I hear the familiar ringtone coming from my computer. My daughter knows it, too. “Mimmie!” she shouts. Her grandparents live across the country, but we can still have lunch together thanks to technology.

There have been countless video calls since my daughter was born. Some days the grandparents entertain their grandkids while I mop the floors. Other days we chat about birds in the backyard. And there are many times I call just to feel close to my childhood home. I want my kids to know that house, too.

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Today, my little girl and I enjoy tuna salad, potato chips, and tea with Mimmie. Little brother is sleeping upstairs and Grandpa is at work, just the girls today. We smile; we snack. I really wish we could do these things in person. But every time the call ends, I feel thankful. I’m thankful for technology.

I’m thankful for the close relationship with my mom even though we’re miles apart.

“Talk to ya later!” my daughter shouts as she waves goodbye to the computer. I hit the red button to end the call, close my laptop, and eat one more potato chip. I enjoy the brief moments of being only a daughter, no matter the distance. Now, it’s back to being a mom.

There’s something no one warned me about motherhood. The transition from daughter to mother is hard. And there are even more challenges when you’re a long-distance daughter, raising your little family so far away from everything and everyone you know.

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Every person in this brand new family you’ve created depends fully on you. It’s such a big change, and the early years of starting a family are physically and emotionally draining.

The transition period is challenging to say the least.

It’s taken a lot of time and prayer for me to make that transition. After all, growing up is hard, isn’t it? I think it’s hard because part of growing up is letting go. (Insert a dramatic “Let It Go” sing-a-long with Alexa and my Frozen-obsessed toddlers!) Yep, I’ve had to let it go many times in my four years of motherhood.

I’ve had to let go of expectations, fears, hurts, questions, disappointments, and a lot of my old self.

It’s a slow process that’s both painful and beautiful. The amazing end result of letting go is finding so much strength, grace, courage, and joy in becoming mom. I’m still a daughter, but mom is my favorite role.

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Now I’m the one trying to figure out how to cut out cake into an animal shape to surprise my baby for her birthday (a butterfly cake for my almost 4-year-old, to be exact.)

It’s my turn to pray for my kids and worry if they are warm enough at night.

I’m the one who cheers for my little girl when she masters first and second position in ballet class.

And I’m the one who falls apart from the messes of motherhood.

Yes, I’m the one learning to get back up again and face each day with more love than the day before.

I do those little things I always saw my mom do. But I’m also starting my new routines and traditions.

No one warned me how much you have to let it go when you become a mom (just like no one warned me about the endless Disney sing-a-longs with toddlers).

Mom, thanks for helping me follow my heart and move across the country to start my family. Thank you for cheering me on from the sidelines while I star in the leading role in my own motherhood production. Yes, it is quite the production with three little kids running around.

I promise to always make you proud. And I’ll FaceTime you for lunch next week!

Audra Powers

Audra is a wife and a stay-at-home mom to three young children in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves hiking, music, and thrifting. Audra writes about faith, family, and living motherhood empowered. You can follow her adventures in motherhood on Instagram @audrapowers.