Making the most of my "Dash"

I’ve been wanting to write this post since I started this blog.  But, it was “heavy” and the words never seemed to want to come out easily.

A few months ago I walked into Megan’s room and noticed she was very upset.  I asked her what was wrong, and as the tears welled up in her eyes she said, “Nothing.”  My first instinct was to MAKE her tell me.  I’m the Mom, she’s the kid, she’s hurting, and I want to know what’s going on RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT.  I had to resist the enormous urge of falling back into the familiar pattern from my childhood of the parent making the child spill her guts immediately.  Instead, I chatted with her, asked probing questions, and  realized she really wanted to talk about what was bothering her, but she was afraid of getting a bad reaction.  A MOM reaction.  An overreaction.  Given what I have learned from my own experiences, I assured her there was nothing she could say that would upset me so badly that I would freak out on her.  I promised that I would calmly listen to what she had to say until she was completely finished.

That’s when she willingly spilled her guts.

Honestly, I did not envision my 15 year old daughter being confronted with the situation she told me about.  She’s a good kid.  She hangs out with the good kids.  When she spends time at her dad’s house, she’s with good “christian” kids.  So when she told me what had happened, my head almost exploded from trying to keep my promises to her.  When she was done I told her three things:

  1. “Friends” DO NOT put friends in the position she was put in. EVER. Period. Full Stop. End of Story.
  2. “Friends” DO NOT attempt to manipulate us with emotional blackmail when we do not respond as they would like us to.  Attempting to control anyone in that way is one of the worst things you can do to another person.
  3. She handled the entire situation with more maturity than I would expect from an adult, and I was SO PROUD of her.

In the middle of our conversation, I told her that I had been meaning to write a list of things that I have experienced that were difficult to get through.  I wanted to present it to her as a ‘Letter To My Daughter’ sort of gift when she graduated from high school and was beginning to live her own life.  I wanted her to know that if she ever experienced any of the same type of things, that she wasn’t alone.  She looked at me, with tears falling down her cheeks and said, “I wish you had it for me right now.”

That was a knife to my heart.  I felt that I had failed her, because it had been on my mind to do for quite some time (clearly for a reason).  I just did not think she would need it yet.  Then I remembered some of what I experienced in high school.  I remembered the situations I was in, and how mean others could be.  I realized that I, too, could have used this advice at that time in my life.  So, with that said, I am finally getting around to doing what I should have done months and months ago.

Writing a letter to my daughter.

(A lot of this is deeply personal, but I’m putting it out on the blog just in case anyone else out there may be  experiencing similar things, and might feel very alone.  You need to know… you’re not.)

Dear Megan,

As you go through life, you are going to have some amazing moments!  You will celebrate, you will be excited, and you will share that with those around you.  You’ll have some normal, every day moments and those you’ll share with your close friends. You’ll even share the irritating, piss-you-off stuff too. But, you will also have really bad moments.  Horrible, gut-wrenching, how-do-I-get-through-this kind of moments.  And you may feel like you have to hide those.  I know, because I’ve had some of those myself.  And, while your experiences will not be the same as mine, I hope that simply knowing that someone else has gone through difficult times will help you too.

I want you to know, you are NOT alone.  You aren’t the first person in the world to go through difficult things, and you won’t be the last.  You need to remember that there may be several million other people that might be having the same difficulty as you, at the same time as you.  I do not ever want you to feel like there is no one who could possibly understand.  I don’t want you to be afraid to tell anyone what you’re going through because you are afraid of how others will respond.  Of whether they will ridicule and reject you.  I especially do not want you to be afraid of me and how I may respond.  That’s why I need to share some of my darkest moments with you.

