Even though I spent so much time taking care of other children, nothing prepared me for the many obstacles I've had as a mother, and continue to have. I've had so many ups and downs on this roller coaster, that I don't even know which way is which, or how I'm even keeping my kid alive. "Mommy knows best" is bullshit because I don't always know what to do or say to make things right with my child. I don't always hold my composure when things don't go the way I think they should. I have to be honest here, because I'm sure others experience it too...but unlike some moms, I don't always feel that strong, euphoric, undying connection with my daughter, especially when I'm under extra stress or she's challenging me every step of the way. Beautiful moments like this tend to reel me back in when I feel I'm losing control, mentally, physically, emotionally. It's exhausting being a parent, and I certainly wouldn't consider myself the "ideal" mother, but I try. I try so hard. That's all you can do.