Our daughters started Kindergarten this year. We literally cannot believe it. We blinked and they turned four, we blinked again and they’re in pre-k, we blink again and they are 5 and in Kindergarten. Watching them grow from babies into toddlers and now into little girls, it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve ever had. It’s also been hard work raising up girls who will go on to become women. If you’re a mom to both genders, you know girls are just different. There’s a level of emotions you’re dealing with when raising a girl that can be hard to help them navigate. You also want to give them the right level of comfort and nurturing, letting them know you’re a safe place to let their guard down and let those emotions out, but also wanting them to know they’re strong and can do things and get through things on their own. This right balance of tender and tough. It’s not easy stuff, mamas. We know!
But this week there was this made up day #nationaldaughterday, (that we almost missed by the way), and even though there seems to be a “day” for everything in this day and age, we can’t help but take a step back and reflect at the little women they’re becoming. They still have so much learning to do about themselves and about this world, but we’ve really watched them come into their own over the last few months. And as they start the early journey into becoming the women they’ll one day be, we wrote them a letter. A letter with our wishes and hopes for them and just a few things to always remember. A letter we hope they can refer back to even when they’re heading into middle school, high school, onto college, and even when they land their first job. We hope it serves as a reminder to them of how strong and capable they are, how beautiful they are (inside and out), and how they’re never too old to come to mama when they need her most.
A Letter To My Girl,
It’s such an honor to have a daughter, especially a daughter like you. I never truly knew love before I met you. Watching you grow has been such a joy and truly one of my biggest blessings. Mommy’s going to be right there with you through this journey called life and as you navigate through it, there a few things I want you to always know and hold dear to your heart…
Mommy is so very proud of you. And this means always, OK? Even when you mess up, even when you’ve disappointed me, even when you frustrate me and test me, I’m so proud of you. Even if I forget to tell you, know that I just always am.
Know your beauty and share it with the world. You are beautiful, as much on the inside, as you are on the outside, so share that with others. Give to those who have less than you, be kind to those who need it most, do good things in this world. Go sit with the kid at lunch who is sitting alone. Speak up when you see someone being unkind to you or to someone else. Continue to be the beauty in this world, little one.
Know your worth and always stand up for yourself. There may be people who make you question if you’ve got what it takes, if you’re good enough, if you’re smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough. KNOW and BELIEVE that you are. Know and believe you are worthy and capable. Know and believe that you can be anything you want to be.
Use your voice. Don’t let anyone tell you that your voice doesn’t matter. Speak up in situations where you know your voice matters and what you have to say needs to be heard.
Being a woman is a beautiful thing. We are the most powerful creatures on this planet- know this! Being a woman in this world also isn’t always easy. It’s getting better, but it’s hard. Make sure you always make a seat at the table for women- whether that’s supporting the amazing work women do inside the home, or supporting those who work outside the home, always help, inspire, and encourage other women!
Stay humble and be kind. Remember where you came from, always. And realize there are so many in this world who have less than what you have. Feel blessed for what you have and do what you can to help those who don’t have as much.
Work for what you want in life- and work hard. Things will never just be handed to you. If you want something you have to work hard to attain it. When you focus in your attention on something you can achieve it.
Don’t give up. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Find the things in life that set your soul on fire, and don’t ever let them go. Find what makes you happy and do it.
Take the road less traveled. You don’t have to fit in with everyone around you. March to the beat of your own drummer, do your own thing, be yourself! Be unapologetically, authentically YOU.
Love yourself. This one won’t always be easy, but mama will be here to help remind you to love yourself first. Every person on this earth looks different, acts different, is different. We all have different shapes, bodies, we’re different colors, have different hair, different eyes- and that’s what makes us all unique. That’s what makes the human race so beautiful- the diversity in all of us. Don’t go through life wanting to look a certain way or shaming yourself for not having what another person has. Love the body, the face, the personality that you have. You are beautiful just the way you are! Treat your body well and it will treat you well right back.
Seek to be the one who sees the good in everyone and don’t judge a book by its cover. Some of the most beautiful relationships in this world come from taking out expectations and judgement. You never know the journey someone is on, so always lead with kindness and acceptance.
Be accepting of others and embrace the diversity in this world. Learn about other cultures, go beyond those in your immediate circle and learn about other walks of life. Travel, see the world. Immerse yourself in learning about this planet and how we can leave it a better place for future generations.
Dance, even if you’re not good at it. If you’re like you’re father you’re probably not going to be good at it, but do it anyway! Sing, even if you can’t carry a tune. If you’re like your mother you probably won’t be good at it, but sing anyway! Turn the music up, dance, and sing.
Reach outside your comfort zone. If it scares you, it’s probably the right decision. You’ll learn so much about yourself if you step outside of what feels safe. Some of the best blessings in life started with a ‘yes.’ So say YES more. Take a leap of faith, jump.
It’s also OK to say no. Don’t do things just because others are telling you it’s the best thing, the cool thing, the right thing, the only thing. Listen to that little voice in your head and follow that first. It’s ok to say no.
Buy the shoes, honey. Life is short and tomorrow is not promised to any of us. You have one life to live, so live it well! Even if it’s not the shoes, find that something in your life and do it now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or when things are perfect. Grab life by the horns, hold on tight, and just ride, sister!
Find your faith- find something to believe in that’s bigger than yourself. If it’s not the God I’ve taught you about, that’s OK. But find something. The world can be a scary, dark place. And without faith, without something to turn to that’s bigger than you and me, it can be hard to find the greater meaning behind a lot that goes on in this journey called life.
Find your strength, be strong, but also know it’s OK to cry. Yep, you can totally cry. And guess what? It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you a baby, it actually makes you super brave and super human. It’s OK to have your feelings and it’s OK to let those feelings out.
Your Mom is always here. I’ll be your rock, your safe place, your shoulder to cry on, always. You can count on me to always be there for you. Through the highs and the lows, through hard talks and heartbreaks, through celebrations and milestones- your mama’s got you.
Talk to me. No matter what, talk to your mother. There’s nothing you could do that would change my love for you, so talk to me. Tell me the hard things, the bad things, the scary things, the good things, the funny things. I want to hear from you. Always.
Remember your Mom was once your best friend, your absolute favorite person. If things changes from time to time as you get older and Mom has to lay down the law every now and then and you can’t stand me for it, just remember that you didn’t always feel this way about me. You once thought I hung the moon, the total coolest chick around. You idolized me and you weren’t always embarrassed by me. Shocker, I know. But guess what? We’ll get back to that. We’ll be best friends again soon if we aren’t right at this moment.
You’re never too old for a mama cuddle. I’ll rock you to sleep until I’m old and gray. I’ll hold you til’ my back breaks, I’ll kiss your boo-boos til’ you’re 40, I’ll hold your hand as we walk down the street as long as you’ll let me and I’ll rub your back til’ you fall asleep til’ you go off to college. You’re never too old to have Mom wipe your tears and tell you it’s going to be OK. Because it is always going to be OK.
Always know just how loved you are and how happy you’ve made me. You have brightened my world by making me a mother and opened up parts of my heart I didn’t even know I had. Getting to raise you up to be a strong, successful woman is such a gift and a true honor. I have big dreams for you, little one, and I know you’re going to do amazing things. I am so proud you’re my daughter and I love you so very much. Remember this always!
Love, Your Mama