I Know What It’s Like…

  • I know what it’s like to hold all of your feelings inside because you don’t feel you have the right to really and truly say what’s on your mind.  Do not do this.  It is dangerous, because in the end you will become angry and bitter; or you will end up sacrificing your wants, needs, thoughts, and opinions in favor of others.  And you will lose you.
  • I know what it’s like to put myself in a potential date-rape situation.  I attended a high school birthday party sleepover where there was a lot of alcohol.  I had a few drinks, and put myself in the very scary position of being taken advantage of by a college aged boy.  I was fortunate in that I was coherent enough to say NO, and even more fortunate that he listened.  (This was one of the scariest things I did in high school, and something I’ve not told anyone about until writing this blog.)   Looking back, I know how badly that night could have ended.  I regret making the choice to drink, to not keep complete control over myself, and to have become so vulnerable as a consequence.  However, I learned a life-long lesson from what happened, and I would rather you learn by reading about this now and choose not to make such a bad choice as I did, rather than learn this lesson for yourself.
  • I know what it’s like to have lost a best friend.  You must remember that many friends will come in and out of your life, and their purposes are all different.  Sometimes they need you, sometimes you need them, and sometimes you need each other.  A Best Friend loves you as you are.   They’re the ones that know when you are troubled, even when you keep lying to yourself and everyone else.  They are at the ready to help in whatever way they can, and sometimes they have the difficult task of telling you that you need to help yourself. They’re honest, even when they know it hurts, but they will help you through the hurt.  When you have this kind of person in your life, be there for them in the way you want them to be there for you.  Remember that it takes two people to have a relationship.  Don’t abuse each others friendship.  Know that sometimes these kinds of friendships do end, and if that happens, do your very best to make sure you end it on good terms.  They may come back into your life.  Either way, you will have no regrets.
  • I know what it’s like to have gone to a four month ultra-sound check up during a pregnancy, and find out that my baby had been dead inside of me for a month.  When I decided to wait for my body to “naturally” go through the miscarriage, I emotionally and mentally flipped-out after waiting for two days.  I also know what it’s like to have the doctor have to surgically remove the baby, and that was psychologically one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  I felt every little tug throughout the procedure, and my heart wrenched and the tears streamed down with each one. I also happened to be in a car accident the same day, at the beginning of the three-hour drive to the doctors office.  Later, as we were almost there (and in a different vehicle), one of the tires had a blow-out.  Remember, life is going to throw you curve-balls and sometimes they will all hit you all at once.    And you will learn that you ARE strong enough to get through them.
  • I know what it’s like to be so angry and yell at God. Out loud.  After losing my baby I had so many questions.  I was so angry at having to go through that kind of pain.  My mother immediately told me to never blame God or yell at Him.  I wasn’t blaming Him, but I absolutely was yelling.  I was questioning.  And while it might not be the popular thing to do, you need to know that God can handle what you throw at Him.  He’s big enough, and strong enough. If you need to yell at Him and question Him, then you do it.  And then… YOU wait and LISTEN for His answer.
  • I know what it’s like to be so overwhelmed at a job, and intimidated by the people there, that I wanted to quit.  I felt miserable, inadequate, and like a complete failure.  This was one of the hardest things for my ego to deal with, because I thought I could do everything well.  I decided to learn as much as I could from others around me, and do the best job possible.  I overcame the difficult obstacles, and ended up being promoted.  Don’t quit when things get hard.  Do the best you can, and see what happens!  If it turns out your best is not good enough for a particular job, then you can leave and move on knowing you gave it your all.
  • I know what it’s like to tell a family member some of the most embarrassing, humiliating and painful experiences I have endured, and later be told, “I just didn’t believe you, until [someone else] told me it was true.”  It hurts to feel like you’re screaming at the top of your lungs for someone to care, and find out they never even really listened to begin with.  I hope I will always hear you, Megan.
  • I know what it’s like to be told, “It’s just too much work and too hard to try” by someone who was referring to maintaining a relationship with me.  Relationships take work.  Sometimes it’s easy work, sometimes it’s hard work, but it always requires both parties to work at it together.  Love is so many things, but to me these are some of the important ones: Love is an equal partnership.  It is putting the other person’s wants and needs first, knowing that they are putting yours first too.  It is apologizing when you are wrong, and receiving apologies from the other person.  It is not keeping score of all the hurts you’ve felt, and then slamming the other person with them.  It is not harming the other person physically or emotionally.  It is not manipulating them to get your own way, and it never, ever, uses emotional blackmail.  It is constant communication, even when you don’t want to be in the same room with them.  It’s finishing arguments before you go to sleep, and then holding each other in your arms.  It is tender touches, looks, and kisses.  It’s respect for each other, always. And the moment someone in a relationship with you hits you or attempts to hit you, it’s over.  No second chances, no “they didn’t mean it”.  You walk away that very moment, while you still can.  It may save your life.
