To My Daughter…

I love you. I love you more than words can ever explain. I love watching you grow. I love the way you know that I’m your mom, the way you smile at me and the way you snuggle with me. I love the way you get excited and kick your legs. I love it when I’m holding you and you squeeze me. I love your little face and your little toes. I love everything about you.

You are growing…and you are growing fast. It seems like just yesterday you were born and yet it already feels so far away. You will only continue to grow even in moments when I wish time would just stand still. A part of me never wants you to grow up. A part of me just wants to keep you as my tiny baby. A part of me will never forget these times and a part of me someday will really miss them. But you will always be my little girl, even when you’re no longer little.

I miss you on the days I’m not home with you. I can’t wait to see you. I think about what you’ll be like when you grow up, how beautiful you’ll always be in my eyes and the things you’ll do. I sometimes worry about raising you. Am I making the right decisions? Am I doing the right things? Being a mom is tough, one day you’ll understand it, and then you’ll know as I now know when my mother said it to me.

I want to tell you so much. I want to share the world with you. But I want to shelter you. I want to keep you away from harm and evil. I never want anyone to hurt you. I never want you to feel pain. I know this isn’t possible. I know this because it’s part of life…and sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes people hurt us and sometimes we hurt ourselves. Life is full of emotions. We feel a lot things. We feel love, joy, happiness, accomplishment and success but we also feel pain, loss, heartbreak, sickness and sadness. There is no limit to what we can or will feel.

At some point, you will feel angry at me, and maybe even resentful. You will tell me that I’m unfair. You will fight with me. You won’t like me. While I can never be fully prepared for this, I will do my best. I know when it will be coming. I know because I was once there. I did these things to my mom. I fought her because she was a good mom…in fact, she was and is the best mom. She had rules and consequences. She cared so much although I couldn’t see it at the time. She never gave up on me.

I will never give up on you. I will never stop being there for you, even when you don’t want me to be. This is my promise to you. I will do my best to be your guide through life. I will raise you hoping that one day when I’m not around (temporarily or permanently) you’ll make the right decisions, the smart decisions and the morally led decisions. I hope you will make these decisions even if everyone one else isn’t and even if it causes others to be mean to you. It’s never easy to go against the majority, but I hope you will be guided by the values I instilled upon you. I will make sure your faith is important to you. God will be your guide through life. You may not always like the answers to your prayers, but one day you’ll understand why things worked out the way they did.

My love for you is unconditional and knows no bounds. I cannot say what the future holds but I know that you will do great things. One day you will go off to college and exude your independence. You will begin figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. You will grow into a mature woman. You will be amazing, I just know it. I will always be proud of you, even at times when your feet aren’t firmly planted on the ground. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. It will never change how I feel about you. I will give you advice when you ask for it, and sometimes when you don’t. I will never stop worrying about you. Never.

You will find a man that treats you the way you deserve to be treated. It may take you a while to find him, but don’t lose hope. I waited 29 years for your father and he was worth the wait…so worth it. I pray that you will find the love I have with him. We will do our best to set the right example for you. Then one day, you will get married. You will leave home permanently. I will have to let you go. I will know that you are safe and happy. You will have a new home but you will always be welcome to where you started. I will always be here for you.

God willing, you have children. Maybe one will be a little girl. You will love her beyond measure and you will truly understand the things I will have said to you all of your life. And hopefully I was a good mom to you so that you can be that same mom but better. We always hope for the best with our children and that I hope for you. And one day when I’m gone, my wish is that you’ll always know a piece of me lives inside of you, deep with your soul. This piece of me that will forever love you because you have made me whole.

Love always,
Your mom

Dear Husbands…Love the Mothers of Your Children

Dear husbands:
We love you. We really do. And even when we don’t always show it, we are blessed to have your in our lives. You are our other half, our best friends, our companions for life, our secret keepers, our rocks, our circle of trust, our everything. We remember our first date and what you wore. We remember the first kiss. We remember the exact moment when we knew you were the one. We can still picture your proposal like it was yesterday. We will always remember our wedding day. It will forever be one of the best days of our lives. We remember the little moments, the ones you might not even think of. A look, a glance across the room, cooking together, dancing in the kitchen, laughing on the couch, taking a walk, cuddling at night, just being plain silly together…and we keep these moments close to our hearts.

But we also remember the bad. We remember the hurtful words, the painful arguments and the frustrating fights that escalate to a point where we forget what we’re even fighting about. We remember feeling unloved, unworthy and unappreciated. We remember the times you discounted our feelings, ignored our requests, judged our choices and didn’t listen to our thoughts. We remember not being on the same page (maybe even for a while), feeling distant, feeling your distance, wondering what the future holds, wondering how we can stay together, wondering at times how we got here, wishing things were different, wishing some things never changed, wishing you’d try harder, care more, help more…love more…

