Dear Mom,

There are a few things that I need you to know. My perspective of you has shifted. Since becoming a mother, I’ve been able to see you so much clearer now. I’ve always loved you, of course, but I’ve realized that there was so much of you I did not understand and some of which I took for granted.

So, I just want to say: thank you.

Thank you for modeling for me that it’s okay to be imperfect.

You have shown me that while I’m a mother and I might feel like a lot is expected of me—that I’m also still human. You have taught me that I should continue to strive to be the best version of me that I can be, without feeling like I need to be perfect at everything, all the time. You have shown me that my version of perfect may change and that’s okay.

Thank you for showing me that every day is a new chance to pick myself up, try to make amends with yesterday, and aim for a better today.

Thank you for showing me it’s okay to make mistakes.

And that there’s always a lesson to learn from them. You have shown me the importance of owning up to my faults, whether intentional or not. I’m so grateful to you for encouraging me to be thoughtful and to reflect on myself and my actions. You have shown me that growth is just as important as success. You have taught me that embracing these lessons will allow me to come out on the other side of hardships better and stronger.

Thank you for showing me that my past does not define me and that it is up to me to make positive choices, and changes, for myself.

Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to put myself first.

You’ve shown me that taking care of myself helps me to better take care of my kids. You have led by example modeling how investing in myself is as empowering for my children as is my support. You’ve taught me that healthy self-care is important. Most of all, you’ve shown me the importance of creating balance for myself.

I now understand that allowing space for my wellness, whether it be a bath or a new hobby, is something to be proud of.

Thank you for sharing your adversities so that I may know that I, too, can overcome.

I appreciate you trying to show me that life is not always easy but there is always hope. Thank you for sharing the message that while there may be dark times, that doesn’t mean life isn’t worth living. Time and time again, you have lovingly told me that I can take a break, start over, or move on from a daunting task. So long as I don’t give up on myself.

Thank you for supporting me when I didn’t want to be supported.

As hard as I tried to push you away when I wasn’t sure who I was, you were there to remind me. Thank you for being my guide. When I lost my way and wasn’t sure if life had a place for me, you were still there for me. I know I was not an easy child. Throughout my mental health difficulties, you have always been there to let me lean on you.

Now that I have children of my own, I truly understand the extent of stress and worry this must have caused you. I am sorry you watched your child struggle while you had to bear the emotional burden of it all. I can’t thank you enough for staying by my side throughout some of the most challenging days of my life. Thank you for not giving up on me when I felt my most fragile and imperfect.

Thank you for showing me what unconditional love truly is.

You have shown me that love is about being genuine—by giving a piece of yourself without expecting a piece in return. That love is about being compassionate, while also setting boundaries. That love is about challenging each other to be their best selves.

You continue to show me that love is about lifting one another up but understanding that sometimes we might fall.

Thank you Mom, for being my teacher, my mentor and my best friend.

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