The Hardest Work of Mothering Involves Letting Go

I now understand that I never had the power to control my children’s happiness.

Jacqueline Dooley
Something About Nothing
8 min readMay 18, 2024

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Illustration by Author

When my daughter Ana was only a few weeks old, I desperately wanted her to sleep through the night. I thought this was what she needed, but it’s actually what I needed — to prove to myself and everyone else that I was a good mother. I also needed…

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Jacqueline Dooley
Something About Nothing

Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. Bylines: Human Parts, GEN, Marker, OneZero, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Pulse, HuffPost, Longreads, Modern Loss