I wanted to write to you to tell you something.
Sometimes when you're venting to me about a mistake you made or how you can't find anything to wear that looks good on you, I'm baffled. I'm baffled because I don't see those things. You have these insecurities that I know about because we're best friends—but I don't see them.
To me, I see this incredible person who amazes me on a daily basis. Someone who is generous and kind and compassionate. I see a mother giving it her all—day in and day out. No matter what. And I just wanted to take a second to acknowledge what a gift you are. To me, and to your family.
You say you've gained 10 pounds. You are extremely hard on yourself when you don't get to the gym because you're tired. You wish your belly was flat and hate the thought of putting a bathing suit on. You joke about getting a boob job one day because your breasts are deflated from nursing.
To me, you are beautiful.
I don't see these things.
I see this strong body that has gone through pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. I see your happy, sparkling eyes and healthy, shiny hair. I see how put together you always look—even in yoga pants and a t-shirt. I see someone whose heart is bigger than anyone else's. I see your beauty—inside and out.
To me, you are intelligent.
I often get texts from you way after the fact of my original text. I'll read something from you like, “My brain is mush! I'm sorry for the delay!" And I always say (and feel) that you should never apologize like that to me. Because I get it.
I don't believe these things.
Because you have great ideas! You can solve problems quickly. You have awesome suggestions and a wealth of great tips from everything on parenting to makeup to podcasts. You're articulate and creative. You're inquisitive and well-read. You are someone who is always learning, always growing, always looking to better yourself.
To me, you are strong.
You feel weak at times. Powerless because of the chaos that is raising little children. Worried sick, staying up at night wondering if you're doing anything right. You're so hard on yourself when something goes wrong. You feel overwhelmed, and sometimes, even like you're drowning. Drowning in 'stuff', in requests, in to-do's, in reminders, in tasks, in, well—motherhood.
But I see a multitasker.
Someone who can get all of the really important things done—and they may not always be perfect, they may not be always on time—but they get done. And they get done well. I see someone who takes time for themselves when they know they're beyond burnt out. You have inspired me to fill up my own cup many times. You're doing a lot right. And you should be proud of yourself.
To me, you are a fantastic mother.
There have been times that you've told me you feel like you're failing. Times you have flat out felt like a bad mom. Times where you've been vulnerable and confessed you had no idea what to do. That you're not prepared for some of these motherhood curve balls that are thrown out at us.
Well, to me, from the outside looking in—you are a really, really good mom.
You've got this thing down. You have beautiful, happy, kind, loving children. You are authentic. You are brave. You put your heart and soul into this role of 'mother' and if you ask me—you should wear that title like a badge of honor.
To me, you are a good friend.
You feel like you're boring, like you don't do anything interesting anymore. Like you're too tired to make plans and go out and do things friends do. You feel like you're not there for me as much as I need you to be, or that you want to be. But, the truth is, you're busy. You have a family to care for and they are your priority. Guess what, mama? I understand. I do, too.
You will always be my person.
You will always be the friend I can go to with anything—at any time. You will always make me laugh the hardest. No matter how long it's been since we've spoken on the phone or how many days have passed since we've texted or how many months it's been since I've gotten a real-life in-person hug—our friendship will always be strong, loyal, and most important—real.
To me, you are enough.
More than enough. You may question yourself on a daily basis. Your confidence may be shaky at times. You may want to give up on those really crazy days. And you may not always believe in yourself.
But I just want to tell you. I wholeheartedly believe in you.
I respect you. I admire you. I'll always be here for you to vent to or troubleshoot with. And I'll always be here to lift you up and remind you just how amazing you really are.
So today, and all days, I hope that you can stop and take a minute to see yourself through my eyes. Because you are one heck of a woman. And I'm just glad I know you.
A version of this post was published February 15, 2018. It has been updated