I can’t be the mom whose house is always clean. We will always have crumbs on the floor and fingerprints on the door.
I can’t be the mom whose outfit is always cute. I have necklaces that never get worn, and don’t even get me started on my hair.
But I will be the mom who makes sure you have a safe home and clean(ish) clothes to wear.
I can’t be the mom who makes dinner every night. Some nights, we’re going to open the refrigerator and eat a smorgasbord of raw vegetables, fruit and deli meat.
I can’t be the mom who will pack you adorable lunches that look like smiley faces or who can make pancakes in the shape of a dinosaur.
But I will be the mom who makes you eat a carrot every day and lets you have chocolate at 9 a.m. because life is short.
I can’t be the mom who throws you extravagant birthday parties. In fact, I’ll mess up your party by accidentally telling half the guests that it starts at 11 a.m. and the other that it starts at 1 p.m.
I can’t be the mom who makes themed invites, decorations and party favors.
But I will be the mom who will spend all morning trying to make the super-specific blue dinosaur cake with orange spikes because I know that even if it looks like a disaster to an adult, you’ll totally get it and love it.
I can’t be the mom who remembers everything. I’m going to forget your lunch at least once every school year and I’ll totally space that today was our day to bring snacks for soccer.
I can’t be the mom who makes every game, every school party and every parent-teacher conference.
But I will be the mom who remembers the way your face would light up when I picked you up from day care, and I will be the mom who is there when it matters most.
I can’t be the mom who will play pretend with you. I’m sorry, my love, but I hate spending hours on the floor surrounded by plastic toys and imaginary dragons.
I can’t be the mom who gives you educational-only toys because I can’t pretend that I really care if you can read by the time you turn 3.
But I will be the mom who will take you hiking or will concoct a makeshift “Jurassic Park” scene out of plastic cups, string, straws and cardboard that looks amateur at best but provided you with hours of independent play.
I can’t be the mom who always puts you first. I can’t shuttle you around all day and tuck you into bed at night without taking some time for me.
But I will be the mom who will do whatever I can to make sure you are fed, educated, strong and independent.
I can’t be the mom who always holds it together. I’m going to cry in the bathroom with the door locked and I’m going to blurt out a curse word when I’m really frustrated.
But I will be the mom who can hold it together when it counts, like not showing you how terrified I am when you slam your head on the dresser or how sad I am that you are growing up.
There are so many things I can’t be for you, so I’m choosing instead to get better at the things I can be. I can be your mom, and I’m trying damn hard to be a good one.