Mum of 4 boys Sarah Cole reflects on her wonderful abilities and honest shortcomings in this open letter to her 4 sons: "I can promise you adventure."

By Sarah Cole | Multifaceted Mama

To my four sons:

Over the past 10 years, I have had many failings as a mother. There are a lot of things I am just not good at. There are promises I just can't keep.

I can’t promise to be a neat or organised mum. There are craft supplies piled up in the corner and books on most surfaces most of the time. There isn’t really a picture perfect corner of our house, despite my attempts when company comes. It’s not unusual to have to shuffle construction paper or pens and pencils over to make a place at the dinner table and the search for a pencil can sometimes take a while. Despite occasional efforts I am not, and I never will be, a “neat mum.”

I can’t promise to be things will be worthy of a page on Pinterest. I don't think to cut your sandwiches into special shapes or make creative bento boxes. I never volunteered at preschool, or remember to schedule play-dates. I don’t have clever “life hacks” or make cute crafts.

I can’t promise storybook holidays. I don't decorate much; I can’t keep up with the shelf elf; I don’t have special fun “tricks” to make little holidays special and I’m sure I let it slip that there is no Santa Claus. It’s a poorly kept secret that I don’t even actually like holidays. And the Happy Birthday banner has been hanging in our kitchen for nearly 2 years now as a monument to my spectacular failure at these kinds of things.

I can’t even promise to be a “have-it-in-any-way-together mum”. I’m not as consistent, or as on top of things, as I should be. These things have never been my strength.

But I can promise you adventure.

If you want to see something, we’ll pack our car with snacks and books and go see it. I promise to let you explore. If you want to do something, we'll figure out a way that you can do it. If you want to learn something, we'll go learn it together.

I promise not to rush you. If you want to stop in the middle of our walk and watch a caterpillar, I’ll rest my bones on the rock next to you.

I promise to say yes as much as possible.

Yes, you can run. 
Yes, you can climb.
Yes, you can get your clothes dirty.
Yes, you can walk in the creek with your new shoes on.
Yes, you can touch that frog or cricket and catch that fish (as long as you're gentle).

While I won’t be waking you up to rush you off to school, I may take you to the river to watch the sunrise. Our home might not be perfectly decorated but, I’ll promise you we'll see some art-worthy views. You may never have a football trophy, but I’ll proudly display the treasures from your pockets on the windowsill.

Perhaps we may not have cookie cutter sandwiches, but I’ll pack a little peanut butter and some bread and we can stay outside until the sun sets.

I can't promise you it will all be picture perfect, but I can promise we'll take pictures. And I know we'll find beauty wherever we go.

This article originally appeared on and has been republished here with permission.

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Sarah Cole


After working full time and part time for the past 10 years Sarah abruptly quit her jobs to stay at home and homeschool her 4 boys ages 10, 8, 3 and 1. Sarah writes about her parenting and homeschooling journey when she can catch a few minutes on her blog Multifaceted Mama and shares her adventures on Instagram @multifacetedmama. She lives in Virginia, USA.

  1. Beatiful… thanks for sharing this with us. We also homeschool 4 kids (13, 10, 5 and 8 months), and struggle with trying to be “perfect” sometimes. But sometimes we find these little gifts, such as this post, that will remind us that the most important thing is to allow them to enjoy life, be kids, and help them as they grow and learn… 😀

    1. So true Juan! Just getting alongside them as they learn and being able to encourage them to ‘learn how to learn’ and grow that love it is so valuable in the long run! You’re creating passionate thinkers. Thanks for your input, love this:

      “allow them to enjoy life, be kids, and help them as they grow and learn… “

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