We are not easy to deal with, not by a long shot. We can be too emotional, too needy, too independent, too stubborn, too talkative, too worried, too insecure, too demanding, too negative, too hurtful, too nagging and sometimes just too much. We know this. We don’t try to be this way, it just happens. It’s part of who we are. We may be some of these things, none of these things or all of these things. Actually, we are a lot of things. We are wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, caregivers, babysitters, students, employers and employees. But above all, above all the things that we are, we are mothers. We are the mothers of your children. We physically brought this/these child/children into the world. We are responsible for them 24/7. We know that you are responsible too. This gift from God wouldn’t be possible without you, but our roles are very different. Maybe you don’t see this, or maybe you do…

From this point on, we don’t have the time to be sexy. By the time the kids are in bed we are exhausted. Whether we are stay-at-home moms or working moms, we are exhausted. And we want to be sexy for you, we really do, but we literally do not have the time or the energy. So please just love us. Tell us that we are beautiful when we know we don’t even look close to that…and mean it. We want to see that look in your eyes when we go out without kids that you’re still insanely attracted to us. We want more than anything to feel loved even when making love is the last thing on our minds.

We can do it all but we will burn out. We can be the mom, the wife, the maid, the cook, the party planner, the host, the travel agent, the disciplinary, the ‘mean’ parent, the scheduler, the shopper for all needs/occasions/presents, the lunch mom, the PTA mom, the classroom mom, the sports coach, the taxi driver, the math tutor, the spelling checker, the project helper…we can be it all. But it’s not easy. It’s not easy to take on all the tasks that we do, many which go unnoticed. Sometimes we need help without asking. Sometimes we are tired too and would love to lay on the couch and veg out…but we can’t. We have to make bottles, make breakfasts, lunches and dinners, play, build forts, give baths, read bedtime stories, make sure there aren’t monsters in the room, tuck in our babies, clean up toys, clean up the house, do laundry, kiss boo-boos, help with homework, attend to cries, whines, whimpers, colds and stuffy noses. We don’t have time to relax. And if we did, we still couldn’t because our mind is listing all the things we still need to do.

So we’re sorry if we don’t have time to be the wives we once were or the wives you want. But we are the mothers. We are the moms that give our all to ensure we have respectful, kind, intelligent and loving children. We do this with your help of course, but we mostly take on this role and maybe you feel like we should. Maybe you feel as if this is what we were meant to do. But we need your help. We need your help more than you often sometimes give or offer. We need breaks. We need to lay on the couch and veg out. We need our hair done, our nails done, a massage, a nap or sleep without interruption, the ability to go to the bathroom alone, a bubble bath and sometimes we just need a day without all the responsibilities.

We love you. We really do. And even though we don’t always show it, we are blessed to have you in our lives. But you are blessed to have us too. You are blessed for all the things that we do. We may not always find time to take care of you and your needs, but we also need caring for. So the next time you begin to feel overlooked, unappreciated, dissatisfied, neglected, unnoticed and under cared for, understand that we see you, we love and we appreciate you. But our roles have shifted and as much as we try to be the best wives and mothers, sometimes being a mom is more important. So thank you for your love, your patience and your understanding. Thank you for letting outbursts slide, giving us a break and making us feel beautiful. But most of all and through it all, thank you for being our husbands.

Love,
The mothers of your children

Why My Child is Beautiful

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I was never one to say that ‘babies are beautiful’, even though they are. I always thought of them as tiny little beings with misshapen heads that look scared, squished and too fragile to touch!

I never really loved babies either. I wasn’t the type to go all ‘goo goo, ga ga’. I would hold them but was quick to return, especially during crying fits. Everyone would tell me “it’s different when it’s your own”, but I worried ‘what if I don’t feel that way?’.

It wasn’t until I had a child of my own that I realized everyone was right and how truly beautiful they are. When I found out I was pregnant I had an immediate connection and knew no matter what he or she looked like, my child would be beautiful. And I don’t mean beautiful in the vain sense, but a special form of beauty. The kind of beauty that takes you breath away because you created this child…what a miraculous gift from God! Truly, how else could it be described other than a miracle?

I look at her and think how lucky I am. She is beautiful to me because she was created out of love. She has a beautiful soul, so pure and unknowing of the world around her but exploring with every part of her. She has beautiful tiny feet that curl up and a beautiful smile…and sometimes smirk (just like her daddy). She has beautiful eyes and a beautiful little tiny nose. She has a beautiful heart which I know will only continue to flourish and melt my own as it does each day. She is beautiful to me because she is my baby.

So now I get it. I get why every person in the world thinks their child is beautiful…because their child is. How could you not think so? How could you look at that little face and see anything but beauty? My feelings about babies has changed. I love them…and I love them all. My heart aches when I hear a baby crying, especially my own. I love holding babies and try to soothe them when they are crying (even though it’s sometimes difficult when my baby is screaming her head off!). And although it was one of the most challenging times in my life, I miss my newborn baby (but look forward to all that will come as she continues to grow)!

It isn’t wrong to agree with someone telling you that your child is beautiful and it isn’t boastful either. It’s a sense of pride you feel knowing that you created this human being…YOU DID! In my eyes, my daughter always will be beautiful and I am proud to say it. For those of you that have children, I hope you are proud to say it too. Life is a gift, and I feel so blessed to have given life to such an incredible little girl.