I remember her tucking me in and kissing me good night every single evening.
I remember her helping me with homework.
I remember her crying with me when my heart got broken.
I remember her laughing with me when we had something to celebrate.
I remember her wiping my forehead with a cold cloth when I was sick.
I remember her always being by my side.
But, most of all, I remember her.
We can be pretty hard on ourselves, can’t we?
We wonder if we are doing enough, volunteering enough, making enough, crafting enough, cleaning enough, mothering enough.
We question ourselves, don’t we?
Are we enough as moms? Are we doing a good enough job? Are our kids missing out? Are our kids doing too much? Is the house clean enough? Are the dishes done? Did we plan an activity for the next big holiday? The list goes on and on, my friends.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
What will they remember?
I hope that when my daughter looks back she remembers the person I was. I hope she cherishes the memories we built together. I want her to recall the precious, everyday moments that defined our relationship.
At the end of the day, the “things” don’t matter. I don’t want my daughter to remember these “things” — I want her to remember me. My heart, my soul, and the love I have for her. This is what I want her to remember.
When she looks back on her childhood, she’s not going to remember the pile of laundry on the couch, other than that she loved leaping into it and laughing. She’s not going to remember a sink full of dishes. She’ll remember eating our meals as a family — our hearts and bellies full.
She’s not going to remember if Sally’s mom brought homemade, gluten-free, organic cupcakes, and her own mom brought a bag of store-bought cookies. She will remember that I was there to pick her up and listen to every detail of her day.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Beat ourselves up? Drag ourselves to exhaustion to be Pinterest-perfect?
Here’s the thing: None of us are perfect, and quite frankly, do we really want to be? The mess and the chaos? This is what motherhood is. It’s what being a family is about. And it’s the memories we make with our children that they will remember.
Our kids love us — unconditionally.
They love us when we are at our best, but they love us just the same when we’re not. They don’t care if we’re frazzled and messy. They look up at us and say, “I look just like you, Mama.” This. This is what they will remember.
So the next time you beat yourself up because you didn’t get that “thing” done on your list, count up the cuddles, the kisses, the moments, and the endless “I love you”s.
This is the list we should always remember. Because this is the list our children will remember.