what I learn about motherhood is that moments when I can breathe a sigh of relief, when I feel confident and proud are very rare and only occur from time to time. Just when I solve one problem, it’s like a new one comes up. Since my daily job is to raise young children, it’s hard to realize that I’ve succeeded or that I’m at least doing well.
That’s why I want you to know that the moments when you told me you thought I was a good mother were the most important thing in my life. You probably don’t know, but when you tell me, tears come to my eyes. Your words carry me through the day, no matter how hard it was.
You are never too old to make your mother proud, and I am overjoyed that you are proud of me.
You know, mother, the reason I’m a good mother is because I had the best role model in the world – you.
You are so humble that even these words of mine make you uncomfortable. I know you’ve always wondered if you’re a good mother or not – something I’ll never understand because you were perfect every day just because it was you. I gained so much by becoming your daughter, by learning from you and being able to watch you. Now my kids receive the same.
I got rich not only because of everything you told us during the years of growing up but with your way of life. You were an example to your children of how to have a happy, productive and purposeful life, giving us the incentive to strive for it ourselves.
You always said that our task is to leave this world a little better than when we were born. You live it every day never seeking glory or gratitude because you consider it the only right way. You influenced my life decisions, but at the same time instilled the right values. The world is certainly a better place because you are with us, and I can only hope that I will have at least a fraction of the influence you have had.
You once told me that the man I choose to spend my life with should make me so happy that I feel like I’m on the most exciting swing. Well, I don’t have a swing, but I have a husband like that. Your relationship with my father showed me how important it is to have a good husband who loves, respects and appreciates me. I want to tell you that my husband makes me happy every day – I owe it to you because you showed me that I deserve it.
Thank you for spending time with your friends. Now that I am alone in the midst of similar relationships, I fully understand you. I really appreciate you teaching me the importance of friendship. My friends are immensely important to me and I think it’s mostly because you’ve shown me that it’s important to nurture such friendships.
Thank you for following all my activities and performances. I would work night shifts, come home to sleep for an hour, and arrive again for my biology presentation, ballet solo performance, promotion in Scouts, or anything else I did.
Despite your extremely stressful job (which I’m sure has burdened you), while you spent time with me I always felt like I was the only thing that mattered to you in life. I try to fulfill all that with my children.
Thank you for having hobbies, for exercising, enjoying baths and sometimes doing something without us. I know you were taking time for yourself in those moments, but you were also raising me for the future. Today, as a mother, I realize how important it is to spend time with myself and I try to find it sometimes so I can step forward, just like you.
Thank you for letting me be independent. I know it was probably not easy to let me go camping every summer, on a trip around the world for a month when I was only 16, to climb mountains in the worst of winter, or to accept moving to the other side of the country to study. Although it wasn’t easy for you, you made it all easier for me. You have always encouraged me for many crazy adventures, so even today I am influenced by your encouragement.
Thank you for putting God at the center of our family because that is what keeps my family together as well. I am grateful because it will be the legacy of my children.
Therefore, mother, every time you stop and think about how proud you are of me, please take a moment and think about how proud you should be of yourself. I owe so much that I became that you were just the way you are and that you are still the way you are. It makes me indescribably proud.
I’m happy to be your daughter!
Diana Spalding – Motherly
Translated and adapted by: LR