Dear Kids,

I’m getting it all wrong.

Well, maybe not ALL wrong. But I’m getting a lot of it wrong. And I’m really sorry.

You see, there is a very clear image in my mind of the kind of mom I WANT to be for you guys. She’s amazing. Freaking amazing. You’d be so pumped if you had her for your mom.  

That mom REALLY wants to exist, but the problem, is that far too often, life, busyness, her own selfishness, and let’s get real…YOU GUYS…come along, and POOF! 

For example, you remember this morning, when we were scurrying around like crazy people, trying to get Brother out the door for school on time? That looked like Rush Rush, didn’t it? Busy. Hurry. Mama’s being short with us. Mama is irritated. Frustrated. “Why can you guys not just WALK on your LEGS to the (under my breath, “effing”) car?” But you know what I WANTED it to look like? I wanted it to look like celebrating the new day.  Taking in the beautiful sunrise (yes, unfortunately we are up that early). Sending you off on your day with affirmation and encouragement and most of all…LOVE.  

But it didn’t look like that, and instead, as Big Brother walked inside the school building looking so grown up, I pulled out of the parking lot teary-eyed, because now it was too late, and his day in there (away from me) has already begun.  

And hey…Middle and Little Brothers…you guys remember when we got home from dropping G off at school? And you guys instantly wanted to know if we could go outside and play together? Well I wanted to.  I really did. But the problem is that all of our breakfast dishes were still out, leftover eggs in the pan. The dryer that I started before we left is buzzing, and I neeed to get the clothes out before they get all wrinkled.  And a text just came through that I really need to respond to. I have to attend to all these things, because who else is going to do it? But what I WANT to do is throw on boots with my pajamas like you guys just did, and run around outside in the early  morning sunshine, and just…play.  

But I didn’t do that, and now you guys are over it..being outside, that is, and you’re asking to watch Sesame Street, which I guess is good, because now I can continue folding laundry uninterrupted, but man.  I missed out, and I’m sorry.  

Then we left to go to the gym. In the car, you (my curious little monkey of a three year old) had 5,000 questions. “Mom remember that one time when we went to that one fun place to play with those friends? What was it called? When can we go back? Who were those friends that were with us? When can we see them?” “Mom, can you turn it up? I love this song. Who sings it? What’s it about?” And baby, the thing is, I actually love answering questions for you. Having conversations with you guys is one of my favorite things ever. And I LOVE to hear your sweet little babyish voice singing all the wrong words to songs. But you see…I had to call and schedule an ENT appointment for you for next week, and I needed to call the insurance company to see why they didn’t cover that one bill, and while you guys are contained in the car is the very best time to do that…so instead of answering your questions and listening to you sing, I said, “Ssssh. Mommy is on the phone. Be a little quieter, please.”  

And now I’m running on the treadmill at the gym, but I’m feeling sad, and like maybe I should just go get you out of your class and give you a huge hug, and answer all those questions from in the car…but if I do that, how am I going to squeeze in this workout? So I guess I’ll stay here and keep burning off these calories, and maybe I can try to do better on our drive home.  

Later, after we got home and had lunch, it was time for yours and Baby’s nap. So I put him in his crib and gave him a kiss, then came and curled up in bed with you. I “graciously” bestowed upon you one story, and five minutes of my “precious” time cuddling. You wanted more though. “One more story?” “Five more minutes of snuggle?” I had to turn you down, but once again, unbeknownst to you, it wasn’t because I didn’t WANT to do those things. I would have loved to. But if I don’t use y’alls nap time for laundry, for cleaning out the fridge, for prepping our dinner tonight, then just when AM I going to do those things? 

So I told you “no,” but while I busily attended to all my busy-ness, I mostly thought about the fact that I probably only have 4 years or so before the very LAST thing you are going to want is “more cuddles with mama” (maybe a few years more with your baby brother, probably a few years LESS with your older brother), and that is so sad, but what am I supposed to do? Someone has to do these things, right?

The day went on.  

We dashed to pick up Brother, when we should have dawdled (but I couldn’t help that Baby napped until the very last second, and therefore we had no time to spare)

We didn’t sit down together, Amazingly Intelligent and Creative Big Brother, to write and illustrate a story about “What REALLY Happened to the Titanic” (but I actually couldn’t HELP it that Baby wouldn’t stop crying, and Middle just tried to wipe his own butt after pooping. )

It really wouldn’t have been the end of the world to let you guys stay up past your bedtime tonight (even though it was a school night) to watch a movie and eat popcorn and maybe even the hot chocolate you requested (but then daddy walked in the door from his long day, and I could tell by the look in his eyes that it had been the kind of day where what he desperately needed now was “quiet” and not “crazy,” and I can’t help it, that it’s my job to love him well too).

So you guys, I’m really sorry. There are a handful of things I am getting right each day, but there are so many more I am getting wrong.  Some of these “wrongs” I could probably do better on…others, I just really can’t. I want you to know though, that what I WANT to do is to just spend more time just BEING with you. Sitting. Listening. Looking. BEING. I also want you to know that every day, I’m crossing my fingers, and praying like crazy, that despite my shortcomings, you will guys will turn out (mostly) alright in the end, and that above all else, you will know that I love you madly.  

In the meantime though, I’m getting it all wrong, and I’m sorry.  



Hayley Hengst
Hello AMB readers! I'm Hayley. Wife to my high school sweetheart, Nason. Stay-at-home mom to three boys/angels/tyrants (primarily tyrants). Most days, I am very content in that role. Other days, well, you know how it goes. I absolutely love writing for Austin Moms Blog. I also love: books, bubble baths, Mexican food, porch swings, and travelling. I hate: the hustle and bustle of trying to get out the door, on time, with all three of my kids. Seriously, I just kind of give up. You can read more about my crazy crew at!


  1. They will be just fine! ❤ Don’t worry, Momma.

    ❤, Mom of a 17 and 14 year old who wrote something like this just …. yesterday.


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