Parenting, What's On Our Mind

A MUST-READ for any mother who has ever lost it at her kids

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
December 9th, 2016

I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve had to apologise to my children.

I’ve lost my shit at them more times than I can remember. Sometimes it’s been at things they’ve done and sometimes it’s been about my own inability to deal with their demands.  There are times when I’ve lost control, where I’ve acted like a child myself and screamed at them, screamed into their little faces to just “Put your shoes on!” “No more fighting!” or “Stop! Just stop! I’ve had enough!”

Every time, every single time, I’ve felt guilty. I’ve felt that I’ve wounded them, or if I’m completely honest, tainted their view of me – the woman who loves them, in words I’ve said countless times, “more than anyone has ever loved another person in the whole wide world.”

Then I read this, and it made me cry. It made me cry because I identified with it so much – with my perception of my own shortcomings as a mother and my children’s beautiful, loving and never-ending ability to forgive me. To shake it off, like it’s no biggy. To look up at me, and understand, unequivocally and completely, that I am their mother and nobody, nobody in the world will ever love them as much as I do.

Because we’re mothers. We’re not perfect, we’re just human. We’re just women trying our hardest to be the best mothers, the best role models and the best humans, we can be.

Dear Mummy,

You don’t have to be sorry.

The other day, I heard you crying in the bathroom. That was the day that you just couldn’t take it anymore. My brother spilled a gallon of milk, which apparently “costs more than college,” and I had an accident on the floor. We both had been screaming and crying all day, and we wouldn’t leave you alone even though you asked for just five minutes.

You locked yourself in the bathroom, and you cried. When you cam out, you hugged both of us, and you said you were sorry.

Mummy, you don’t have to be sorry.

Then there was that day that you were on the phone. A lot. You said there were some things you wanted to read and pictures you wanted to see. When you tucked me in at night, you told me you were sorry you were on the phone so much.

Mummy, you don’t have to be sorry.

I remember the day that I was following you around the house crying because I wanted to be held, but you had so much cleaning to do because Grandma was coming. Once all the cleaning was done, you picked me up and cuddled with me on the couch for a minute before I jumped off your lap. That one minute was all I needed, but I saw the look on your face. It’s the same look you make when you tell Daddy, “One day soon, they won’t want to be held at all.”

Mummy, you don’t have to be sorry.

Remember the day you yelled really loudly at me? So loud that it scared me and I started crying? And I was confused because I was scared and I usually want you when I’m scared, but you were the person who scared me, and I didn’t know what to do? Your face softened right away, and you picked me up and promised never to make that sound again.

Mummy, you don’t have to be sorry.

You don’t have to be sorry that you have bad days. I have bad days too, and you always tell me that it’s OK to have a bad day.

You don’t have to be sorry that you didn’t make dinner. I love when you tell us that dinner is a picnic and we snack off a cheese plate that you put on a blanket on the floor.

You don’t have to be sorry that I didn’t get a bath last night because you were too tired, or that you didn’t want to read a third story, or that you got frustrated because I kept crawling out of bed.

Mummy, I see you. I may not always thank you, or tell you I love you, or do what you want me to do, but I do see you. On the days when you feel sorry, please remember the way my face lights up when you walk in the door, or how your kisses are somehow magic when I’m hurt.

You don’t have to be sorry. When no one else understands what I’m saying, you do. When no one else can comfort me, you can. When no one else could put up with my bad days, you do.

You may not be perfect, but you are the perfect mummy for me.


Your baby

This letter was written by Kate Meier and originally published on 

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