Thursday, May 7, 2015

What I want my girls to learn . . .

Dear Sophia & Kalista,

Another year has passed and I am definitely older. Wiser? Well, maybe I can give you an answer next year. But I doubt it.

On my birthday I went for a long run and got caught up with what I have learned over the years; lessons and realizations I want to pass down to you. I hope this blog will still be around when you are older to understand. I will make sure to print this one just in case.

I am going to tell you right now, I ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS STATEMENT! Whenever this has been said to me, it's always been at a time when my feelings were hurt. And I don't mean hurt because there was a disagreement or a joke/prank gone wrong. But the kind of hurt that would have me feeling disappointed if either one of you did or said such a thing to someone else. 

So this is what I have learned about that statement . . . It's not about being too sensitive, but it's the mere fact some people are insensitive. Because in all honesty, that statement is somewhat of a cop out. From my point of view it's like a "get out of jail" free card for inexcusable behavior. It's like asking someone, who has just been robbed, if they had locked the door. What's the point? 

Not everyone would agree to my conclusion of this statement. It may even "strike a chord." And to that I say, "Maybe YOU are just too sensitive." (PS - The older I get, the more comfortable I become with sarcasm. It's the right of passage for old people.)

Don't waste time comparing your life to someone else's. Sadly, some adults still feel like they need to keep up with whoever they feel has the next best thing; whether that "best" thing be a car, whirlwind vacations, houses, designer-fashion "musts", etc. If only those people knew what they looked like to people who are the wiser. People like your dad and me. And it's not because we can't keep up, it's because we don't need to. We have no one to impress.

This also means, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. Accept challenges in life because you want to push yourself and not because you want to prove to others what you are capable of accomplishing. You are your competition.

The rule of thumb . . . If you find yourself doing something only when someone else is or could be watching: YOU ARE NOT DOING IT FOR YOURSELF.

Yes, you read correctly. Your dad might have a different view, but this is my post. :)

There are a lot of sayings you will hear during your lifetime, but these 2 you will hear most: 
"To err is human, to forgive divine."
"Learn to let go and forgive."

Letting go and forgiving are almost always used synonymously. But I have learned these two things are completely different. Now, I do believe in letting go but I don't believe forgiveness needs to always follow. Like many, I don't think being unforgiving will cause internal turmoil or sleepless nights, but I do think carrying on about something will. However, it is important for you to know if you need to forgive to let go, than do so! But it is just as important to know you are not holding a grudge by not forgiving. You are holding a grudge by not letting it go.

Plenty of times in my life I have apologized for the sake of "being the bigger person." You will hear this saying as well. And in retrospect, I wish I wouldn't have. 

Your grandfather tried to teach me early on not to apologize if I didn't mean it. And of course, like all children at some point, I didn't listen. I now understand what he was trying to teach me all those years ago. Don't offer an apology that has no meaning. Offering an apology you don't believe in doesn't make you the "bigger person." It can make you resentful. 

Truly easier said than done. This applies to your career, your hobbies, sports, your friendships, your relationships, etc. If something or someone isn't bringing you happiness, then change your terms to fit your needs. And if you can't, then move on. But remember, it is YOUR terms you need to change not someone else's. 

The two most humble people I know are your grandfather and your dad. They have a charismatic way of being sincerely modest about everything in life. Never boastful. Never conceited. They are the element of surprise. 

This will be one of the hardest lessons to learn. It will be hard not to worry about what someone else thinks of you. There will be times you will put forth a lot of thought about the impressions you make on others. This is all normal! But just know, how you feel about yourself far outweighs how others feel about you. If you can master this lesson, you will learn to . . . 

This is the most important lesson to be learned. And it could be the most difficult. I want you to wake up every morning and go to bed every night loving and respecting yourself. Only you have the power to make this happen. No one else and nothing else. Just you. 

For now, this is the last lesson I want to share. It's the one lesson the two of you can learn only from me or from your own experiences someday.

Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever accepted. It's more than a full-time job. It's a lifelong commitment.  

As your primary school days became closer, I fantasized about all the "time" I was going to get back. I think all mothers have this fantasy. Mine wasn't filled with pedicures or shopping or lunches, but just with the mere fact I would be able to grocery shop by myself and prepare dinner in advance and clean the house without having to maneuver around little people. I looked forward to being at your school volunteering in every way possible. Eventually that day did come. And yes, I did all those things. Then one year, it happened, I lost sight of what was important. . . 

Although I still did all those things mentioned above, I found myself becoming preoccupied. It became more than just taking a little time for myself. Funny thing is, I didn't even enjoy what I had become preoccupied with because of all the nonsense behind it. And it took more nonsense for me to realize I had lost sight of my commitment as a mother; to always be there for you in every way, shape, and form; physically and most of all, mentally.

I want you both to know, I will always be committed to you. I will help you accomplish whatever you are determined to give 100% of your time and efforts towards.  I won't meet you half way. I will meet you all the way. I have had my time. You are my priority.

The beauty of learning, is you can do so at any age. These are just a few lessons I want you to think about. Someday you will have your lessons as well and I can't wait for you to share them with me. And when you do, I will be ready to learn.

All My Love, 



  1. Such a beautiful and insightful letter Jenn. A good lesson for your girls but also a good reminder for us all, keeping things in perspective is a challenge. Revisiting our priorities regularly is important. Thanks for sharing this post Mama! xoxo

  2. beautifully written as always. missing you! xoxo