  • I know what it’s like to be so depressed that I didn’t care about anyone or anything.  Including my own children.  I wanted to be left alone.  I started to drink alcohol with the misguided thought of easing my pain.  I woke up in the morning wishing it was already 6:00pm and I could have a drink.  Alcohol is not the answer.  It is seductive, and is too easily abused.  Make it a rule to not ever drink when you are sad or angry.  It will not make you feel better in the long run.  It compounded my depression and I started lashing out at those around me. You probably remember that more vividly than I would like.  It took a long time for me to realize something was wrong, simply because I was locked in the “I am Super Mom/Woman and I can do EVERYTHING” role.  You must realize that taking on too much will eventually overwhelm you and may send you into a spiral.  You are not required to take on 500 different roles at once. Give yourself permission to say NO, especially to those who are closest to you. They are usually the ones to put the most pressure on you.
  • I know what it’s like to have felt so much pressure, and felt so hopeless, that I thought suicide was the answer.  Suicide is NEVER the answer, but when you are in that place it may seem like it to you.  It’s a dark and hopeless place, and it feels so overwhelmingly lonely.  But you must REACH OUT to someone.  Get help! Remember that there are people in the world who deeply love you, and losing you would be devastating.  You kids were my reason for crawling out of that hole and going to counseling.
  • I know what it’s like to have been so hurt and devastated that I felt like I could not breathe.  There will be times when you may be so crushed that you may feel that you can barely move.  You may want to crawl into bed, curl into yourself, and feel like you want to die or just sleep it all away.  You need to know that it’s ok to do that… Give yourself time. Grieve, cry, push it out of your mind and allow yourself to rest.  However, you CANNOT let yourself stay down.  Once you have regained your strength, you must get up, get out of bed and face it head on.  Do not run, do not hide. You absolutely MUST deal with whatever it is that has knocked you down.  Because it will follow you.  It will dog you until it drains every last ounce of energy and emotion from you.  You will probably need help getting back up and dealing with it. Get it; whether it’s a friend, minister, therapist or all even all of the above.  And know that you will survive it.  I promise.
  • I know what it’s like to have lost almost everyone in my life because I chose to no longer live the way others expected (and, I daresay, demanded) me to.   You know the difficulties in our family.  If this happens to you (I pray not), such a thing will cause you to lose your balance.  You need to know that you will find it again on your own.  It is your life, after all.  You will discover how strong you are, what YOU really think and believe, and where you really and truly put your faith.  My goal is to parent you in a way that you discover those things in a healthy way, without losing anyone around you.
  • I know what it’s like to have serious lies said about me by a family member, and upon correcting them, be told by another family member to “Take your lies, and sell your story elsewhere.”  Know that many people can be part of the same experience, but have completely different perspectives regarding it.  It is important for you to remember this, as it will help you put yourself in other people’s shoes and be able to understand them during difficult times.  It will help you to not hold anger and resentment against others.  You also must remember that you need to be true to yourself, should anything like this occur in your life.
  • I know what it’s like to have moved to another state with three kids and started life over.  Sometimes you may have to start over, from scratch.  Doing anything new can be difficult.  Being on your own can be scary. There may be a lot of obstacles, but if you know it is right, then you will do whatever it takes.  And you will be ok.
  • I know what it’s like to realize that I did not agree with some of the religious belief’s taught to me since childhood, to change churches, and then face such disappointment and anger from others.  Megan, you must serve God because you WANT to, not because someone else wants you too, or because you’ve been taught that great harm will come to those you love if you don’t do it right.  I don’t believe God wants you in church if you’re there for any other reason than because you want to serve Him.  God wants you to want a relationship with Him.  He is not going to force you into it, or threaten to harm your loved ones.  I believe He will be disappointed if you don’t want a relationship with Him, but He gives YOU the choice as He promised you a free-will.  I know you love God, you let Him guide you.

