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This Is The Joy And Weight Of Motherhood

03/31/2017 12:09 EDT | Updated 03/31/2017 12:09 EDT

Tonight I went into your room to check on you before I went to bed.

Your little toes had escaped from under the blankets, so I gently tucked them back in.

I listened to your steady breath and noted how your small hands held tightly to your beloved blanket.

I wondered how long you will continue to sleep surrounded by all of your stuffed animals.

Being a mom, being your mom, is my greatest joy. But it is also my biggest responsibility.

I silently wished that you will never outgrow wanting me to kiss you one thousand times before you are able to drift off to dreamland.

I stood in the dark and the glow from your nightlight illuminated your sleeping face.

In the quiet of your room I felt myself fighting back tears. In the quiet of your room I realized how quickly you are growing. In the quiet of your room I felt the incredible pressure. In the quiet of your room I felt the weight of being your mom.

Being a mom, being your mom, is my greatest joy. But it is also my biggest responsibility.

And with that responsibility comes an insurmountable amount of worry. I worry about whether or not I spent enough time with you today, I think about the chicken nuggets I threw in the oven for supper, and I worry that I said "no" more than I said "yes." These days aren't exactly, super, but they are real. And, I think that this is OK. Actually, I think it's better than OK. Because, aren't most days made up of real moments with us being real moms.

The weight of being your mother weighs heavily on my shoulders. But, when I watch you, sleeping peacefully, I realize that this love we share is the purest kind of love. Your love sustains me through the dark moments. Your love fills my heart with joy at each milestone. Your love is what I cling to when I feel like I'm not measuring up to the challenges of parenthood.

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As parents we put so much pressure on ourselves. We try our best to "make the grade." But, the thing is, our children aren't grading us. They are too busy loving us. No matter what. Through the mess, through the chaos, through the greatness, through it all. There are no grades for parenting. Our results shine through our children; our beacons of light that, although they can drive us mad, are the best things we have created.

So my sweet girl, I want you to know I am doing my best. I want to apologize for the days when I could be doing better. I need you to know the love I have for you is immeasurable and everlasting.

You amaze me. I am in awe of you. And, even in the days where I am frustrated and feel like I have no clue what I'm doing, hearing the words, "I love you" dance off your lips fills my heart with incredible joy.

In the stillness of your room, I wish you the sweetest of dreams. Because you, my darling girl, are mine.

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