I wanted to write this letter to you because I feel like I am misunderstood. I am not a perfect parent. I wish I was and I think at one point during my pregnancy I strived to be just like you, but I couldn’t live up to the expectations.
You see, I used to be like you . . .sort of. I used to try really hard to do everything in my life perfectly. But all it did was stress me out and leave me feeling frazzled and unhappy. So I had to stop caring so much because I’d prefer to avoid grey hair in my thirties.
I understand why you are the way you are, perfect parents. You want what is best for your child. I get that, I really do. But here’s the thing; what is best for your child is not best for everyone else’s child. I know you truly believe that you are doing everything exactly right. After all, you read fourteen books on parenting while you were pregnant.
I feel like I should introduce myself since we seem to run into each other so frequently. Sometimes we run into each other online and sometimes we run into each other in person. Nevertheless, you always make sure to let everyone know how awesome you are at parenting and how anyone who isn’t doing it your way is screwing everything up for their child. You see me all of the time, perfect parents. I know you see me because sometimes you judge me through a look or through whispered words to your friends. You may not know me personally, but you can spot me rather easily because:
I’m the mom at prenatal appointments who is asking her doctor if it’s okay to take Tylenol while pregnant.
I’m the mom at the first ultrasound who forgot to bring cash to buy pictures and is frantically searching the hospital for an ATM.
I’m the mom at Chapters buying 50 Shades of Grey instead of books on natural births and post-natal care.
I’m the mom in labour and delivery who is begging for the epidural.
I’m the mom in the hospital parking lot who can barely figure out the car seat.
I’m the mom at the first doctors checkup with bags under her eyes, spit-up on her sweater and a diaper bag that has everything but diapers in it.
I’m the mom at Target wearing yoga pants and a ponytail.
I’m the mom at the post office without an engagement or wedding ring.
I’m the mom who let her daughter co-sleep with her for the first six months because it allowed the two of us to get some rest.
I’m the mom buying jarred baby food instead of making it at home.
I’m the mom at playgroup who whips out a bottle instead of her boob.
I’m the mom in the grocery store who is buying more junk food than organic food.
I’m the mom who lets her twelve month old watch thirty minutes of TV so I can check Facebook and Pinterest.
I’m the mom who let her daughter try cake before she tried avocado.
I’m the mom who is sometimes answering work emails instead of playing with mega blocks.
I’m the mom who has a hangover because I enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine some nights.
That’s what you see, perfect parents. But here’s what you don’t see:
I’m the mom who fell in love with her baby when the pregnancy test came back positive.
I’m the mom who cried tears of joy during the first ultrasound.
I’m the mom who thanked God for my daughter the first time I held her.
I’m the mom who stayed awake the entire first night after birth because I could not take my eyes off of my perfect little girl.
I’m the mom who snuggles her baby and sings her to sleep.
I’m the mom who spent hours researching the best type of formula after breastfeeding wasn’t working.
I’m the mom who hasn’t read a book in ages but reads 20+ books to her daughter each day.
I’m the mom who will happily go without to make sure my daughter has everything she needs.
I’m the mom who hasn’t had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in over a year, but somehow still manages to get up and go to work each day.
I’m the mom who is both mommy and daddy, all day every day.
I’m the mom who cried when her daughter said mama for the first time.
I’m the mom who loves being a mother.
Through all of the ups and downs, the tears and frustration, the happiness and sadness, through the confusion and second guessing myself, I love being a mom. I really do.
I may not be perfect at motherhood, perfect parents. But I know that I am doing things in a way that works best for me and my daughter. And in the end, that’s all that really matters.
Let’s all be kinder to each other. Let’s not worry so much about the way someone else is raising their child. Instead, let’s all support each other. Let’s tell each other we are doing a great job and offer encouragement when someone has a bad day. After all, aren’t we all trying our best to raise these tiny little humans?
Let’s work together and remember that we are all so very different, yet so much alike. At the end of the day we are all just parents who love our children and are trying our best to do right by them.
Katie lives on the east coast of Canada and is a single mother to a beautiful baby girl named Charlotte. When she’s not busy raising her daughter, working full time, writing, or taking pictures, she spends what little time she has trying to figure out how to make a living off of eating chocolate and drinking wine. Her work has been featured on Scary Mommy and Mamalode. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook and you can check out her blog at she didn’t come with instructions.
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