It’s 4pm. The start of the witching hour.
There’s crying. And frustration.
I’ve got to start dinner soon, and it’s nowhere near bedtime yet.
Some days my kids drive me absolutely nuts.
Like pull my hair out, need a cocktail by 5pm, lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes nuts.
The fighting, bickering, whining, and complaining is sometimes just too much to take and keep your sanity as a mom.
So on those really tough want to run and hide days, I need a gentle reminder that I always love them.
And I will never make the mistake of not making sure they know how much they are loved.
Even when they’re breaking one of our two family rules.
Even when they’re not being kind to each other or to me.
Even when I don’t really like being around them.
To let my kids know I really love them, I do this one thing.
I know it sounds simple, but I write them love notes.
I sneak notes into lunchboxes on tangerines and on napkins and on bananas.
And on rushed mornings, I send them these kindness lunchbox notes.
I send them these silly jokes in their lunchboxes too.
I shove notes in their pillowcases when they go on sleepovers.
I leave them notes in their desk during Back to School Night and I write in their notebooks on test day.
I use these black magic notes and I draw on bookmarks in the books they’re reading.
And I use this Love Bank and heart notecard set to write them love notes.
I write them long notes on their birthdays and save them for when they’re older.
But the short and sweet everyday notes are the ones I really love writing.
I keep it simple. Somedays, I just write “I love you.” And that’s pretty much it.
Because there’s not much room on a banana.
So here’s the love note I would fit onto a banana in their lunch box if I could:
I love you forever and always.
I love you more than you will ever know.
Here’s how I love thee….
I love you when you’re clean and fresh out of the bath and smell sweet.
I love you even when you fart on my lap.
I love you when you fall asleep in my arms.
I love you even when you wake me up in the middle of the night for a cup of water.
I love you when you reach up to hold my hand when we’re walking.
I love you even when you roll your eyes at me.
I love you when you help me bake family recipes.
I love you when you loudly proclaim that the dinner I made is gross. Before you even eat it.
I love you when you play sweetly with your sister.
I love you even when you slam your door as you yell at your sister to get out of your room.
I love you when we watch movies from my childhood together.
I love you even when you sneak TV after I’ve said no more screen time.
I love you when you make yourself breakfast before I come downstairs.
I love you even when you spill milk all over the clean kitchen floor.
I love you when you draw me little pictures of our family.
I love you when you tell me I’m the meanest mom ever.
I love you when you proudly read to me from your new book.
I love you even when you refuse to do your homework and complain about every math problem.
I love you when you offer me a lick of your chocolate ice cream.
I love you even when you use your clothes as a napkin.
I love you when you do what I ask the first time.
I love you even when you don’t have your shoes on three times after I asked.
I love you when you calmly help me go grocery shopping.
I love you when you have a temper tantrum in the middle of the store.
I love you when we play games together.
I love you even when you explain every Pokemon character to me. In detail.
I love you to the moon and back and then some, because how could I not?
I just can’t always fit it on a banana.
I love you, Your Mama
But until it all fits on a banana or my kids are old enough to read this, I’ll stick to drawing hearts on their hands and sticking simple notes in their lunchboxes.
Need other ways to let your kids know you love them?
Try some of my family’s absolute favorite books: