To My Dearest Future Daughter, From Your Mom At 19

To My Dearest Future Daughter, From Your Mom At 19

Even though I don't plan on having children for at least 10 years, there are some things I want my future daughter to know.
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Dear Evangeline, or Sloan, or maybe Honor:

Hi. This is honestly pretty surreal. Me as a mom? I imagine reading this back when I find out I’m pregnant, or the day you come into this world. I’ll probably think some of the things I’ve said here are stupid. What was 19-year-old-me thinking?

Right now I’m a college student just over halfway to my degree. I have no boyfriend or credit score, and my biggest concern is finding a date for formal. The only things I can cook are eggs and toast.

Right now I’m about as far away from being a mother as one could be. Stability and domesticity are antonyms for the hectic, whirlwind of my life at college. I survive on Mean Bean Monsters and ramen, and the only routine I have is for my skin, and even that is pretty loose. Last night I went to bed at 5 a.m. I wasn’t even studying, I was just rewatching "Captian America."

If I had a kid right now I’d lose my mind, and likely the baby.

My life has always been like this, unpredictable and adventurous and exciting, and I hope it’ll be like this for some time. I want to travel to far away places and tell peoples’ story as a journalist.

While I couldn’t imagine having a kid now, or in five years, or 10, I know at some point I’ll change my mind, and then you’ll come into the world and change everything.

That being said, I don’t imagine I will live out of a suitcase forever. One day, hopefully, I’m going to fall in love and get a house and have a kid. You.

Who do I want you to be? Who do I want to be when I have you? What do I want our relationship to be like?

If you and I are anything like me and my mom, we’re going to fight, a lot, but we’ll also form a bond so strong and amazing there would be nothing to tear it down. We’ll be each others’ secret keepers, best friends, and support systems.

My mom has sacrificed everything and has dedicated her existence to my brother and me. She has fought for us and worked endlessly to craft us into good, loving people. If I can be half of the mother my mom is, then I’ll have succeeded.

My mom taught me to be honest and hardworking, to also put God and family above all else. She raised me to be strong and passionate, to stand firm in the face of adversity and make my mark on the world. I want to teach you to do the same.

I want to raise my children to be smart, and strong, and ambitious, and independent, but most of all kind. There’s a lot of darkness and hate in this world, but I want to teach you to always seek out the light, and if you can’t find it, be it. Give to others and live as God intended, loving even those who hate you.

I’m going to teach you so much cool stuff as well. I’m going to help you learn to paint, ride horses, and read. There will be so many amazing works of art I’ll show you. One day, I’ll take you to the places I’ve traveled to, just like my dad and grandfather took me to places they’ve been. We’ll walk through the cathedrals of Europe I was mesmerized by and climb the mountains I explored as a child.

Then we’ll go on new adventures and make our own memories. I want you to see and do everything this world has to offer. I want you to experience life in a thousand people’s shoes so that you can reflect and grow your own existence.

I know it sounds like there are a million expectations already for you, but you’ll have all the help in the world to become an amazing woman and leader. You’ll not only have me but your entire family behind you.

You’re going to be loved infinitely. There will be no wrong you could commit that will take away that love. Your father and I (whoever he shall be) will give our lives to you. Your grandparents will be mesmerized by you. I can already see my mom dressing you up in frilly outfits that I’ll roll my eyes at but secretly love. Your grandfather will teach you to fish and to hit a baseball, just like he taught me.

You’re going to face hard times, but I’ll be there. If you’re anything like me you’ll break seemingly every bone in your body (twice). You’re going to eat lunch alone. A boy will break your heart. You’re not going to get the job. It’s going to feel awful and you’ll feel absolutely alone. I know, because I’ve been there. When you feel like that I’ll wipe your tears and tell you about the horror years of middle school, and that if I could survive, so can you. I’ll help you egg a guy’s car too.

I won’t say I’m going to be perfect. I’m going to make mistakes. Sometimes I’ll be unfair and angry. I might be too chaotic when all you want is stability. I’ll oversleep and miss your ballet lesson. I’ll let you dress yourself for picture day and then in 10 years you’ll hate me for it.

I’m not going to be the picture-perfect mom who wears Lululemon and plays tennis. I can’t bake homemade cookies. I have tattoos and I’ll probably go through a crisis and dye my hair bright red (again). There’s no question — I’ll disappoint you.

Despite what flaws I have and will have, I’ll try my best. Life is an adventure and we’ll journey together. I’ve got a lot of learning and living to do before you’re born. I’ll tell you all about it when we meet.

See you in 10 years (at least),

Mom

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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I Love My Parents For Making Me Hate Them

If you've never disliked your parents, they're doing something wrong.

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I did not have the "cool" parents growing up. I was not allowed to go to parties, drink, hang out with bad influences, eat sugary breakfast cereal and Gushers, or date guys who my parents thought were too old for me. I looked around at all of my friends getting permission to do pretty much anything they wanted and filled with jealousy and curiosity as to why that wasn't my life.

A very common conversation in my household:



"But *insert friend's name here*'s parents let them!"

"I'm not *insert same friend's name here*'s parents."


At the time, I felt like my parents were suffocating me and not allowing me to make the mistakes I needed to make to develop as a person. Little did I know, the parenting I had was the absolute best parenting I could possibly have had. Looking back, I'm thankful for all of the rules, punishments, fights, and boundaries, because it did shape who I am as a person and a future parent.

That being said, to those who think their parents are too strict: trust the system. Rules are regulations are crucial for teaching valuable life lessons, regardless of how frustrating it may seem at the time. I cannot express in words how sheltered I felt growing up compared to a lot of my peers, but I now understand the parenting style and hope to apply this same guidance to my future family.

My favorite way to describe the parenting style I had growing up would be by comparing it to a retractable dog leash. My parents always let me explore my boundaries and make mistakes to learn from them, but pulled my back when I put myself or others in danger. They knew the lessons I needed to learn through trial and error, and there were always consequences when I did things that they knew I shouldn't. Getting punished insured that I would repeat mistakes, but also created the necessary separation between friend and parent.

Eventually, it would disappoint me to disappoint my parents, and that guilt was almost punishment enough to prevent me from doing anything I shouldn't. Sometimes I did feel like I was missing out on a lot of the things my peers were able to do. At the same time, however, I knew it was for the best and that my parents had my best interest at heart. When I did act as a regular rebellious teenager, my parents always were on my team and made sure I felt loved and cared for even when they needed to punish me.

Now that I'm older and have established right from wrong on my own, my relationship with my parents is something that others envy. We can joke around and act as best friends, but I also know that if I needed it, my parents would always be there to help me with life's hardest problems and decisions. The fights we had when I was younger and the teenage attitude is now something we can look back and laugh about.

Using my parents as models, I now know how I would one day like to raise my own children. Obviously, all kids are different and there are some things I would change. However, I know that if my children never hate me, I would not be doing my job correctly. I appreciate all of the times I felt like I was restricted and couldn't be who I wanted to be because now I realize that my parents were shaping me into the best person I could possibly be, and that's what I wish I would have wanted all along.

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