My Letter To The Perfect Parent

Okay. I know I got a little upset tonight. You were explaining why something was important and I know by the defensive stance I took it seemed as if all I cared about was my pride and not whether I was doing the right thing for my child or not.

I know how it must of looked and/or sounded. I do want to apologize for my attitude because I know you thought you were helping. I know your intentions are good. This is what I need you to know and please keep your ears and heart open as you read this and really think about it before you do what I did and immediately go into defensive survival mode. That will solve nothing.

I know you are a wonderful parent. How could I not? You raised me and I wasn’t even yours by blood. I know even more so that you are an amazing and caring grandma to all of my children and you want the best for all of us. I know you mean to help and you want to see me succeed. Here’s the thing.

I know I’m not perfect. I get angry. I make the wrong judgement call. I leave the skin on apples when I cut them and sometimes I get selfish and would rather take a bubble bath than finish the laundry. I know you take stains seriously and I’d rather just buy a new shirt than deal with it (gasp!)

But I’m trying.

I’m not a perfect parent and I’m sure not even close to as good as you were, but I’m their mom. I love them all with every thing inside of me. In theory you know this but while you are probably my most trusted friend and keep me honest, I don’t open up very often about what I struggle with daily.

I say this hoping it doesn’t sound self centered, but the truth is I battle many things EVERY day that you are aware of but have never had to deal with, personally. You’re no idiot. I would never claim that. But. You’ve never had an addiction. You lost your second husband and that was a very trying period but your kids were grown. My brain battles are exhausting, I get weary and overly aggravated. Sometimes I don’t win them. Other days I do. Some days I’m happy I just got up in the morning and kept it together all day, even if no housework has been done.

There is something deep and dark in me that feels faced with some invisible but constant battle. A force telling me to be scared. Telling me I’ll never be good enough. Telling me getting up and doing the right thing is pointless. That trying is pointless.

While I know and try to expose these lies for what they are, there still is not one single moment in my day that I don’t fight these thoughts. I fight for my soul. For my children’s souls. For sanity in the middle of all the madness though some days I confess, it feels like losing touch with reality would be much easier. Drinking tea and flying high seems like it would embrace me with ease and I would perfectly melt into that world, unlike fighting for my place on the unsteady ground I reach for in this one.

If I didn’t care or love, I would of left you with them long ago. If I didn’t I wouldn’t fight these lies, or my addictive nature at all. If I didn’t put them first in every single thing I would never be in recovery. I would never have a setback because there would never be any steps forward. If I was as selfish as you think at times I would never let any of your foods for thought marinate. So, I care. There’s nothing I want more than to be their mother, the best one I can be.

Even though I will never be you.

My house may never look like yours till Jude is 18. I will never be who you were and continue to be in my life. But I’m their Mom. I’m me. Mary Lee.

I think I have what they need. I have watched their eyes flutter as they slowly doze off. I’ve felt their bodies relax next to mine after hour long cry fests because they miss their dad and I had nothing to offer but my arms and all the rest of me.

But I have given that. And I will continue to without a second thought; even if you don’t see it. I’m their Mom.

I don’t say this because I mean i am close minded and don’t need your help or discount your wisdom or advice. I cherish those talks. I just NEED you to see me. See that even though I’m not you, I love them just as fiercely and devotedly as you did me. Offer wisdom, don’t dismiss my instinct and opinion. Guide me, because I trust you and that’s saying a lot, I don’t trust easily at ALL and you know this, but also believe in me. And say that you do. Please. As small of a thing as it may seem to you, it isn’t. I need this now from you.

I love you, as you know I do,
Your perfect grandsons’ imperfect mother


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