To my beautiful girls,
You are the last thing I think about at night when I try to get some sleep.
I think about all the times that day when I’ve raised my voice to you. All the times I’ve had to work when you wanted me to play.
I think about how quickly you’re growing up, how much you are changing. And about the things I miss when I’m not with you.
I remember the times when you’ve been trying to get my attention whilst I’ve been talking or doing something. And the times you’ve asked to paint, bake or sing with me and I’ve said no.
I lie in bed and contemplate how I could have done things better. And I realise that tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I’ll be a better mum.
Tomorrow, I will let you take your time getting ready to go out. I’ll remember that if we’re late, it doesn’t really matter.
When we’re walking down the road and you don’t want to hold my hand, I won’t get cross. I’ll remember how sensible you are and I’ll let you walk quietly next to me like you always do.
When you ask to help me with the cooking, I’ll find something that you can do. When the dinner is about to burn but you want a cuddle, I’ll stop what I’m doing, because I’m your mum.
When I’m on my phone and you want a chat, I’ll put my phone down and we’ll talk.
We’ll talk about the fun things like Christmas. We’ll go shopping, buy gifts and wrap them together.
We’ll discuss the difficult things too, like where babies come from and why we all have to die. This time, I won’t put your question off for another day.
When you say the same word again and again, I’ll listen harder and try to understand.
When you ask to go to the park in the rain or have a picnic on the lounge floor, we’ll do it. Why wouldn’t we, what does it matter?
And then I’ll drift off to sleep for a few short hours.
Soon, I’ll hear your voices forcing me to wake from dreams of all the wonderful things we’re going to do together.
And you’ll be dawdling, singing and wanting to chat when we’re due to be somewhere. I’ll have work pressures, emails pinging into my inbox, people phoning and asking me to take on just one more thing.
There will be bins to put out, floors to clean, dishes that need washing and dinners that need cooking.
And you will still be my beautiful, patient, happy little girls. You’ll keep yourselves entertained. You’ll glance up at me for approval and see that I’m busy.
You’ll ask me to come to you, to play, read and sing. I’ll tell you how hard I’m working and you’ll go and find something else to do.
And some day soon when I think of you at night, you’ll be bigger and you’ll have your own life. I’ll remember all the amazing times we had together when you were small.
And I’ll wish that there had been more. I’ll wish that I could have had more time with my beautiful children when they were young.
But not yet. Tonight when I think about you I’ll think of my future self. I’ll think of my regret at missing your childhood due to work, social media, cooking and cleaning.
And I’ll resolve that tomorrow I’ll take the time to make the most of the amazing little people that you are now. Tomorrow I’ll try harder. Tomorrow I’ll be a better mum.