My best

“Mama, can you help me get down?”

But before I could stand up, she fell. Smacked her head right on the sidewalk, after she’s climbed onto the retaining wall in front of our house. It’s probably only a foot and a half high, and the tumble from it sounded worse than it was, of course. But she’s 3, and this was a doozy of an owie, as far as owies go. So the tears came fast and hard.

As I scooped her up to rush her inside, she started wailing, “Mama, you didn’t help me!”

That’s when my tears started falling fast and hard, too.

Not because I thought it was my fault. Even in three short years, I’ve learned I can’t protect her from every fall and failure, nor do I think I should.

I started crying because she’d just articulated my biggest struggle since becoming a mom of two: that while my heart expanded to love two children unconditionally, it almost always feels impossible to be the mom they both need.

And, for the toddler who is less dependent on me than the newborn, it falls disproportionately on her.

I know all I can do is be the best mom I can be in any given moment. But in that given moment, my best felt woefully inadequate.

It wasn’t the first time. It won’t be the last time. I just hope they know that even when my best is merely good enough, it doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of better.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I totally get this! I have a toddler and baby as well (plus three big kids) and it’s rough. I love them all dearly yet I find that my time and efforts go to whoever is loudest in the moment. :/ I suppose that’s normal.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Laurin Lindsey on July 30, 2018 at 8:38 am

    You are a good Mom! That you will always question yourself it healthy. My son is 41 and I just spent an hour the other day comforting him about some painful issues he is going through. I can’t save him or kiss it and make it better. What we as Mom’s can do is be faithful in our efforts to be there with unconditional love.

    Reply

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