I've been a mom for about 6 and a half years now, to three kids, and I've found myself biting my tongue on certain things. I don't always have a brain-to-mouth filter, so I'm glad I know better than to say the following things out loud. But I wish my kids knew them, nonetheless. Here are six things I wish I could tell my kids -- but will wait to say until they're grown:
1. I will always love you, but I won't always like you. Now, as young kids, you do things that try my patience, and if a friend did the same things, I'd tell her off. (Saying "I hate this dinner, and I'm never eating it!" comes to mind.) But you are my kids, and I love you, so I don't. I imagine this feeling will intensify when you're teenagers.
2. Some days, I don't do my best. And I'm OK with that. I don't always need to have a meal from scratch on the dinner table, and I think it's fine that I didn't do the laundry and now you're sleeping in your school clothes. If I pretended to give it my all every day, I'd be setting you guys up for failure.
3. I don't want you to please me. I want you to find yourself, even if that means bending my, and your father's, rules a bit. But this doesn't include when you choose your spouse. That is definitely a time when I'll want you to please me. Especially you, sons.
4. The world isn't black and white. I know that we are teaching you right from wrong, left from right, up from down, etc. I just don't want you to think it works like this in every aspect: love vs. hate, acceptance vs. denial, etc. There really are so many shades of gray (no, not Mommy's favorite book trilogy).
5. I don't always like your dad, but I'll always love him. Just like I love you guys, your dad has a very special place in my heart. When you see us kiss goodbye every morning, even when we're mad at each other, I hope you guys know that you will always have parents who respect each other, no matter what. Even when we're arguing over whose turn it is to change the poopy diaper... much like what I imagine our senior years will sound like.
6. I'm scared. I am scared all the time: Am I doing it right? Is this the right school/after-school program? Did I give you too much punishment? Not enough? Is this something you are going to talk about with your future therapist? I love you guys so much, and I want to do the best for you, at every opportunity. I wish life came with a crystal ball.