Dear Daughter, I’m Doing the Best I Can

Dear Daughter,

I’ve always been honest with you and I will be honest again in saying that this is hard. Raising a child born to someone else comes with one thousand emotions, guilt being at the top of the list. You were taken from your biological mother because she was deemed unfit to parent you, and so I feel as though I don’t deserve you unless I can do better than she did. And it doesn’t stop at better. No, there were dozens, maybe hundreds of waiting parents but they picked me, so I have to not just be better but the best, and the honest to goodness fact is that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, either. I’ve read all the books, taken all the training, talked to all the professionals and still, I don’t really know if I’m doing this right. I try to view all sides before I make decisions. I try to stay calm at all times so you know I can take on all the problems that are too big for you. I try to put vegetables in your lunch and make sure you’re getting enough physical and social activity. I get up in the middle of the night to kiss away your nightmares. And yet, your teacher sends home a note because I sent you to school without snowpants and I feel like a failure. I lose my temper after dealing with your meltdowns for hours on end and I feel like a failure. You had three teeth fall out this summer and I haven’t gotten you into the dentist for a check-up and so I feel like a failure. I don’t have anyone to remind me that I asked you twice that morning to put on your snow pants, or that we have enough appointments already between the peadeatrician and the therapists and the social worker, or that it’s okay to lose my temper sometimes because after all, I’m only human. I am expected, at least in my own mind, to be perfect. To not make mistakes. I am supposed to be the best mother.

I have to slap myself to remind me that there is no such thing as a best mother. Anyone with half a brain knows that we are all just doing the best we can. I am. And so was she. Your biological mom. She did the best she could and I’m doing the best I can and I guess at the end of the day that’s all you can ask for from a parent. So do me a favour please, and go easy on us both. I promise you, we are being plenty hard enough on ourselves.

Love,

Mom

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