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Dear children, when I screw up, I hope you'll love me anyway

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Dear Children,

I haven't got this parenting thing down, not even close. I'm no expert and never will be. Parenting and being parented – well they are both hard, replete with mixed emotions and utter confusion. But one thing I know for sure?

It's that we are going to disappoint each other.

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There will be hours in which your whining will fill my ears and empty my brain. There will be days when you refuse to obey me, weeks full of unfinished chores. There will be half-hearted attempts to follow through with what I've asked you to do and you'll be steaming mad at me when privileges are lost.

But I'll love you anyway.

There will be moments when you are dishonest. When you intentionally lie to me. When you are sneaky and secretive in order to get what you want. And when your lies are uncovered, there will be consequences, resulting in accusations that I am being unfair. You will scream and stomp your feet. You will slam doors and lock me out.

But I'll love you anyway.

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At times you will take the easy road, instead of the right one. You will follow the crowd, even when the crowd is obviously wrong. You will make decisions based on feelings, not facts. You will wander from the truth and struggle to find your way back. You will resist the path that I've laid out before you.

But I'll love you anyway.

There will be seasons when you won't be able to stomach the sound of my voice. You will scoff at my advice and roll your eyes at my mere presence. You will refuse to be seen with me in public, then inform me of your fondness for someone else's mother. You will boldly proclaim that I know nothing and insist that you no longer love me.

But I'll love you anyway.

And as for me?

When I complain about how draining it is to be your mother?

I hope you'll love me anyway.

When my words are too harsh and I dole out punishments that really are unfair?

I hope you'll love me anyway.

When I stomp my feet and roll my eyes at whatever you've said or done?

I hope you'll love me anyway.

When I am hypocritical and my actions don't line up with my words?

I hope you'll love me anyway.

When I choose the wrong path and take you with me?

I hope you'll love me anyway.

When I fail to lead and we all become a little lost? When I embarrass you, sometimes on purpose? When you embarrass me and I am tempted to deny you? When I focus too much on your mistakes instead of celebrating your achievements? When I accuse you of lying when you're telling the truth?

Well, I hope you'll love me anyway.

It's far from graceful – this dance of parenting and being parented. But it's a dance that's performed with an abundance of grace.

No matter how many times you step on my feet or trip me up, I hope you know that I'll love you anyway. And when I cause you to stumble and make your heart fall? Well, I hope you'll love me anyway.

This post was originally published on A Beautifully Burdened Life. Be sure to follow Jenny on Facebook for more on her incomplete family and imperfect parenting.

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