I Do Love You

posted in: Letter, Motherhood 55 comments

Dear Children,

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) – I will always love you. 

Even on days when I’m not my best self, when I’m not the best Mama, I do love you. Know that.

Even on the days when moods are bad, and things don’t go anyone’s way, I do love you. Remember that.

Especially on the days when I seem to shy away from your hugs and cuddles, sometimes, Mama just needs the space. The space to just be. The space to breathe. The space to remember that I am my own self. The space to realize that I am more than just a mother. I do love you. Maybe more than ever. 

Even when I raise my voice and wish I hadn’t. Even on days when I say ‘no’ more than I say ‘yes’. Even on days when I frown more than I smile. I do love you. 

Even when I have little energy to play, or read you a book, know that I do want to, but the body can only do so much in the hours that we are given. I do love you.

Isabel Allende quote on love and childr

Especially on the days when I have to focus on one or the other a little more, because sometimes, your brother needs me more. Please know, I do love you too. 

Even on days when it seems that you’ve become a child monster, when nothing makes you happy, when the smallest thing irks you, I do love you.

Even on days when nothing I serve you on a plate is good enough to eat but good enough to play with, I love you very much.

Especially on days when you turn the house upside down, spill food and juice everywhere, push each other around, and refuse to go to bed at night, yes, I love you to the moon and back. 

On days when it’s kisses and smiles and sticky heads and sweaty heads, I love you, with love bigger than the Universe.

And on days when I remember to be present, truly appreciate the blessings that you are to me, I love you, with love wider than the oceans combined.

Especially on days when I look into your eyes, and I thank you for allowing me to be your mother, imperfect as I am, your love so unconditional, know that I love you, forever and always. 

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the worldโ€™s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Womenโ€™s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesnโ€™t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • May 19, 2014 Tricia

    Beautiful. These are such important things to say out loud, or write out in black and white. Because sometimes the world can feel so grey but even though we might forget sometimes, these things are always true.
    Tricia recently wrote…Lovely little things, 17My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I worry about forgetting, which is why writing is so useful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 19, 2014 Deb

    Just wait until they hit teenage years. Thanks for this… So true, and so honest. We are not all perfect mamas, but most of us love as perfectly as we can. Failing to read a book is not neglect, nor is taking time for yourself (even if it means locking the bathroom door so you can pee in peace for once.). I used to read “Guess How Much I Love You” to my son on a regular basis with the same hope that he’d understand I loved him always and forever… He’s 22 now; it’s been and still often is, a challenging road, but he knows, no matter what, that I love him no matter what, and to the sun and the moon and the stars and back, no matter how imperfectly perfect a mama I am, or he is as a kid. After all, he is, and always will be, my baby. Your boys know that. And always will.

    Thanks for reminding us all that we are simply loving through parenting the best we can, the best way we can, the way it works best for us and our families.

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Deb, for your thoughtful comment!

  • May 19, 2014 Tina Truelove

    Awww, this is so sweet! It took me back to my children’s toddler days and also made me think about their teenage years. When my son turned 17, I became a crazy woman. LOL We both loved each other anyway – unconditionally.
    Tina Truelove recently wrote…Pizza Box Transportation RoadwayMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I am dreading the teen years ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 19, 2014 Kim

    Oh this is so true. The love is there – BIG love – even in those less-than-picture-perfect moments in parenting. The tears and frustration and exhaustion can’t touch that kind of love.
    Love this, Alison.
    Kim recently wrote…Glory DaysMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      The big love – yes, that. Thank you, Kim.

  • May 19, 2014 Barbara

    Beautifully said! Great post. I sometimes forget to say things like this to my boys I just hope they understand.

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I’m absolutely sure they do, Barbara!

  • May 19, 2014 Tamara

    Needed this!
    We went away this weekend and Des was a hot, clingy mess. He wouldn’t even let me go to the bathroom without crying. And I had to keep pushing him away when he reached for me. Sad, but I really needed space.
    And I do love him, like crazy.
    Tamara recently wrote…Sometimes I Think Horrible Things About Myself.My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      It’s so human, needing space. This weekend, I said (more than once), “Can’t I just PEE IN PEACE?” At the same time, it’s “Oh you boys, come here, Mama loves you!”

  • May 19, 2014 Andrea

    What a lovely post. You hit all those real-life moments that make us wonder if our kids really know how much we love them. They know we do, but sometimes it’s just good to say it so we are sure.
    Andrea recently wrote…The DanceMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Sometimes, I think they need to hear it, not just feel it.

  • May 20, 2014 Elaine A.

    They know it. But it still feels good to put it out there into the universe, doesn’t it?

    This is sweet and put a big smile on my face. Probably because I can really relate. ;-D

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes it does!

  • May 20, 2014 Katie

    So much truth here. I think this is something I too frequently worry…that they won’t know. They won’t know I love them no matter what. Yet, I think they do. Because even when the day has been rough, they still look to me for comfort and safety at bed time…no matter what happened during the day.
    Katie recently wrote…Project 365 {week 20}My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Same here, Katie! When we’ve had a particularly bad day, I always wonder if they think I don’t love them. Then one or both will come up to me, and give me a hug, put their head on my shoulder, and I know they know.

