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A Letter to Moms Who Doubt They Are Loved

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There are visions in my head of how life should be. I wonder if we all have them, the endless thoughts. When I wake up I have them, before I go to bed I have them.

How is life going? Is it all I hoped it would be? What do my children think of me as their mother, as their parent? Am I all they could hope for? Am I letting them down somehow, somewhere? Is my illness ruining their life? I need to give them more. I need to expose them to more, show them more, let them experience more.

Is it ever enough?

I know I have many shortcomings. Whether physical or emotional, there are many.When my babies tell me of their endless love for me and that they would never ask for another mommy, I have at times thought to myself, “Really, but why?” What is it that makes them so content to be with me? And then I think, how long will they feel this way? The doubts of myself are endless and ever evolving. But I believe I am not alone. I believe there are many other mothers out there doubting themselves, too. I believe they think similar thoughts. They feel similar endless worries.

So here’s a letter to all the moms, including myself, who are stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and criticism.

Dear Beautiful Mothers,

I wonder if you are tired; if you feel overwhelmed with everything life has thrown at you. Perhaps life has thrown some hard balls you never saw coming. In those moments, perhaps it was as if the ball hit you in the chest and you did all you could to simply keep breathing. But you did, you kept breathing — for them. You pushed on — for them. You didn’t stop — for them. They may not understand how hard you tried for them in that moment, but maybe they do. I believe they see more than we realize. They take in every single moment, action and word. They see when you are hurting, they see when you are pushing through, pretending everything is OK. I believe they see it. And when you think you have been a monster for simply reacting to life, perhaps you really aren’t the monster you thought. Trust your children when they tell you what they think of you.

Instead of questioning their love or your abilities — simply listen to them.

Take the kisses and promises of forever in this moment.

Stop doubting everything you are and feel the love they are emitting. Someone taught them that love, someone showered them with those kisses they now return. Someone helped them feel so full inside that their little hearts are overflowing with love now.

There are reasons why no one else will do but “mommy” when they are sick. Why they want you there for special moments, even if it’s as simple as a first dance lesson. You are their comfort, you make everything better, even if you can’t, they see you try. Even if in our grown-up world everything seems to be falling apart, you are keeping their world together. They cannot imagine life without you.

So when they say they love you, trust it. When they say there is no other mommy in the world they would ever want, believe it. Allow yourself to feel it deep in your heart cause they mean it.

Even if you have additional struggles, like an endless health or mental condition, that can only make them soft in a world that is incredibly hard. It can teach them to be kind
to others because you never know what a person is going through under their seemingly fine appearance. It can help them be aware of bullies and make them strong against them, cause they’ve seen what you go through. It can make them a strong little person who will grow into a strong comforting adult.

They won’t be perfect either, but their empathy and kindness towards others can be something beautiful to see.

So give yourself a break. Stop doubting yourself so much. When your babies exclaim their love for you, take a moment to see the reasons why. I believe you’ll see them if you try, if you let yourself.


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Originally published: July 7, 2017
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