I’m a mom. I have three children. Like most parents, I worry about my children’s health, security and their well-being. I wonder if they are getting enough vitamins, enough attention, enough love. I worry if they are safe — if they feel safe — and how I can better protect them.

I think about teaching my kids. I think about challenging them. I think about encouraging them and caring for them. And I try to do things every day to show my children how much I love them. I make them breakfast. I help them pack their school bags. I give them hugs and kisses. I play with them. I pray for them. I talk. I listen. I tell them, “I love you.” I tell them, “I’m proud of you.” I tell them, “Be kind to people, even if they aren’t kind to you.”

Of course, I often wonder if there are any physical bumps or bruises I have missed that I have not kissed. But I wonder even more if there are any hidden scars or injuries from mean people with bad words and ill intentions.

I worry if I am pushing my kids too hard, and I worry that I am not pushing my kids hard enough. I just want my children to be happy and to grow up to be caring, capable and successful adults.

Sometimes, I stress at the grocery store, staring at packages and trying to figure out which calories or fat content should be avoided and which items I can put into my shopping basket. I also make sure when I pack their snacks and lunches that there is a mixture of protein, carbs, goodies and love.

I wonder if their shoes still fit. I wonder if their clothes are in good shape. I wonder if they need new underwear (I wonder if they even are wearing underwear).

I try to do fun things with my children. I read them stories. I tuck them in at night. I bake them homemade chocolate-chip cookies, and I check to make sure that they finish their vegetables. I think about them all the time.

I guess I’m a pretty typical mom. I worry. I wonder. I boil with anger, and I beam with pride. I punish my kids when they make bad choices, but I also try to catch them when they do well and when they do good.

I sometimes exhaust myself just thinking about all the mom stuff I do and all the mom stuff yet to be done. It is a never-ending job. And with all the chaos, questions, demands and perpetual motion in my household, I admit that I do not always have it all together. I often feel inferior. I fight mom guilt. I do not always feel like I am measuring up to this whole motherhood thing. I sometimes question my sanity (I often question theirs).

I do not think that I am all that unusual though. My wants and desires for my children are not rare or unique. I think we all want to do what is best for our kids: to keep them healthy and safe and to set them on paths to success. And while we may not all agree with each other’s ideas in childrearing, we are all just doing our best and wanting to be the most patient, kind, loving and supportive parents we can be.

And just like most moms and dads, I would do anything for my kids.

I’m just like you.

I’m just a mom with a gun, and my children are the three most important reasons why I have it.