To the moms of this world.
This is my letter to you.
I know it’s hard. I know that sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You have another human being that you’re responsible for. And you love that being with all your heart.
So you want to teach them. You want to teach them how to be a great person. You want to teach them how to be safe. You want to teach them how to be someone who can become successful and have an amazing life.
And that’s wonderful. It’s what every good mom strives to do.
But there’s a secret I want tell you: You’re not your children’s most important teacher- they’re yours.
As a mom you struggle with an incredible amount of guilt. You feel horrible when you blow up at that tiny person that you brought into this life- no matter how old they get. You feel anguish that you’re working and not spending enough time with them. You feel heartache when you discipline them too harshly because you finally snapped and couldn’t take it anymore.
And it’s not easy to feel like this.
But ask yourself, why did I come into this world? What’s the purpose of it all anyways? Your mind might have a million different answers but your heart has only one.
You came into this life to learn the only lesson worth learning: how to be unconditionally loving. But in your striving to be a great mom you forgot the person who needs your love more than anyone else.
You are the one who stays awake at night worrying about your children and feeling terrible about losing your temper with them. You are the one who’s in internal turmoil because you never feel like you quite measure up to your parenting ideal.
And that’s why you need to give yourself love.
Your children are here to teach you how to do that by providing you with the most challenging classroom of all. They’re not here just so you can feel fulfilled or so you can groom them and mold them to become great people. They’re here to push your buttons, and in doing so to be your greatest teachers of love and kindness.
Love and kindness to yourself, first.
But how do you learn this lesson from these master teachers?
You learn to love yourself with the same purity and innocence that you saw in them when they were born. You accept and love yourself for the genuine effort that you’re continually giving. You embrace your humanity and have compassion for yourself.
You have the hardest job in the world. How can you expect perfection? It’s not fair to do so.
And it’s also not the point.
Those little beings that you bring into this world are not as helpless as you take them to be. On the physical level they are, but on a deeper level they are eternal souls with their own life and their own plan. As a mom you often forget this and place their entire future on your shoulders.
But don’t worry. As long as you do your best to love them- mistakes and all- they’ll be fine. If you think anything less than this you’re not honoring the immeasurable strength of their being.
So relax. Do your best but constantly remember to forgive yourself. Remember that it’s OK. No matter what, it’s OK. You might be feeling bad about losing your temper or not spending enough time with them, but remember that they’re not here to teach you to be perfect but to love yourself despite your imperfection.
And do you know what’ll happen when you forgive and love yourself more? You will express your unconditional love for them more than ever.
You will remember that when they’re misbehaving what they need most is to feel accepted and loved- even as you discipline them. You will remember that getting your point across is not more important than being present enough to notice the hurt in their eyes and be more gentle. You will remember that no matter what they did and how overworked and overwhelmed you feel, your priority is to love them.
And that’s the beautiful irony of this parenting thing. When you stop looking at yourself as the teacher and remember that you’re the student, your compassion for yourself envelops your very being and the love pours out from you to those precious ones you hold so dear.
And each time you do that, you are the mom you were born to be.
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