Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Dear kiddo, I have so many dreams for you. A million hopes and desires run through my mind every day on a never-ending loop, along with worries and fears, and so, so much prayer. Sometimes, it feels like my happiness is tied with ropes of steel to yours.

And yet, the truth is, there are times you disappoint me. You will continue to disappoint me as you grow and make your own choices and take different paths than the ones I have imagined for you. But I’m going to tell you a secret (although I suspect you already know): My dreams for you should never take the place of the dreams you have for yourself.

As your mom, I like to believe you are an extension of me; I can almost convince myself of it sometimes when we fall into synch, when we share the same interests, the same little mannerisms, especially when we love the same snacks. But those are just a few things I get to share with you throughout this wild and crazy life. You are not my extension, and you must follow yourself over me. Please know that when you do, it will break my heart. And I hope you do it every single time.

When it comes to doing something that will make you happy, that will give you joy, and serve your souleven if I think you should do something elseI hope you disappoint me. When you have to choose between following a path that might be hard or scary or fraught with dragons to slay, and I point you toward the safer route, the one I can hold your hand through, I hope you choose the harder one. You already have everything inside you to do it. I promise I am tough enough to handle the rejection, and will be waiting with open arms when you return. Regardless of the outcome of your choice, I will love and support you always.

And when you become entwined with others in your life, when deep friendships grow roots, romantic relationships take flight, I hope you hold onto yourself while wrapping your arms wildly around another. This rule of disappointment exists not just between you and me but between you and everyone. There are a million ways in this life to let go of yourself. And while there can be great grace and honor in serving others, and there are times you will have to set yourself aside to do so, remember to come back. Tie the thread of your own precious heart to your finger and carry it with you through the people and places that ask big things of you so that when you have time to rest, you know right where it is and can touch and feel the truth without having to search around and ask yourself, “Where did I go? What do I even want? Who am I?”

It’s not always easy. Sometimes it means doing the harder thing, playing the long game, buckling down, and giving up the smaller things that others will try to convince you are better, shinier, prettier, more popular, to fearlessly run toward that larger goal that calls to you from deep inside when you’re quiet enough to listen. But it will be worth it.

And if it ever feels like you don’t have the time, the space, or the ability to choose yourself, remember this–this is the key–there is a difference between obligation and expectation. Obligations are things we are responsible for in life. We cannot run away from these. There are certain things we are given that we don’t want to carry, but we must pick up the load. It is hard, but that is part of life. Sometimes our dreams have to wait. (There is always divine timing, I promise.) Ask for help. Do your best. Hang on. Pray.

But let go of those pesky misguided expectations put on by others, by yourself. You are not responsible for how anyone else feels about you. You are not responsible for carrying someone else’s load. If a good thing brings you joy, do it. If it hurts your soul, if it insults you in any way, you are not responsible for it. Walk away. A million times when it’s about someone, especially anyone who does not have regard for you and your beautiful mind and heart, walk away. Just don’t ever leave yourself behind.

I think you know all of this already. I hope you do. I just had to say it one more time.

Love you, kid. Enjoy your life.

Love, Mom

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Krissy Dieruf

Krissy Dieruf is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has worked with kids and families for many years. She loves using her professional knowledge and personal experience to write about amazing kids with big personalities and even bigger hearts. Her essays and articles have been published in Scary Mommy, The Mighty, Mother.ly, Mamalode, The HerStories Project, Red Tricycle, The MOPS Magazine, and more. Krissy lives in Minnesota, where she spends her days driving her three children around, reading books in parking lots waiting to pick them up, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Dear Kids, If I Go Before You Grow

In: Journal, Kids, Motherhood
Dear Kids, If I Go Before You Grow www.herviewfromhome.com

“What if I die before they grow?” This question has haunted me every day since I became a mother at 18. Although I didn’t know what I was doing then, and sometimes still don’t (let’s face it, this momming thing is tough), I still knew they needed me. Back then, I used to fret over who would feed them and where they would live, but through the years, the worries have shifted to who will teach them the good stuff and listen to their fears. Their dads will teach them the daddy stuff, but mommies have that soft touch and gentle...

Keep Reading

Dear Children, I Wish You Happiness

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, three kids outside family photo, color photo

I wish a different kind of success for you. You may not always get the best grades in school, but maybe it’s because you’re trying to level out time spent studying and all of the other wonders life has to offer during those hours. You may not grow up to be the most financially wealthy with the fanciest house or car, but maybe it’s because you prioritize your time to be a little less work and a little more people you love. The kind of success I wish for you is the kind that can be seen externally by your...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, When You Doubt Yourself

In: Kids, Teen, Tween
Tween girl smiling slightly

When my daughter was 10, every time I told her she had a beautiful voice, she’d shrug and say, “I know.”  No arrogance, no doubt. Nothing but sheer confidence.   I wasn’t the only one to praise her singing, either. People complimented her often though she never responded with gratitude. Instead, she had such faith in her gift that she acknowledged their compliments as pure truth: “I know.”  She knew she could sing, so like a sparrow in springtime, she did. It was that simple. She sang in the car, in the shower, in the garage (where the acoustics are fantastic), everything...

Keep Reading