Work seems to have never-ending demands. All of these years I have strived to find balance. It’s hard to not want to be the best at both career woman and Mom. As I look back I hate when works’ demands and running the household made me choose to work over putting you first on my list. There were so many times I wished I could quit in order to have more time with you. Sometimes it makes me bitter, however, I realize my career has always also been a part of me.
Now as you go off to college I wonder where all the time has gone. My biggest concerns are what impact I’ve had on you. What lessons have you learned from how I have parented you and what I have valued? Has my ambition for my career and drive for success in my career negatively affected you?
Time seems to be running out and I find myself quickly trying to fix all the things I may have broken in you. Teach you all you need to know before you move out of the house. I want to pour out all my knowledge and life lessons to make your life easier, more fulfilled and joyous than my own.
Sometimes when I am trying to teach you all of these things or try to help you live life better, I go about it all the wrong way. I see that when I try to control your actions and your choices you do not react well.
I noticed the change in your tolerance of control around 13. You entered the time of your life where you were trying to understand yourself. You started to desire the freedom to define yourself and not let others try to define that for you. You started transforming from being a kid to an adult. Sometimes you still feel needy and yet you don’t want to feel you need anyone.
I was once like you. I know you want to make your parents proud but also want to be true to yourself. Some days are better than others and you still struggle with who you can trust. You want to have the freedom to make mistakes as you are learning. You want to be able to have your own money and not let that be the way others have control over you. You take pride in earning it even though you would prefer to do things where you don’t have to take on adult responsibility.
There are so many things I want to know about you. So many things I want to understand regarding your individual path of life. What are your fears, struggles, hopes, and dreams? I want you to feel safe to share these things with me.
I want to share all my own struggles and make myself vulnerable to you so you know you are not alone. I have and still make mistakes too. I know I am not perfect. I am on my own journey of life as well. The more I can understand you and you about me the better our relationship and lives will be.
I promise to work on not controlling you. Instead, I strive to work to influence you to make the best decisions for your future. I will work to make it safe for you to share who you are with me.
All I ask is, talk to me. Trust your Dad and me with our wisdom. Count on our love for you to coach you on decisions that are for your long-term well being. Get me to listen to you, understand you and ask for guidance when you need it.
Know that I am so very proud of you and that I love you no matter what!
I had written a similar letter to that of the above to my oldest daughter over a year ago. She is the one that said I should publish it. It was healing for me to write to her and healing for her to know how I felt. It helped bring us back together when I felt I was losing her.
Many working Mom’s ask themselves, “Have I:
-put my work ahead of my kids and made them feel less important?”
-set such high expectations of them the measuring scale seems to be perfection?”
-overcompensated to make their life easier and instead made them take things for granted?”
-taught them to find balance in their life and happiness within themselves?”
The second-guessing list goes on and on. If you are struggling as a Mom, know you are not alone. May this letter inspire you to write a letter of your own and help you find your own healing as your kids grow and start lives of their own.