A Love Letter for My Daughter
To My Beautiful Baby Girl,
I love you. I accept you. And I appreciate you. Exactly as you are. I need you to know this, and understand this, with every ounce of your being. Because of all the things I might teach you, this is my number one:
“You are good enough. ”
Why is this so important? For a variety of reasons, but let me explain it through a story.
“Once upon a time, a baby girl was born. Her mother loved her very much, and was so excited to be a mom. They would spend lots of time together, and do many fun activities. Out of all the things her mother would do with her, teaching was what she did the most. She would show her daughter what was right, and what was wrong. What she should be doing, and shouldn’t’ be doing. How to do things properly, productively, and in the best way possible. There was always a better way of doing things, that the daughter needed to learn.
Of course, the girl got really good at all these things. She learned right and wrong, good and bad. She became highly productive, always wanting to do better, and be better. And she was very accomplished, successful, and highly independent. But all of her learning was centered on doing, not being.
So she never learned to just be. To be completely herself. To feel true acceptance and love. She missed out on the inside. The heart, where life mattered most.
Instead, she focused on the outside. Ashamed of the occasional mistakes that she made. Worried, about whether or not she was doing the ‘right’ thing. She even stressed over what others thought, wondering how she “should” or “could” be better. There was a never-ending shadow, pushing her to be more, do more, and keep striving. Not a moment went by, where the daughter felt like she was good enough.
There was always more to be. More to do. And endless ways to improve. Just as one imperfection got better, there would be another flaw to correct or change. Of course, this was not her mother’s fault, because people can only do what they were taught. What they know. And as an adult, the daughter had her own choices to make. She had her own life to live. Which she did.
She eventually got married, and had a daughter of her own. Passing on the same tendencies of pushing, striving, and things never being good enough. She wanted to teach her daughter to be better, do better, and learn all that she could. But she didn’t. Realizing what fate she would place upon her daughter, if she continued the same behavior. She decided to stop.”
That girl was me. And as your mother, I have decided I want to change things. Not to be better, or improve myself, or you. Just out of love. Yes, I still plan to teach you, parent you, and discipline you. But of all the things I want for you, my beautiful baby girl, love is number one. I want you to know without question, how valuable you are. To understand that you are good enough, at all times, no matter what you do. And to wholeheartedly believe that I accept you, with no strings or circumstances attached.
My love is not based on how you behave, how you act, or how you look. I don’t want to love you for all the things you do ‘right”, but for who you are underneath. A love that shows you it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to be yourself.
I know I haven’t always felt this way, and I definitely haven’t demonstrated this type of love to you either. However, this is still the love I want for you. Sure, I make mistakes as your mom. I focus on all that you “should” be learning or doing. I compare you to other kids, and myself to other moms. Sometimes I give you rules to follow, that I can’t even follow myself.
So please have patience with me. I will stumble and fall as I learn a new way of being. Have understanding, as I navigate an unfamiliar lifestyle. Forgive me when I lose sight of love, and instead focus on striving, pushing, more, and better. Because you my child, do not need to be better. Or do better. You are good enough, exactly as you are.
I love you, my beautiful baby girl,