If you have found me through Mother Letters, welcome to my house. Feel free to make yourself at home and look around.
Put your feet up on the coffee table, see what I have in the pantry, and enjoy our time together.
If you would like to read my entire Mother Letter, click here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mother Letters

I wrote a letter to contribute to a Christmas gift one husband gave to his wife. He asked anyone willing to write a letter to his wife with words of encouragement, experiences, etc. I decided to copy the letter I wrote here so that I would have it recorded for myself and my family. If you would like to know more about the project, click here. There are some amazing thoughts from mothers around the world. BTW, he received more than 500 letters!  If you have found me through Mother Letters, welcome to my house.

Dear Mother,

As I contemplated this challenge of summing up motherhood into a letter, I realized what a monumental task it is. Defining motherhood and ourselves by extension is an impossible task. As I began my blog, in the “about us” section, I felt forced to define our family and by extension myself. At different points in my life I have defined myself as a student, teacher, friend, girlfriend, missionary, waitress, wife, mother, housekeeper, chauffeur, cook, room mother, director of plays, writer, translator, church worker, and the list goes on and on. I wish I could come up with a definitive label for myself (in my mind) that encompasses all that I am now and have been. Sometimes “stay at home mom” doesn’t begin to describe me. I love being a mother. I also realize that sometimes I need to feel like a woman, sometimes a wife, and often a validated individual. Maybe I am looking for a definition that isn’t just what I do but all that I am. I guess I am just ME! and some days that is more than enough!
I have done many things in my life, from living without indoor plumbing or electricity in a third world country for 8 months and learning to truly love the people, to teaching 4th and 6th graders. I have to say, striving to be the mother I want for my children is by far the most difficult thing I have ever done. It stretches my creativity, patience, and coping skills beyond limits I ever imagined and I don’t even have teenagers yet!
As for advice, the thing I am striving for most in my journey of motherhood is to keep the big picture in mind and tailor my goals and reactions to each challenge accordingly. I try to ask myself if this will really matter to who my child will become in the future. Is this a skill he/she will really need or just something I want.
I lose my temper frequently and many times realize after the fact that “I made a mountain out of that mole hill” but then I try to forgive myself and move forward. Most of the time the forgiveness part is the most difficult. Forgiving ourselves brings me to the other bit of advice that I try to remind myself of...we needn’t be too hard on ourselves. Even mothers are imperfect and on our own journeys to better ourselves each day. I believe that God made children with short memories and forgiving hearts for that reason. Oh, and stop comparing yourself to the wonder mom down the street. She doesn’t show you her dirty bathrooms and the tears she cries on hard days. It is a good thing God doesn’t judge us by our perceptions of the neighbor moms! As I strive each day to do my best, I pray often to my loving Heavenly Father and ask that he make up the difference between my best efforts and everything my children need. I have faith He will, because I know He loves them too. A personal relationship with Him goes a long way to feeling His loving presence in your life.
I recently heard a wonderful talk given by a local church leader that helps me to keep my perspective. He said that instead of making lists of “things to do” make it a list of “people to love”. Nearly everything we do affects someone. It would be a much better world, a happier family, a happier heart, if the things we do every day were done with love for the people they affect. I read a post about a lady who folds laundry this way. As she folds each article of clothing she thinks of something she loves about the person it belongs to.
We are trying to teach our children that our love is best demonstrated by our actions, not just saying “I love you”. How much more love could exist in our homes if all the “to dos” were done with love for members of the family in mind?
Finally, take a break once in a while. Everyone needs to find the individual inside the mom once in a while. I find that I am more patient and loving when given the chance to miss my children once in a while.
Keep your chin up. Keep trying and know that there are many other mothers out there cheering for you as well as a loving Heavenly Father who wants you to succeed in creating your own happy ending with your family.

With love, from a small part of your own cheering section,
Mother of four ages 8, 6, 4, 14 months

Though this letter is full of things that rarely resemble my real day to day life, it has helped me to write them down and read them often to keep my perspective. I would highly recommend writing your own "mother letter" whether it is about yourself, about the mother you hope to be one day, or about your own mother, wife, sister daughter etc.


  1. Well done. Mothers are the best.

  2. Well said, I already appreciate my wife and my mom, but this helps me to appreciate them even more. The timing is nice too with mothers day approaching.