It's been a tough year—and that's putting it mildly. As a mother, some days I wake up and think, How am I going to get through today? Between the constant, fraught choices we each have to make about our risk levels and the pandemic, and the day to day tasks of working, caregiving and just plain living, it is simply exhausting trying to make it to bedtime.

Not to mention that this precarious state we're all living in has brought out the mom-shamers even more. If you post a picture of your child wearing a mask or not wearing a mask, you get nasty comments either way. If you talk about choices—personal, specific to your family choices—you get side-eye or judgment when what we all really need is support and empathy.

This is why Joanna Gaines' new children's book The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be is a refreshing breath of fresh air.


In this climate, it's hard not to second-guess everything you do. If I do things differently from another mom, does that mean I'm wrong and they're right? Or am I right and they're wrong?

It's a beautiful reminder that each of us was created to be our own selves. We are unique, and that difference between us should be celebrated not demonized.

This is the line that got me: "We've done our very best and now it's time to fly. See how beautiful it can be when our differences share the same sky?"

Joanna uses the metaphor of hot-air balloons to show that while we may all look, think and fly differently, we still share the same sky and can exist together harmoniously. It may be a children's book, but it's a poignant reminder that anyone can appreciate hearing this year: You are exactly who you were meant to be. And the world is lucky that you're here.




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