This letter, To My First Born — I’m sorry, was written by my friend, Hillary Cole. There is something so special about having your first child, and every child thenceforth, until you are done having babies, and you can reflect on those years when you were first-time parents.
To my firstborn, I would like to officially and on the record, tell you I’m sorry. I’m sorry because you will always get the worst version of me as a mother.
I say that only half-jokingly.
You Were My World
For the first almost three years of your life, had someone asked me if I was the best mom in the world, I would have answered unequivocally and quite unabashedly that Yes, Yes, Of course, I was.
I mean, had they not seen your perfect nursery, painted beautifully with all those clothes washed and folded so neatly? Or that, hello— I took all the requisite courses: prenatal, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting.
And then when you came, I nursed you on-demand, I let you sleep when you needed to, I only let people hold you after they had used hand sanitizer.
And I held you non-stop, barely giving anyone else a chance to do so.
You were my world, wholly and completely. After a very traumatic entry into this world, nearly losing you, I had finally realized what love was.
And so, yes, there you have it, I WAS the best mom in the world.
Then, near your third birthday, I had another baby. Yes- your sibling joined our little family and you took on the role of the big sister. From that day on, I can see that being born first is not really a blessing, my dear.
I hate to break it to you, but for every ounce of crazy you got from me, your sister has gotten a much calmer version of me. Whereas every move you made made me nervous, with your sister I realized babies do some weird things and most of them don’t require a visit to the pediatrician.
Surprisingly, she has survived many nights without me watching her breathe or holding my hand on her chest and taking her pulse. Go figure… When you quit being an only child, I said goodbye to any idea of us all being healthy at the same time! Germs are like a family member these days.
With you, my first-born, we went through bottles of hand sanitizer and soap by the case load.
With the second, she was going to pick up every germ from you anyway, so why panic at every germ – like when she would occasionally put her mouth on the shopping cart, despite my efforts to keep it away? Once I’ve let it go that far, the gym daycare, preschool, and library group seemed a no-brainer.
With you, my first born, I traveled with a travel baby-potty so that whenever we were out in public, I could go running to our van if you had to go. Your younger sister has gone in almost every imaginable public restroom and, good news for me, learned to go on a regular sized toilet way before you ever did.
With you, I lost my temper more easily and got easily frustrated when you wouldn’t listen. I mean, shouldn’t a 2-year-old listen the first time, get dressed quickly, and buckle in their car seat easily?
But, you see, this apology letter is not really even for these first five years of your life. I mean, it sort of is, but we all know that you won’t remember most of these “mistakes” I made.
You WIll Always Be My First
What I’m trying to tell you is this… you are ALWAYS going to be my “first.”
You will be the first one to go through those angsty tween years. You will give us our first experience at parenting a teenage daughter, during those years those years where you aren’t a little girl, but you certainly aren’t ready to not be a little girl.
You will be the first one to test the limits of my patience day in and day out. You will be my guinea pig for reward systems, but also for following through on consequences.
Mean girls, training bras, curfews, boys… you will be the first to go through each of these phases. So as with anything in life, there will be a learning curve.
I will learn how to do it better, but you won’t usually be the one to reap that reward. But here’s what I can also tell you. I won’t always get it right with you. In fact, more often than not, I will probably get it wrong the first time.
But please, even when you are mad at me, angry at what I wouldn’t let you do, annoyed with what I made you do…please know that in everything I do, in every choice I make, I am always, always, trying to get back to that place where I believe I am the best mom in the world.
And it’s no longer me trying to prove it to the world, but to myself.
To My First Born Quotes
I found some quotes written about First Born children that I wanted to share…
- “The moment that changed me forever was the moment my first child was born. I was happy, filled with hope, and thought, ‘Now I understand the whole point of work, of life, of love.’” – Paul Theroux
- Join them in their world when they’re little so you’ll be welcome in their world when they get big.” – L.R. Knost
- “A baby boy has a special way of bringing out the man in his father and the little boy in his grandfather.” – Tanya Masse
- A daughter is a bundle of firsts that excite and delight, giggles that come from deep inside and are always contagious, everything wonderful and precious and your love for her knows no bounds.” – Barbara Cage
- “It is a smile of a baby that makes life worth living.” – Debasish Mridha
- “The amazing thing about becoming a parent is that you will never again be your own first priority.” – Olivia Wilde
- “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” – Carl Sandburg
- “A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die.” – Mary Mason
- “I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.” – Oprah
- “Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they’re already asleep.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr
Elizabeth Blanchard says
That was such a beautiful letter and captures exactly how I feel about my 1st born. Thanks for sharing such a touching letter.