Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Valentine to Myself (and a few other mommies I'm thinking of...)

Dear Valentine,

For many, many years you were the single girl. The girl who bought yourself chocolates at the Duane Reade and watched Nora Ephron movies inside her UWS apartment on those lonely single Valentine’s Day nights, believing that none of it would ever change and that you would die alone in there at some point with the box of chocolates and the receipt from the Duane Reade which would embarrassingly prove to everyone long after you were dead that you bought them for yourself. And then one day you weren’t alone anymore. One day, someone bought you chocolates. Actually, it was a bottle of water outside Fairway but still, the sentiment was there. And Valentine’s Days were really never the same since.
But this year, I challenge you to reach back to lonely Duane Reade chocolate girl, because more than anything she knew how strong and smart and capable she was. And sometimes in the whirlwind that is marriage and children and families, finding yourself in a tornado of schedules and personalities and individual needs of other tiny humans, you just might’ve forgotten that.

Please remember you are strong and independent. Remember that your husband liked those things most about you when you met him. Remember that you liked that about yourself too. Remind yourself that marriage doesn’t mean forgetting about what you like, what you think, or what you feel. It means having the courage to share that with someone else, not subvert it. Love can’t grow from a place that hides stuff.
Also, you are beautiful. I know that you ate the children’s M&Ms that you bought them for Valentine’s Day and really, that wasn’t cool. But it’s okay because you are beautiful inside and out. That looking good means feeling good about where you are and who you are, not just what you want to be. That loving yourself is the most important thing you can ever do for your children or your husband because it is a reminder that it is okay to love themselves as they are.

Oh – and one more thing Valentine. Please try to remember that every real and amazing experience you ever truly had in life came from a place where you let go. And so this year, remember that feeling. Because that willingness to let go was exactly what led you to find this place of true love that you call a family. And most good things in your extremely limited experience came from a place where you didn’t think, but just jumped. It’s okay to not always be in control.
Finally, you are enough. If you worked too much or too little, if the house isn’t clean and their hair isn’t brushed and the smart phone is smarter than you and the dinner is hot dogs – again, it’s okay. It’s enough. I am enough. You are enough. Enough is fullness. Enough is wholeness. Enough is good.

So Happy Valentine’s Day me. You are strong, independent and beautiful. Don’t forget - you are enough.


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