Megan, I want you to know that I am glad to have had these experiences.  If given the opportunity for a do-over, I would do them all again.  However, I would change my reactions in some instances.  I would take more time to think things through.  But, as Mister always says, the sum of your experiences has made you who you are today.  And I wouldn’t be the person I am without having gone through these things.  Even you have recognized and told me that I am a better mom to you, because of many of these experiences.  Only through adversity will you see who you really are, and what you are capable of becoming.  Without pain, and without suffering, you will never fully appreciate the good times in your life.  Or know the kind of people who you want to be in your life.

I also want you to know that when I felt that most everyone around me let me down, and I knew they felt I let them down, I always knew that I had never been completely abandoned.  I knew God was always there.  No matter what you do, or where you go, He will be there for you too.  My wish is to also be there for you, when you need me.  So many times I have tried to think of anything that would make me not want to have you in my life.  There is nothing, Megan.  I’ve imagined the most horrible things, and still, I love you so much that nothing I can think of would make me want you out of my life.

This is your life, Megan.  I will disagree and disapprove of some of the things you do.  I may express that to you.  But I will not force you to live your life my way.  I will honor your personal rights.  I will be here for you, I will encourage you, I will cheer you on, and I will do everything in my power to understand you.  And…I will always love you.

This is your dash. I hope this helps you to live it well.

Love,

Mom

Comments on: "A letter to my Daughter: I know what it’s like…" (67)

  1. Looking back on my own relationship with my mom, this is the best gift you could ever give your daughter. I had horribly mean girls throughout my life that I struggled with all alone. I knew my mom was there, but always underestimated her own life experiences that would allow her to relate. Had I know she had been through such similar pains, I could have had another best friend this whole time.

  2. MisterOfTheDash said:

    Megan is very lucky to have a mom like you.

  3. Thank you Mom! You once again made me cry, but it is a good type of crying i think. i love you and am glad that you shared this with me.

  4. Sherica shelton-Englert said:

    Wow! Your daughter is blessed to have such a courageous mom. As a mom with a 16 year old daughter- thank you. This is absolute affirmation that you are never alone.

    • Thank you so much! I know I’m not supposed to seek validation elsewhere, but I can’t help being so grateful you left your comment! I was pretty nervous posting this, and it is so wonderful to see positive comments! Thank you again!

  5. Someone close to me tried to do her own version of what you are doing here. I wish she had been brave enough and healthy enough to do it like you did. She listed all her mistakes (the shame still palpable in them) for her teenage daughter to read. She was trying to tell her daughter what not to do. It backfired on her… sharing shame with the intention of hoping that shame will “shame” someone else in to not doing something just doesn’t work.

    Instead what you have done here is make sure your daughter(s) know you are right there with them… side-by-side on the journey. You reached way down deep and pulled up so many truths, but there isn’t a hint of a mother pointing a finger at her child saying…. I did it – don’t you do it or you will fail me, disappointment me, or (worse yet) make me feel more terrible about myself than I already do.

    It’s clear that somewhere in all the “mess” you’ve allowed the peace that comes with forgiveness and understanding to wash over you… and you are offering that love, forgiveness, and understanding to your own daughter in-advance. Paying it forward so to speak. Seems to me that’s the best of moms…

    You are amazing. And Megan you are amazing too. It’s so cool that you will let your mom share this publicly. You are helping other families and girls by being willing to have your story shared here…. way to go girls!

    • I’ve had a hard time with my words all day. Your comment just overwhelms me. You’ve said exactly what I was hoping this letter would convey to my girls. I always want them to know that love, forgiveness and understanding is waiting for them with me.

      One of the personal rights I discovered that hit me hardest was the “freedom to assert my rights without fear of rejection and abandonment”. I knew before I made some choices in my life, that this fear would become a reality. I have yet to understand why it must be so, and I may never understand it. I did not want my children to have the same fear of abandonment ruling their decisions and their life.

      I can’t help but repeat your words to you… “Thanks for being my champion. I ♥ having you in my corner.” Happy tears. Again!

