A Mother's promise

Blogger and mum of three Lisa-Jo Baker
shares her promise to her daughter Zoe.

(Grab the tissues…)

A mother’s promise

I’m tired and she’s tired. I’ve already put her to bed more
than once tonight. She’s standing in the cot on tippy toes with soft,
chubby arms stretched out to me as far as she can lean.
She’s standing with eyes trained on the door and fingertips craning toward me.
I’ve washed the dishes. I’ve stacked the dishwasher. I’ve fed the dog.
The boys are playing trucks with Peter who’s finally made it home.
She cries softly. She knows I’m close.
And when I pull back the folding door and see those arms and
those tippy toes and that look on her face, I want to wrap my life around her.
I will always come, baby.

She’s in my arms and slowly beginning the ritual of stroking
my right arm. Her curls are warm and sweaty and that pudgy
baby cheek fits just under my chin.
I will always come.

I dance with her slowly the rock and roll of motherhood and
I know this is a promise I can stake my life on.
I will always come.

When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number five in the
Christmas play. When you take up the recorder and bleat all the way through
the Easter service. When you get that bad hair cut. When you think you
want to be a beauty queen, when you swear off fashion altogether.
I will come.

When the mean girls make you want to shrivel inside your skin.
When a teacher intimidates you. When you intimidate the teachers. When you
think you can sing and try out for a musical, when you get laughed at and people
point fingers at your hair and your shoes and your too bony hips.
My darling, I will come.

When that boy breaks your heart and you’re stranded at
a university kilometres away, I will come.
When the internship you thought was part of your calling falls through.
When a friend gets sick. When the car crashes. When you run out of petrol,
chocolate chip cookies and faith.
I will be there.

 When you say your “I dos”, when you
start your happily ever afters,
when none of it quite feels like you thought it would.
When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when
the sofa is in the wrong place, when you regret
what feels like signing your life away to someone else.
When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place
to say how clichéed you feel all “barefoot and pregnant”
I will so be there.

When the baby won’t sleep and the world’s on
fire with sleep exhaustion.
Sweetheart, I will come.

When your husband’s out of work. When your job
threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you
question your sanity. When you’ve run out of tears and
still the tears keeping coming.
I will come.

When you move and move and relocate again. When
you pack boxes and dreams and hope. When your life is
a world of duct tape and questions.
I will still come.

And when your home is warm and your heart is full. When you’re
at peace. When you need someone to share the joy, to watch the
kids, to admire the dimples. When you still can’t pick a sofa, when
you wish you’d never said yes to the dog.
When you don’t know where you’re going. When you’re the most
sure of yourself you’ve ever been. When you’re holding onto faith
with just your fingernails. Zoe, I always will come.
I will rock and roll you with my love and the promise that
I will help you get back on your feet. I will hold your
hand. I will rejoice. I will babysit. I will pass the tissues.
I will wash the dishes.
I will come.
And the day after. And after.
And then some.


Lisa-Jo Baker is South African by birth, now living in the US and raising her three children. She believes motherhood should come with its own superhero cape. Read more at





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