Dear daughter, I am an imperfect mother

You and I are learning, and holding, and making each other. I want to give you the mother you deserve.

Dear daughter, I am an imperfect mother

Dear beautiful girl,

I rarely carry you these days.

You run, climb, walk, and jump—you are a whirlwind and a force and so much your own person. But I feel, I carry, the weight of you, especially lately.

The weight of your wide open eyes, our long, weary winter days, our early mornings and your beautiful, stubborn independent resistance.

The weight of the lessons you’ve yet to learn, the bruises that will rise and fade and rise again on your knees, the many times your heart will break and mend, the promise to teach you what is true, what is good, what is right, what is home.

The most precious burden, my most cherished responsibility, the joy and the gratitude—and still there are days I am simply lost for what to give to you.

Days that feel heaviest. Days where the weight of being your world is as much as I can carry. Days when I need to ask someone else to carry me.

Days when I am desperately carving space for the wandering girl inside me who is always trying to conquer the biggest questions and solve the hardest truths.

How to be the mother you deserve when my soul craves solitude?

How to hold you when I am tired of being touched?

How to be your solid place to land when the ground all around me is shaking?

Do any of us ever stop asking these questions?

It’s a long look into the face in a clear mirror, asking her what remains if you simply aren’t the girl you thought you would be.

To be your mother, as I dissect and unwind and unpack and disassemble the building blocks upon which I have created a space for us, as I look into the eyes of the truest things.

To be your mother, as I am undone and redoing.

To be your mother, as I am rebuilding her, rewriting her, exploring her edges, exploring the space in between.

To be your mother, imperfect. To be your mother, wide open.

I am weary of being right. I am weary of being sure.

What remains if I am simply not the mother I thought I would be?

Beautiful, magical, wonderful girl – I love you, I love you, I love you so.

Here is what I know:

Grace is a door left swinging, the mutinous value pressed into unworthy spaces, the endless echoing wonder of your laugh.

Grace is the given, the holy, the only remaining.

Grace is the eyes that see and the ears that hear, the deep inner knowing, the heartbeat still drumming here under, here always, here now.

Grace is the hand the grasps and the heart that opens, the freedom to hold loosely, the rush of the wind and the sense of belonging.

Grace is you and I learning, and holding, and making each other.

Grace is the unmovable root of the thing, and whoever God is and wherever we’re going, grace is enough. Grace is most certainly, always enough.

I will give you your mother, imperfect, to hold, as I hold you.

We will falter, and laugh.

We will walk boldly, and learn.

We will fold into grace that will carry us.

We will let it sing us through the desert.

We will cling to it all the way home.

Originally published in Girl of Cardigan.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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