The Paper Bag That Made Me Cry

Finding the balance in parenting is just hard. We all know there isn’t a rule book or instruction manual for this role. Somehow we have to just do our best, with our love for our children guiding the way, and hope that it is in fact enough. Maybe if I keep telling myself this one day it will stick.

Am I still going to rush around at the last minute to get one more thing for my son’s school project, so he doesn’t feel disappointed? Probably. Will I still stay up way past my bedtime just to make sure that someone’s favorite shirt gets into the dryer for tomorrow? More than likely.

But can I also give myself a little grace? You bet. The thing about parenting is that we try so hard to make our kids happy, but they don’t even notice half of what we are doing for them. What they do notice is that they are safe, loved, and protected. They know that we are in their corner, and will be by their side through the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs.

My son has long since forgotten about the boring brown toy in his paper bag that day, but he won’t soon forget my love for him or the smile on my face when he looks back and sees me rooting for him. Because that’s always where I’ll be for my kids. Just being me. Just the way I am. Imperfectly parenting to the best of my ability.


This piece originally appeared at This Beautiful Mom Life, published with permission.

Allison Smith
Allison Smith
I’m Allison, a wife, mommy, and educator just trying to be a little better today than I was yesterday. I’ve been married to Mike, my high school sweetheart, for seventeen years. We experienced deep loss and great joy as we built our family. We are so thankful to have four precious, energetic little boys with us, and our triplet angel sons watching over us. Josey, Gavin, Parker and our newly adopted son Jensen keep the house full of (loud!) noises and non-stop laughter. When I’m not in the classroom you’ll find me cheering for one of my boys at a sporting event, or enjoying some time just for me while I get in a workout.

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