Dear Mom, Let Me Raise My Kids

Having children has made me reflect on my own relationship with my mom, and to be quite honest – such introspection has really stirred up some “mommy issues” for me. In coping with my own issues, I often journal. In fact, my psychiatrist even recommended I write a letter to someone who was causing grief in my life. The purpose of this exercise was not to send the letter to this person, but rather to get out the emotions I had been storing deep down. So recently when struggling over issues with my own mom {our children’s grandmother}, I took to writing a letter once again…

Dear Mom,

I’m sorry you didn’t breastfeed me.  I’m sorry you had fertility issues and prayed for more children.  I’m sorry you had to go back to work eight weeks after I was born because you didn’t have maternity leave.  I’m sorry you regret sending me to day care each day.  I know you wish you could have stayed home with me when I was growing up. But maybe me working full-time works best for my kids and my family?

Please don’t project your own parental guilt on me.

And stop loading my kids up with sugar. Stop giving my kids junk food to eat. We work hard to try to encourage healthy eating habits, but when you bring three dozen chocolate chip cookies every time you visit – that just means three dozen more fights with our kids.  And yes, food allergies are real.

Please stop being passive aggressive. Avoiding conflict because you want peace doesn’t solve problems. Please let me be the mom. I’m disciplining my kids in ways that work best for us.

And our sleeping situation? It works for us too. Keeping the kids up all night doesn’t actually help them sleep longer the next day.  Trust me, I know from experience with my own children.

Things have changed so much since you raised me. I’m not a negligent mom because I don’t do it your way. I’m doing the best I can, just like you did so many years ago.

I promise… I will ask for help when I want it. But first, I want to try to figure things out on my own.  So please back off. I just need some space. Your “suggestions” drive me nuts and don’t help anyone.

I’m still your daughter, but please realize I’m no longer a little girl. I’m just trying to be the best mom I can, so please let me.

Your Daughter


  1. Wow, I find this highly offensive as someone who is infertile. Are you infertile? If not, your note is soooo insensitive and judgemental. If you have NOT experienced infertility, you have no right to criticize your poor mother. This sounds like your problem, not hers. How selfish. Yes, she may not be perfect, but infertility is a medical condition that highly affects a woman or couple and I’m appalled you would even bring that up. You obviously were able to have as many kids as you wanted, right? Be grateful

    • Without knowing the full story of her relationship with her mother, you might be jumping to conclusions a bit. In the context of the whole letter, it seems like her mom uses some of the things she still feels guilty (or disappointed) about to try and sway her daughter’s parenting decisions. That’s not ok. Until you’ve had a mom like the one described, who tries and oversteps every parenting boundary, you won’t understand where the letter writer is coming from. You picked one sentence out of the whole letter. Infertility was not the subject at hand.


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