A Rocky Start: A Letter For My Children

I am accepting responsibility for my parenting mistakes.  In “A Rocky Start:  A Letter for My Children” I share this with my children.

A Rocky Start
We have come a long way.

Dear Sydney and Owen,

We got off to a rocky start- like three years a rocky start.  More accurately, I got off to a rocky start. You were just babies.

Becoming a mother for the first time was a more difficult adjustment for me than I could have envisioned.  I was depressed but hugely in love with you Owen.

Becoming a mother for the second time was so much easier than I expected.  Until you woke up at six weeks, Sydney.  And then all hell broke loose.   I have told you about this before though, and I have apologized many times.

More importantly than saying I was sorry, I committed to making a change.   We were headed down a path that would continue to separate us.   There was a fear in me that our lives would spiral out of control if I was not the boss of you.  How could that not shape our dynamic?  I recognized that I could decide that our lives were not going to continue in the same way- that I could shape our family dynamic.

I have nearly overcome the behaviors that came from this fear.  I suppose it is like recovering from anything though;  I always have to be aware so that I do not return to these ways.

I wonder what life would have been like if I had not faced my worst fears and admitted my flaws.  I suspect we would be distant and you would be uncertain in life because you would have been uncertain with me.

I am a work in progress and I will always have a long way to go.  For you two I will continue to find my way, face my fears and be the home and comfort that you require.  Nothing except motherhood could make me do this.

It is scary, unsure and wrought with anxiety- until I do it. Once I admit whatever that next awful thing is about myself everything becomes better, I become lighter and I have more space to be with you.

I love you both so much, Owen and Sydney.  You have not only given me joy, but the desire to better myself.



But what did you do?  It is a question I have been asked a lot. So here are 5 things I changed for my children.  And here are 5 more.

21 Replies to “A Rocky Start: A Letter For My Children”

  1. Wow. I feel I need to write this letter for my children, with a few edited changes (personal experiences and at least one of the names!). I feel my journey has started 8 years too late…. well, actually, perhaps a year or 2 less, but those were the ‘sorry’ years and not the “Let’s stop saying sorry and make a change” time… but its here now, so I won’t hang out in the past.

    Moving forward. Sigh. Change is hard. Worth doing, though. I’d like to know,specifically, some of the changes you made… its easy enough for me to know when something isn’t right, but not how its to be mended. Tools for the toolbox.

    I thank you for sharing this. Its personal and probably a bit painful to admit it ‘publicly’. I commend you for that. And can only hope it helps me on my journey.

    Again, thank you.

    • The “sorry” years. That is a great characterization of that period before change occurs. In my experience they are a dark time. I think it is uplifting and inspiring to know that at almost any point we can decide “this is not what our family dynamic is going to be”. Truly.

      I have thought a lot about your question… what specifically I did differently. It was a big question that required a lot of reflection and a full (TWO) blog posts just to touch on the tip of the iceberg.

      Thank you so much for sharing so openly. I’ll be interested in your feedback on tomorrow an wednesday blog post.

  2. I really enjoy the honesty of your writing. Mothering is hard and you make it easier for others to admit they struggle and sometimes get it wrong. But every day is a new day and with every wrong comes a new lesson we can apply. I think you’re a great mum!

    • Bree- thank you! I can say with certainty that I am a better mom. A MUCH better mom, and my children’s eyes are shining from the improvement! It really is so hard, and the only real training is on the job!

  3. Just letting you know you will be next weeks featured blogger on Twinkle in the Eye for Flash Blog Friday. Is your name Jane? I can’t find it anywhere on your blog only in reference to your old blog. Cheers Bree

  4. I love this heartfelt post. It is a real struggle sometimes, taking strength we don’t know we have and which we have to find from somewhere.

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  6. WOW – I have five boys and I wrote a letter like this to my sons last year! You are so lucky you realised that you are working out how to be a better mum as your journey continues. I made so many mistakes, and it took losing my older son (he joined the navy last year) to realised that I was not the Mother that I wanted to be!
    I have followed in my mothers footsteps so many times, yet i had always promised NOT to do that.
    Its not easy being a Mum, especially with depression. I had Post-Natal depression with my second son and affected all of our family.
    It was so good to read your truthful letter ~ almost like reading something that I had wished to write when my boys were younger but I never realised that I needed to wake up.
    Hug your kids tighter ~ they grow so fast 🙂

  7. I think it’s so important for us to admit our flaws and try to better ourselves. We all have flaws and mommy guilt though and sometimes we just need to cut ourselves a break! Beautiful letter, but don’t be so hard on yourself all the time!! <3

    • Camille,

      Some day I am going to write a post about all of the things I am confident with- and that I know I have done well! Sometimes I think it seems like I sit around beating myself up all the time! Most of the time we are relaxed and happy- but I am in a state of reflection regularly. Thank you so much for visiting!

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