  6. p.s. off to finish my bear of a post right now!

  7. It took me quite a while to read this. It brought up so many things in my life that I have been avoiding. Thank you. You are an awesome mom!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’m sorry if I brought about any pain, but if there was pain I hope this was helpful. That was the only point I had in sharing it so openly…to be helpful. (((HUGS)))

  8. Shelly Armstrong said:

    WOW, what an awesome letter to your daughter :) I have had many of the same experiences you have had and have mucho respect for the way you explained them to your daughter and feel like she will cherish your words to her for a long time.

    • It’s so amazing to me when I hear that others have had similar experiences. I feel relief at knowing I’m not the only one, and sadness that anyone else has even had to experience these things. Thank you so much for your kind words, they really lifted me up!

  9. I love all of this post, deeply and in ways I couldn’t hope to describe without days to mull over it all, but these are the three segments that struck me with special (wonderful) force:
    1. (A lot of this is deeply personal, but I’m putting it out on the blog just in case anyone else out there may be experiencing similar things, and might feel very alone. You need to know… you’re not.) — And the world (not just your daughter!) is better for this openness!

    2. But, as Mister always says, the sum of your experiences has made you who you are today. And I wouldn’t be the person I am without having gone through these things. — I am likewise grateful for all the good and bad I’ve gone through, because I love exactly where I’m at now.

    3. This is your life, Megan. I will disagree and disapprove of some of the things you do. I may express that to you. But I will not force you to live your life my way. — I cried when I read this. I wish everyone had parents who felt the same, but I have hope for what this love means for the next generation, members of which who will themselves pass it.

    • I can’t begin to express what your comment means to me. I have been so blessed with amazing support and encouragement, that I have been filled up to overflowing with joy. Thank you so much for that.

      I wish everyone had parents who felt the same, but I have hope for what this love means for the next generation, members of which who will themselves pass it. THIS brought ME to tears. I am so hopeful that by my overcoming old patterns and replacing those with new ones, that my children will become happier, healthier adults… and the ripple effect will just keep going.

  10. When your children are babies and toddlers a kiss and a cuddle usually fixes the “hurts” it gets much more complicated as they get older. There is nothing worse than seeing your child in emotional pain and not being able to “fix” it. This is a beautiful way to show them that you can get through difficult times and come out stronger. Well done.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment!! Boy, I sure wish those kisses and cuddles worked for everything with our children’s hurts. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this, I very much appreciate it!!

  11. First I want you to know that I have enjoyed keeping up with (and catching up on) your life through your blog. I love your writing. And second I just want to say I was so blessed by this post! Thank you for being willing to share your struggles and gained wisdom, not only with your daughter, but with anyone who may find encouragement from it. I love, appreciate, and admire your vulnerability. Hugs! ~S

    • I was so surprised and so happy to see your comment! One of my biggest struggles was putting this out there where people who know me could see it. So please know how much it means to me that you would take the time to write these words out. I have always admired the wonderful example you set as a woman, a mom and a wife. Thank you so very, very much!! Big Hugs right back to you!

  12. Oh Dasher. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Megan is a very lucky girl to have you for a momma. You have not failed her by not writing this sooner instead she shared with you how awesome of a job you have done by showing her the difference between right and wrong and standing up for herself. Absolutely breathtakingly honesty and courageous for letting Megan know that you are a person, not just a parental figure telling her what to do. You are leading her by example and that is beautiful. Sending Sno2Go for both of you! <3 from the fort

  13. Nuthinspecial said:

    Wow lil mom, I’m at a loss for words. You are an amazing woman and an incredible mother! Now stop making me cry, would ya! Luv ya :-)

  14. I think this is a beautiful letter – I wish my Mom would have done the same for me when I was her age.

  15. Oh my goodness, how much courage it must have taken for you to write this and I love love love that Megan commented on this post as did Mister. It’s truly beautiful and while I have been through some of these things, I have not been through others. I am sorry for the loss of your baby, I am sure that is one thing that stays with you in a different way, but how beautiful that you have this now to share with Megan. I often think as I tell others about my own past that if you added up all of these experiences, now life lessons, it’s amazing we are all still here to tell the tale. I am so happy to have met you through this crazy FB/Bloggy world, and I can’t wait to learn more as I get to read your blog and visit with you each day. Big hugs & <3s. P.s. Do you mind if I Tag this post tomorrow? Also, can I put you on the interview schedule for MNFD Weekly Inspiration? I would love to have you tell others more about you…

