Forgive Me, Daughters | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

April 25, 2012

Forgive Me, Daughters

Dear Chica and Bug,

As I sit here and listen to the sound of quiet monitors, a sure sign of two sleeping little girls, a guilt is settling into my stomach.  I keep pushing it away, trying to ignore it, even justifying it.  But it's weighing on me.

I failed you today.

Even though I try to stop the thoughts from coming, they keep flashing through my mind, shameful reminders of all the ways I could have been a better mom today.  I know that every mom has these moments, and we all brush it off, with a chiding don't be so hard on yourself.

But today, I can't.  Today, that isn't enough.

Today, I want to say that I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for all the ways I lost my patience today.  For tapping my foot as you dawdled to get your shoes on.  For shooing you into the car when you wanted to smell the flowers in the yard. For urging you to eat every last morsel of your meals when you wanted to play with your food instead. 

Please know, I love your imaginations. 

I'm sorry for every decibel I raised my voice today.  For speaking sharply when you were wrapped up in playing with dolls instead of listening to what I asked you to do.  For scolding you for frolicking in the yard instead of going inside like I'd requested. For barking orders because I needed to get things done.

Oh, how I love how much you love to play.

I'm sorry for not paying attention to you the way you deserved today.  For typing one last thing on the computer instead of watching you pretend to make soup.  For taking a phone call instead of reading you a story. For wanting one moment to myself instead of snuggling you. 

Those things are nothing compared to how important you are to me.

Forgive me, daughters. Forgive me that I chose myself above you.  For being selfish in those moments, for not seeing the world through your eyes.

You are beautiful, beautiful girls.  You live each day so passionately, sucking the marrow out of life.  You are learning, growing and acting every bit your age.  I am too often reminded of how empty my life would be without you, and yet I miss so many opportunities to cherish you, to adore you, to imprint your memories on my heart.   For not taking the chance to tell you one thousand more times you are my life, my love.

I play the day back through my mind, and freeze frame certain moments.  I wince at the caricatures of myself: portraits of anger, of frustration, of boredom.  I want to erase the drawn-in eyebrows, the menacing frown, the cross lines that streak my face.  Because I never want you to remember me this way, as the mommy who was angry, as the mommy who never had time.  

I don't want to be that monster.  

So, I pray you'll forgive me, little ones.  Because despite counting down the minutes many nights until bedtime, I always miss you once you are asleep.  I think of all the ways I could have praised you, the love I wished I'd lavished on you. And I vow that tomorrow will be different. Because life is too short.

Tomorrow we'll make new memories, embrace new opportunities.  Tomorrow I'll praise you in all the ways I wish I had today, and lavish you with love until it hurts. I find comfort that with the dawn the slate is wiped clean.  We start a new, my loves.  

Tomorrow is a new day.  



  1. You brought tears to my eyes. I spend most evenings thinking the very same things and feeling the very same way. I want to be a better mom and I fear I don't know how. You're most definitely not alone. Thank you for letting me (and the rest of us) know that we're not alone either.

  2. I find myself saying something similar to this on a daily basis! I always feel horrible for many of the statements above. thanks - I am not the only one!

  3. I feel you...I am having too many days (and nights) like this lately. Thanks for speaking so honestly.

  4. Thanks alot; not really as I'm crying as I'm reading this as I've had those days :(

  5. hit a big nerve here. I have too many of these days.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. Too often I tend to forget that I am not the only Mother in the world who has days/nights like this. Today IS a new day, may we all take comfort in knowing that we are not alone!

  7. Steph... this is beautiful. You know? Home::SWEET::Home starts with us as momma's.

    I'm right here with ya, sister.

    Thanks for your heart of transparency.

  8. Thank you for writing thoughts that mirror my own. Today was difficult but tomorrow will be better.

  9. Love this, despite the tears in my eyes that will fog up my contact lenses! :-) I have 3 children - 2 girls ages 14 and 10 and a son who just turned 2...I often wish I could go back in time via a time machine to when my girls were little and take back every unnecessary angry or crabby moment or the times I would be working on something I thought was so important at the time (it turns out, it really wasn't that important) and whisked them off to the other room to watch just one more show on the Disney channel...My girls turned out fine - fantastic, actually - but oh, how I had them small enough to curl up with me on the couch or to play dolls with again - just for a day! Enjoy them while they're young, I always say - which is what I am doing with my 2 year old son - because no one has invented that time machine yet! :-(

  10. Oh Lucha that is so beautiful! I often sit n think of how much I missed out on my chjildren growing up bein a working mom. I tnever seemed 2 b enough hours in a day. n now i as my children r all grown up> i wish i could bring them back 2 being my little ones just 4 awhjle just 2 b able 2 hug them n love them all over. My how time goes by! they grow so fast n off on their own b4 u know it. Just enjoy every spare minute u can with them. n just 2 let u know u r a wonderfui mom 2 my very special grandchildren. I love u very much 4 that. ;ove ya

  11. Steph! You tear jerker you! My husband just walked into my office (where I'm supposed to be working) instead I'm reading your post, tears streaking down my face... it seems there's never enough time, but you are right, they are ALL important.

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