If you have a million feelings about motherhood, you’ll want to read this.

Photo above courtesy of Heather Abraham.

Motherhood can leave even the most confident woman second-guessing herself. We want so badly to do it right that it’s easy to feel sure we’re doing it wrong, especially when the culture seems to be telling us that we’ve got to be perfect.

On a recent night, Heather Abraham found herself thinking about the blessing and the weight of motherhood, and the pressures of being a woman that await her daughters as they grow. Though her work as a KDKA-TV host and the challenge of raising three kids leave her little time to write these days, she sat down and wrote a poem about all that she was feeling.

“It honestly spilled out of me as I was braiding my daughters hair the other night,” she told us.

We’ve asked Heather if we could publish this poem, because it really resonated with us. We have a feeling that many of you will relate to it. We’re glad to share it with you.

by Heather Abraham

At night, I get to braid my daughter’s hair.
Get to.
Not aways want to.
But I pick up the brush.
Knowing… because it has been forced into my memory… that this moment will pass.

It will pass. They will grow up.
Don’t complain even when it’s hard.
It will be gone too soon.
I stroke her hair with the brush in my hand… guiding my other hand over to gently smooth.

As the mother’s guilt arrives.
The constant reminder.
With each gathering of hair in my hand.
With her quiet and sometimes loud squeals of pain
As the knots of hair get tangled in my fingers

A reminder to teach that beauty is pain
And that beauty is not important
A reminder of all the lessons I’ve yet to teach.
Am I doing enough.
As the guilt creeps back in.

The hair crosses over.
More hair.
Beautiful, unblemished hair.
Yet to be bleached or colored or tainted by someone else’s interpretation of beauty.
Beauty is not important.

Am I doing enough.
I wonder over and over again as I’m running out of hair to gather.
Will she remember these quiet moments in the living room
That meant crimped hair for her in the morning but meant her youth was still in my hands.

I kiss her head.
She smirks.
The rhythmic motion.
More hair, over, more hair, over.
Like the way the heaviness, the love, the questions twist and warp.
Am I good mom.

It stays with me.
The reminders.
The weight that the beautiful moments can be overshadowed by the frustration of the day.
We don’t get to choose the moments that stay with them.
This will pass.
Am I doing enough.
Will they remember the love.
Will they remember the quiet moments.
One last piece.
And she’s gone.