    • I have been so blessed by all the many new “FB/Bloggy” friends I have made!! It is so amazing to have met so many wonderful people like this! I get such encouragement and inspiration from all of you, especially I read wonderful comments like yours! I don’t mind if you tag this at all. While I don’t particularly feel like I’d be a great interview candidate, you can add me to the schedule and I won’t hold you to posting it if it’s not interesting! ;)

  16. You are amazing Mom. Your daughter is very lucky to have you.

    Cheers,
    Louise

  17. WOW! Everything I would have said to my Daughter, if I’d have been her Mom…ours is 32 now, and in spite of everything we tried to do to make her a wonderful young lady, she absolutely is one! You are one beautiful person, and your “Mister”, (Also known as my friend since….well, a long long time ago!), and all your kids just don’t know what a Gem they have as a Mother, Friend, Wife, and Confidant….One of the very best Mother/Daughter letters I have EVER read. Congratulations, and Good Job!

    • Aw, Jim… You made me cry! Thank you so much for this wonderful, wonderful compliment! Your long-time friend is one amazing man, you know. He brings out the best in me!

  18. I have no words…thank you for this. I will be sharing it with my daughter in the hopes that you can help me tell her what I am too emotional to say. I am grateful and sorry that you and I have been through similar circumstances (I was particularly touched by “Take your lies and go somewhere else…”), Sorry because I know how much that hurts, but grateful that you chose to share. You have improved an outlook today – mine – and I am grateful. Thank you.

    • Becca, you have no idea the gift you gave me today. I was so apprehensive posting this publicly, because I was unsure of how it would be received. My hope was that it might be helpful to at least one person by doing so…

      I know exactly how you feel when you say “I am grateful and sorry that you and I have been through similar circumstances.” I have that same feeling when I hear people, like you, say they’ve been through similar things. It is sad, but reassuring to know you’re not alone and other people can understand/relate.

      Thank you so much for leaving your comment, you’ve really made my day!

  19. Christine, you have carefully, thoughtfully and gently laid out in your letter the way to navigate life’s harshest moments. I had wonderful, fumbling parents that guided me to adulthood, despite them being unaware of some very painful parts that I experienced. I think many parents don’t realize the importance of being receptive and a safe place to go to when we, as children want to confide and seek help, and knowledge about how to handle difficult people, and tough situations. You have provided a really good and welcoming place for Megan and your other kids that is so valuable. My family was very large and we were close, but I was afraid to tell somethings, because of the fear of disapproval, and rejection also. You are wonderful and very good to have made the path to yourself accessible and welcoming. So smart and goodhearted, you are :D

    • Aw, WB, it’s so great to see you here! You have no idea what that means to me… Thank you so much for those wonderful words! It’s really great to get encouraging comments like this, it helps me to know that I did the right thing for Megan!

  20. WOW! Not sure what else to say, Christine! How wonderful and brave! WTG 8-)

  21. [...] “The Dash Between” recently wrote a letter to her daughter that’s a good read for everyone who’s struggling to make peace with themselves, personally and as parents: A letter to my Daughter: I know what it’s like… [...]

  22. TMIYC sent me over! I love this!

  23. I missed this when you posted it, but once again I can thank TMiYC for her post. I would be a fool to NOT read anything that she recommends :)

    This is absolutely beautiful. It’s so scary to make yourself vulnerable & we are so blessed that you are brave. Thank you.

    • I am so grateful that TMiYC mentioned this letter/blog. The response has been overwhelming and so supportive. I thank YOU for that!! It means so much to have this encouragement when doing something that’s scary [to me]!

  24. It’s a great gift to be able to pass so much wisdom to your daughter. And your daughter seems so open to listen, I’m sure she will absorb it all to learn from your hard lessons. Thank you for sharing!

