An Open Letter To Me; I’m Sorry

Dear Me –

I’m not sure where to start, but it feels like a heartfelt, “I’m sorry,” would be good. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately and I feel shameful for the way I have treated you. While I know (better than anyone), how hard things are at times, I’ve still sat in judgment of you – constantly. I’m so sorry.

I live your daily struggle with Big Son; I see how hard you work to help him manage his ADHD and processing disorder. I know you spend countless hours researching, reading, trying new things and worrying. But I still chime in each day, telling you how you have not done enough, how you yelled this morning (which you KNOW is the worst possible way to communicate with your ADHD child), how the laundry is still not folded and you let the chicken sit in the fridge and ordered pizza. I remind you, these actions are the actions of a mom who is NOT doing her job right. I tell you this is what “lazy” moms do, moms who don’t care. I’m sorry.

Last week you spent time volunteering at Big Sons school and filling out countless back-to-school forms. You got school supplies, new clothes, all of Big Sons medical forms filled out, signed by Dr. and into school with his medicines. But, at the end of the week, I chastised you for being too tired to work out (your pants are getting snug) and forgetting to make an allergy Dr. appointment. I’m sorry.

On Saturday, after you’d taken all 3 boys to the trampoline house, to the store for a treat (which I let you know later was not the best idea – sugar is the devil, I said), then cooked dinner and finally got the laundry done, I made you feel bad for not watching that mind-numbing cartoon when Little Son asked and for having that second glass of wine. I’m sorry.

And those are just the recent things I am sorry for. I think back to the past 12 years with us being a mom and I cringe at how I have treated you. I’m also sorry for making you feel shame when you had to go to work every day and drop Big Son at daycare when he was little. I know you needed to work, but I still made you feel horrible. I told you all the other moms were judging you for not making it to every class party, field trip or concert. I sat in judgment of you when Big Sons dad had to work late and you let him zone out in front of the television (screen time will rot his brain, I said), while you cooked and cleaned up. I’m sorry.

When your marriage crumbled and you were a shattered shell of a human, I said you were ruining your children’s lives by being selfish and wanting out. I told you they would someday hate you. I told you everyone you know would judge you too. I watched you stay for a year and a half and struggle. I watched you lose yourself and I judged you – I shamed you. I’m sorry.

Each time you’ve allowed yourself to be even a little bit human, to feel overwhelmed with the day, overwhelmed with the noise, the fighting, the pee on the floor, the messy rooms and refusal to eat the healthy dinner you cooked, I judged you. I reminded you that YOU chose to have kids and I said you needed to step up and overcome those feelings. I told you other moms did it and I shamed you with, “Why can’t you?” I chastised you for not being perfect, for being human. I’m sorry.

I want to change for you. I want to support you in this crazy, joyous, scary and often times, overwhelming journey of motherhood. I want to be your biggest cheerleader when you’re successful,(Big Son finally puts new underwear on each day – yay!) and your safety net on those dark days, when it all feels like it is too much, and you’re not sure how you will cope with one more school detention for missing homework. I want you to end each day hearing me say, “You did the best you could today. You’re Awesome!” I want you to know that I mean it, I do. Because I KNOW how hard you try. I KNOW how deeply you love. I KNOW how difficult it can be.

So, my dearest me, I am sorry for the past. I am committed to you, to our journey through motherhood and to supporting you in being the best possible mom and human you can be.

You’re Awesome!

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