Friday, May 11, 2012

{Mother's Day Week} Letter to a friend

To my dear sweet friend,

Have I told you enough how very excited I am that you are going to have a baby?  I'm continually amazed how, whenever a close friend of mine finds themselves with child, I feel a familiar stirring deep in my marrow...a longing, of sorts, to share the experience, once again.  Oh how wonderful it is to grow a life...a life whose very genesis was sparked within the depths of love and connection.  You are living a miracle, friend.  I hope you realize that.

And have I told you how, even though you waited longer than most of your friends to get married and start a family, that you are doing things exactly the right way, for you? Because I know you.  I've known you since kindergarten.  And in the years that have spanned from those early days in Mrs. Krueger's class to now, I also know that you doubt yourself.  A lot.  You absolutely love life and all of its promises and possibilities but you also fear that one decision might thwart a different experience so you can get stalled out in the inbetween places.

This baby business, with all of its pastel colored fabric and fluffy stuffed pillows and hip accoutrements, is really wonderful stuff.  Really. Wonderful.  It's exciting to imagine swaddling your newborn babe, staring lovingly at her button nose or his already evident cleft chin.  And, even though you've never done this before, I'm sure that you believe that you can do this baby thing.  And that, my friend, is what I want you to remember, more than any other thing that you might read or hear or see between now and forever...

You need to know
you can do this.  

I feel that I need to tell you this, brand it on your heart, even, because much of what you might read may insinuate that, perhaps, you might not be able to do this just right.  There are a gazillion books on the market and they all have a lot to say about this mothering business.  A. Lot. To. Say.  Understand this though: it won't be that they come right out and say that you aren't fit to parent or breastfeed or soothe your baby.  That's not how it works.  Instead, methods and prescriptions and directives are offered as the path to enlightened parenting.  "Follow these steps and your baby will perform as desired."

Except when your baby doesn't behave as expected.

And that is when the seed is planted.

A little seed of doubt will slip from your spinning, sleep deprived head into the fertile and emotional ground of your heart and something in you will slip a bit.

The bliss that was yours from the moment you first laid eyes upon your sweet baby's face will wilt, just a wee little bit.  Not because your dear babe has done anything wrong.  No.  No.
Rather, you will just start to think that you are doing something wrong.

But what those books fail to communicate is how very much you were made to do this.  You were created for this very babymoon.  And You, my friend, are the perfect mama for your baby.

Those books are helpful for many practical things, especially when you aren't close to family and friends to come alongside you and help you navigate those early days of mothering.  All of us appreciate tips on handling diaper rash and what to pack in your diaper bag and when to know that your baby's fever is too high.

But the absolute necessities, the things that will nurture and grow your baby in love and all things good, all of that is already inside of you.

I promise.

You are smarter than you think.

So, when you finally get to hold your precious babe, to drink in his delicious smell or nibble on her tender toes, that stirring deep within, the one that fits your skin just right and doesn't pinch in the hidden places...

that is the source of your mother wisdom.  

That place births its own miracles and that place can be trusted.

Those early days will be challenging, for sure.  My desire is not to sugar coat this motherhood thing into something else equally unattainable.

Mothering is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.

But I also believe that it has shaped me into a fuller, richer and more colorful version of myself.

So, on this, your first Mother's Day, step into the wonder that is Motherhood.  Know that this beautiful dance has been twirling since the dawn of time and you are being welcomed into its circle.  Turn your ear to its strain and you will probably find

you already know the words by heart.


  1. Holly, you have such a gift. And I love to read the words you share. This blog touched me deeply. Because I have been in those same shoes, as the new mother you spoke to. Doubting myself. But your words help me to quiet those doubts more than anything else. Thank you for sharing this gift. Love always, Lori

    1. Lori,
      I'm so glad that you found comfort here.

  2. Wow, Holly, I am speechless. I feel so honored to have this letter dedicated to me, and so honored to have you in my life. You are attentive, intuitive, generous and well, just the best! Thank you for thinking of me, for caring and understanding, and for always taking the time. And all this is so timely. I wish you were closer, or I closer to you. Love to you.

    1. Marita,
      It just felt really important for me to share with you just a smidgen of what I have learned. I have so much more to learn, still, but I know that all of this, this mothering, this loving, this is all soooo good!
      Love and grace to you my friend!

  3. EVERY expectant mother needs a friend who will tell them this. This is so important, "But the absolute necessities, the things that will nurture and grow your baby in love and all things good, all of that is already inside of you."

    Thank you.

    1. I wish I had known some of this sooner...