The other day I looked at my beautiful six-year-old daughter carefully tending to her baby doll and had a somewhat morbid thought:
What would happen if I was no longer here to mother her?
This might be a little PTSD from the quarantined times we’re currently walking through, or it might be a relatable feeling for a lot of mothers. We all want to live full and complete lives with our children.
We all want to live long enough to know they’ll be okay.
So I started to jot down a few things I’d want my daughter to always remember in my absence, but quickly I realized this list wasn’t just for a six-year-old, it was for me too.
This world is so busy it’s easy to lose track of the beauty. It becomes natural to coast by instead of truly connecting. But if we slow down long enough to look, to preserve the moments and turn them into memories, it becomes very clear what really matters.
It’s not products or posts. It’s not money or materials.
Here’s a few secrets about our wonderful world I hope all women—growing and grown—hold close.
Not everyone will like you. Don’t try to convince them to. Those who want to see your worth will.
Don’t believe lies about your body. Maybe your wide hips came from your mother. Maybe your curly hair reflects your wild spirit. Soft, saggy skin means a life well lived. It means you’ve been lucky enough to watch your grandkids grow.
Marry someone who thinks you look beautiful in a ball gown.
Marry someone who thinks you look beautiful in a ball cap.
Don’t settle for someone who tells you love has terms and conditions.
Become a mother, if you want. Become a businesswoman, if you want. Become both, if you choose.
Set boundaries with those you love and especially those you don’t. Remember “no” is a complete sentence. You don’t ever have to explain why something doesn’t work for you.
Learn how to speak new languages. Accept everyone, always. Eat your way through this world.
Never tell your children not to cry. Never tell your children, “I just want you to be happy.” Show them what it’s like to be emotional because that means they’re alive.
Take care of yourself first. This is non-negotiable.
Motherhood might try to steal your identity. Take a trip to Tahiti. Take a trip to Target. Just make sure to carve out space for your truest self to still exist.
Some people are cruel. Some people are kind. We have an obligation to love everyone, but some people we must love from a safe distance.
Make your bed and move your body every day.
Light the good candles.
Eat organic, eat a Big Mac.
Read a book with actual pages.
And remember, the best thing you can do is live your life out loud.
Never hide who you are.
What makes you different, makes you beautiful.
Originally published on HeartStories.