When I say I love you, or when I wish you good night. 
When I say good morning, or when I say hold on tight.
These words will always have meaning, they will always shine bright.
For when I say I love you, it is with all my might.

My oldest daughter starts school next September. 45 days from now, she will be starting school.
(yup, doesn’t stop freaking me out, no matter how I turn that phrase around)

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around such a milestone. (I know, I know she will be going away to college before I know it, but can I please stay in denial-land for another few years? K, thanks!)

It simply went by so fast, and although I might’ve missed some moments of her childhood while at work, I like to think I was there for most of her ”firsts”. Being a mother who works full time is the lifestyle we chose before we were ever parents and while I don’t like to say that it’s something I regret, I do know now it’s something I would chose differently if I had the chance. Knowing today how divided you can feel as a woman when deciding to go to work instead of staying at home with your children, each morning. Although sometimes it is a financial decision, many of us need that career bubble on the side to feel complete. (& it’s okay!)

Now as I sit here after I’ve kissed each of them good night, I cannot get over how much  I love them (to the moon & back and then all the way around the world, we say)

I may not be forever present with them, but I damn well try to be the best mother I can be to them both when I am. And by this I mean, I am in no way perfect. I sometimes have a short temper, but I’ll soothe their sorrow in a heartbeat. I’ll sometimes say no too often in one day, and sometimes it’s because I need some personal space. But on the other hand I’ll listen to their stories to no end, I know their little souls by heart, and our snuggle times are the best. Therefore, I believe this makes me a good mom.

Because I have boundaries, I am not a robot, and I am flawed, yes, but it makes me human and they will always know that when I say I love you I mean it deeply. All I can hope for them is that by seeing me this way, they will learn to be more forgiving with themselves one day.

I remember reading a quote by Elisabeth Stone about making the decision to have children when I was on my first maternity leave and sleep deprived ”It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body”, man, I remember crying about it and calling my husband wailing ”How can we handle this??!! How can we protect her from.. EVERYTHING?!?” (I am married to the most calm, patient man on this planet therefore the situation was only a blip on my radar by 5 pm that day) But this quote, it stayed with me. It is constantly on my mind, even now, 4 years later. Because it is so darn true.

My kids make me feel a range of emotions I didn’t even know I had. I can go frompulling-my-hair-out to my-heart-cannot-contain-this-much-love in .3 seconds. From holy-crap-this-house-will-NEVER-be-clean to  who-cares-lets-sell-the-house-and-travel-the-world in another .2 seconds. (Okay, so this might make me sound slightly bi-polar, but that’s not the point I’m making)

There is nothing comparable to having children. Making decisions that are life-altering like none you would ever have to make at work, you have responsibilities that no salary can measure. You are raising humans, tiny ones and they are filled with challenges no customer will ever bring you. While one is counted in dollars, the other is counted in moments. These moments are temporary still, for they will make their own way, make their own decisions in time. Therefore I am bottling them up, putting them on a shelve, and saving them for that day when she takes off to college.

Ps. To all the working women out there who are not yet Mommas, or who don’t want to be; I respect the crap outta ya’ll as well. While I make a big deal about having children in this article, it is quite clear to me that there are many other ways to have a life fulfilled, therefore no offense is meant for you gals.


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Published by Vanessa Lagacé