I've discovered that being a parent is HARD. The "right" choice isn't always obvious when it comes time to make a decision. And sometimes it's not a matter of right or wrong - there are just different paths to choose. And, try as we may, we don't always know what to do. I bet every parent out there has wished for the rewind button on at least one occasion.
My parents were/are certainly not perfect. And in that way, I am following in their footsteps. I am a vastly different mother to you than my own was to me or my friends are to their children. But we all have something in common.
As parents, we lay awake at night wondering how our children will turn out. What sort of school should you go to? What about sports? Musical instruments? Art? What talents do we nurture and how do we know if we've got a budding artist or athlete or scientist on our hands? How tough is too tough when it comes to "tough love"? Should I have made you eat those green beans? Do I read to you enough? If I tell you you're beautiful too much, will you think that's all that matters and become shallow? Should I feed you jarred baby food, or should I try baby-led weaning? Is it okay to let you play with toy guns?
We all want what's best, but by whose definition? WHAT is best? At the end of the day, I just want you to know that your father and I love you no matter what. Whether you grow up to be a dancer or a plumber or a doctor or a teacher or what-have-you. We will always love you. If you throw a tantrum the day before your wedding, I will still be there and I will smile in the pictures even though you acted like a brat. Because I love you. If something goes awry at a big event of yours and you blame everything on me, I will shake my head (maybe roll my eyes because, let's be honest, you're being a little dramatic) and help make it right. Because I love you. When you stayed up crying all night the first few weeks of your life, we wearily snuggled you until you finally fell asleep. When you kicked the back of the seat THE WHOLE ROAD TRIP that one time, we still stopped and let you pick out your favorite alien souvenir in Roswell. When you make a huge mess because you wanted to do *insert task here* yourself, we helped you clean it up and encouraged you to try again...even though we knew it would most likely end in mess again. We have both been covered in every type of bodily fluid you could muster....and we still want to give you hugs and kisses and snuggles and munch on your cheeks. All because...you guessed it--WE LOVE YOU.
And, goshdangit, I'm your MAMMA!