  • May 20, 2014 tracy

    Oh I have tears, my friend. So beautiful.
    tracy recently wrote…What Is A Little Free LibraryMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thanks, you. xo

  • Straight from the heart. And honest. You put into words what I feel every day.

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Tinne.

  • May 20, 2014 Lady Jennie

    I need to write something like this so my kids can read it later. Your love pours out of every word.

    (I know where that picture comes from). ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and MarketingMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Time to write the kids a book? ๐Ÿ™‚
      (yes, that was Normandy!)

  • May 20, 2014 Lisa

    This is simply beautiful! We all feel this way about our kids, but you have put it into words so eloquently.
    Lisa recently wrote…She Had Me At “Cookie!”My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Lisa.

  • May 20, 2014 Greta

    Oh, Alison, I could’ve written this myself, every single word. I relate to this so, so much. I’ve thought these exact thoughts. We’re doing the best we can, and our kids DO know how much we love them.
    Greta recently wrote…Project 365: Week 21My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes we are, and yes, they do know. And thank you.

  • May 20, 2014 Kerstin

    *Tear* Very beautiful, Alison. And I can tell you from experience, it’s still that way when they’re teenagers. Somehow it’s always the same – even the playing with the food. Ahem. That might just be us ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Kerstin recently wrote…42.5My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I’m pretty sure my kids will still be playing with their food when they’re older ๐Ÿ™‚
      And thank you.

  • May 20, 2014 Keely

    I’m just gonna go ahead and forward this to my kids’ future email inboxes.
    Keely recently wrote…Five Months Old. Now With Added Holiness!My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Hee! You do that. xo

  • May 20, 2014 Michelle

    So beautiful Alison. It really is important to say these things. I hope my kids know. Years ago, I made each of my children photo books where I wrote my hopes for each of them. They loved them. I should do something similar again one of these days soon.
    Michelle recently wrote…Chicken Caesar Grinders {Quick and Easy Meals}My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      That’s a wonderful idea, Michelle! I really should do that too.

  • May 20, 2014 Shell

    I feel this same way. I love my kids all the time, no matter what. Sometimes I get annoyed or irritated or even angry, but I still love them.
    Shell recently wrote…Soccer is a Way of Life #PassTheLoveMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      We’re only human, but our love for them is beyond that.

  • May 21, 2014 Jessica

    Gorgeous post, Alison! You are a great mom and your love for your children spills into all your words! I know this, and I, at the same time, get your anxiety, your wanting to make sure they know it, too. Love this and that quote.
    Jessica recently wrote…Some ThingsMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Jessica!

  • May 21, 2014 Robbie

    Very sweet. I miss the days when mine were little.
    Robbie recently wrote…Which WayMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Robbie. I know these days when they’re little will be over too soon. Sigh.

  • May 21, 2014 Arnebya

    It will never change, the love. Ever. My oldest asked if she robbed a bank would I still love her. Yes, I would, because you are my child. But I will absolutely let everyone know I raised you better. Now tell me where you hid the money.
    Arnebya recently wrote…This, That, and the OtherMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Hah!! I love you.

  • May 21, 2014 Allie

    I feel like this was written with mother’s everywhere! YES. ALWAYS.
    Allie recently wrote…Ten Penny Ale Duathlon! Race RecapMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Allie!

  • May 22, 2014 Rorybore

    I made a promise to myself – an Oath really, it’s that important – to end each day with hugs, kisses, prayers and I love you’s. No matter. and especially when I just want to close the door to their rooms at night and walk away. Especially those days — but, love covers over so much.
    Rorybore recently wrote…WW: BloomsMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I love that – ending the day on a loving, positive note. We try to do that too.

  • May 22, 2014 Natalie

    This seriously describes a day in my life…we have mirrored lives my friend…you know besides you are going to be adding twins to your mix. This is a truthful and wonderful post…and yes they do know it!
    Natalie recently wrote…A Weekend AwayMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I do feel that we do lead mirrored lives, Natalie. Isn’t it amazing?

  • May 28, 2014 Kimberly

    Beauty is in imperfection.
    I truly believe that kids don’t see all of the little things, but they feel them and I know that they know that they are loved…that was a weird sentence. Sorry ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kimberly recently wrote…A Little Bit Of This. A Lot Of That.My Profile

    • May 28, 2014 Alison

      Kids are way smarter than we are ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 28, 2014 Christine

    Oh yes. Absolutely all of this. So important to share with our kids especially in those not so perfect moments (which seems to be abundant in our house lately). I needed this reminder too.
    Christine recently wrote…Calavera Loves BoobiesMy Profile

    • May 28, 2014 Alison

      I hope the difficult times pass for you guys, and I’m sure your boys know you love them, always.

  • May 28, 2014 Kir

    This made me cry. (In all the good ways)

    Love is love. XO
    Kir recently wrote…Iโ€™m Listening {Happy Motherโ€™s Day to my Incredible Mom}My Profile

    • May 28, 2014 Alison

      Love IS love. And I love you!

  • May 30, 2014 Roxanne

    Oh, I’m not the only one.

    You’re doing amazing, mama. Keep on.

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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