  25. [...] Facebook page as well. (The irony here is that I had stumbled upon her beautifully expressed post, A letter to my Daughter: I know what it’s like…  the night before and had bookmarked it to come back to, comment on, and share with my girls.) I [...]

  26. Your daughter is so lucky to have you! This is such a beautiful letter and a great “manual” on life. And I think it’s the perfect time to give it to her! Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow… Thank you so much! I am so blessed to have her for a daughter! She is a really amazing kid, and I’m so grateful that she is willing to discuss these kinds of things, and even let me share it with the world!

  27. Beautifully written by a mother who knows and understands a mother’s soul and the incredible NEED to let your children know they are never.alone.

    • Thank you so much, Martha! You’ve summed up exactly the purpose of this letter in eight words!! I wish I knew how to be so succinct!! let your children know they are never.alone.

  28. It’s just beautiful, I cried through the whole thing. You put into words how so many of us feel,and understand our need for children to know how incredibly much they are loved.

  29. [...] to be read far and wide, which would it be?”  The first post that jumped to mind was the “Letter to my Daughter…” that I wrote to Megan.  Deb asked for us to link our posts under her question, and after I did I [...]

  30. This is amazing! And it really resonates. I should do this for my daughter and I am going to repost this on my FB. My mom wrote me a letter for high school graduation and 30 years later I still love to reread it because I see the love in it.
    Life is hard and kids these days go through the same things we did if not more with all of the technology.
    Your daughter is lucky to have you for her mom. I try to remember what it really was that I wanted my mom to do when I was angry and/or hysterical/sullen, etc. That was usually a hug to know that someone still loved me. Sometimes it made me crazy and angry when my daughter would be hysterical, but yelling didn’t help. The hugs always did and the situation was difused much easier and quicker.

    • Thank you so much!! I know it’s something your daughter will treasure! I wasn’t sure how mine would react, but she loved it. And you’re right, their life is harder than ours was! It’s incredible the pressures they go through nowadays…

  31. [...] Recommended post: A letter to my Daughter: I know what it’s like [...]

  32. You’re one special Mom, you do realize that, I hope?
    Most people do not devote enough of their time and energy to their kids – they feel they need “Me time” – and so society has suffered as a result.
    You’ve struggled against the tide and emerged victorious – as has your lovely daughter.

    • Wow, what a compliment! I try. Some days I fail miserably, and others I surprise myself with my “Momness”. In the end, I simply want all of my children to know that I am here, no matter what… and I want them to KNOW it and BELIEVE it.

  33. Stubbled across this and I love it! I have shared it and shared again!! Thank you for this.

  34. I just sat here reading this and got out a tablet and sat down and wrote a letter to my 13 year old daughter and one to my 17 year old son . You have inspired me to do
    something i should have done but kept putting it off. The teenage years are tough
    and our kids need to know we are there for them .I love my kids unconditionally and
    thank you so much as you have been an inspiration to me . My mother was not there for me like a mother should be and I vowed to always be there for my kids .

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I am glad that it prompted you to write that letter, I believe it’s such a wonderful gift that we can give to our children!

  35. Leda Jo said:

    Christine, you definitely touched more hearts than just your daughters! I felt as though I was reading about my own life. My daughter has two beautiful children now but high school was very difficult for her. I grew up in the United Pentecostal church. Do you have roots in this religion too? I am no longer Pentecostal but a strong Christian.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my block post! It was hard to put all of that out there, but every now and then I get a response like yours that reminds me that it was the right thing to share… for my daughter and for others! Thank you for that!

      My background was in a very conservative Baptist religion as a “Missionary Baptist”. I still attend a Baptist church, however it’s a Southern Baptist church. To my ‘family’ that pretty much means I have “left my faith” and am not serving in a “true church”. I think that’s a sad judgment to make on anyone though, and I refuse to raise my daughter with that mindset!

  36. Only two words….THANK YOU!

  37. Laura walker said:

    You’re advice … Is simple amazing!!! Thank you for your courage and strength and for paying it forward!!!!
    That in itself is a gift!!!! Laura

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