As long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a mother. There was never a question or doubt in my mind of “if.” The only question was “when?” On March, 13, 2013, I gave birth to my first baby girl and my heart burst wide open. Then, on February 23, 2015, I gave birth to my second baby girl and my heart burst even wider. Motherhood turned out to be nothing and everything I expected it to be. I’m constantly amazed at how it changes, how it ebbs and flows with every day as my girls grow, and how, despite the sleepless nights, the endless worry, and the sheer joy that comes from raising children, there is nothing like it.
This Mother’s Day, I find myself reflecting on some of the lessons I’ve learned in my life so far, and on the values I wish to instill in my daughters. If I do one thing right as a mother, it will be to pass these on.
To my daughters,
Be gracious and kind. You never know how much difference you can make to someone’s day just by smiling and offering kind and supportive words. Give back to this world in any big or small way that you can. Altruism and benevolence are traits that will make you far more beautiful and life isn’t just about getting things. Sure, those things are nice, but they won’t bring you true joy and happiness. Life is about being a good person, having passion for something that is meaningful to you, and making the world a better place.
Have gumption. Have courage. Make good decisions. Set your sights high but know how to pick yourself up if you fall and dust yourself off. The moments when you feel like you are failing will become the fuel you need to reach your dreams. Character is built from every bump, pit stop, and detour on the road ahead. Embrace every twist and turn— you’ll get there, baby girl.
Stand up for yourself. Stand up for what’s right and good in this world. Know that it’s possible to embrace you who are and be true to yourself while being respectful of others.
Let go of things you cannot control. You’ll drive yourself mad if you try to control every little thing or everyone around you. Peace can be found in the spaces between a tight grasp or a clenched fist.
Know how to be a good friend and how to have a good friend. Be forgiving — both of yourself and of others. Resentment is like drinking poison and will do nothing but kill you slowly from the inside.
Don’t worry about pleasing others and certainly don’t compare yourself to others. You are just as beautiful and unique and special as the girl next to you even if you like different things, wear different clothes, or look different from her. As cliche as this is, beauty truly comes from within.
Love fiercely and loyally. Especially with your friends and your family. Friends don’t come so easily as an adult, and you may lose family in unexpected and heartbreaking ways, so be true to them and appreciate them. They will mean more to you than you may realize.
Be optimistic. Find joy. Be resilient. Be authentically you.
You are beautiful no matter what.
And I will love you forever.