Step outside your life for a moment and try to have an outside perspective.
Look at your child/children and ask yourself what you would say to their mother. What does she need to know? What would you want her to do?
I did this and wrote it down.
“Dear Everly’s Mom….”
After I had written all I could think of, I read it all fresh and was very moved by the encouragement I’d give to Everly’s mom.
We often give others much better advice than we give ourselves.
But if I may, if you do take time to think about it, please let me know what you would say to your child’s mom.
Dear Everly’s Mom, What a beautiful, beautiful child! What a worthy devotee of your life’s work. What a blessing you have been given. Before the foundation of the world, she was appointed into your care, to nurture and raise. You have been given such a privilege. Do not waste any of your precious time with her.
Dear Everly’s Mom, It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Only when you are being taken care of well can you give the very best of care to Everly. Everly needs a strong, healthy, and happy mother.
Dear Everly’s Mom, You will make so many, many mistakes, and you already have, and that is okay. Your child needs empathy and guidance above all else, not perfection. But for the sake of your child, please show grace when you make mistakes, own up to them with strong humility. For her sake, lay aside your pride.
Dear Everly’s Mom Someone said, “Never give up what you want most for what you want now.” You’re tired, drained, emotional, and it would be so much easier to let the rules slide, but for her sake, please don’t. For her sake, make your home a place of stability, which is for her, safety.
Dear Everly’s Mom Your child is safe with you. She is safer with you than anywhere, so it is with you that she will test the boundaries. This is not a testament to your failure as a mother, only to the nature of children.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Give her good friends. Friends are so influential.
Dear Everly’s Mom, It is not a waste of time to wash dishes and prepare meals. It is not a waste of money to make your home a beautiful place. Please make Everly’s home a lovely place to live, a place she will remember with nostalgia and fondness, and a place she can always come back to.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Do not be so consumed with chores and projects that you do not enjoy her. Read to her every day. Sing and play with her. Everly will remember you more than she remembers the house.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Don’t try to do it alone. Find help. Nurture your friendships.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Foster her relationship with her father, and do not be jealous of the special bond that they share. It is beautiful. It is as it should be. Give them time to be father and daughter, without your presence being a necessity.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Life’s problems, while they may grow fewer in number (or may not) will grow more severe in consequence and importance. The best way to protect Everly is to make her capable.
Dear Everly’s Mom, Her middle name could have been Joy.