your best life, have a childhood of happiness and a future full of opportunities. It has made me feel like I have lost myself and forced me to witness me at my very worst. It has been truly heartbreaking at times, but I treasure the scars. I have seen how strong I am, how faithful I can be, how wonderful it is to put another person’s needs before my own and to get a glimpse at how much I am loved by my heavenly Father. I’ll keep all the carnage to have the glory of knowing unconditional love.
If I am doing this right, then not too far in the future, you will start to push away from me, you will choose friends over parents, you’ll take risks I don’t want you to, you’ll give your heart to someone who will break it, you’ll leave home. Imagining what my life will be like when you are not dependent on me is probably the bleakest thing I could think of right now. And yet, I promise I will let you go. I will tell you to step out of the nest, make your own choices, go your own way. Live your life.
When that happens, know that from the second you were conceived, you had me for eternity. Even if you are a thousand miles away from me, I will be with you. I will always be yours, and I will always love you.