I’ll have probably told you all of the things in this letter by the time you’re old enough to read this. You’re only 5 years old now, but we talk about so many things already, I talk so much! It’s amazing how you listen and understand and always, always have just the right things to say – even though you say it in your adorable, childish, innocent way, I can see how meaningful your insights are. We all feel you are wise beyond your years. You know Mumma doesn’t just say stuff that she doesn’t mean, even if it’s a compliment to her own daughter. So, you know that I mean it: I’m blessed to have you.
I’ve dreamed of having a daughter long before I can even remember. I didn’t know when I was going to be a mother, but I knew this – I always wanted a daughter, a daughter just like you. I’ve read somewhere that a child chooses his or her mother-to-be. And i’m so thankful to God and grateful to you for choosing me to be your Mumma. You have made me a better person in so many ways. I’m not even going to bother to count in how many ways you have positively affected my life, because the count is always increasing, because every day I learn something from you, from your innate goodness and kind heart. Words fall short to express my love for you.
A mother’s love is the most unconditional love in the world. Like your Naani’s love for me and your maamu. Like my love for you. It’s hard to explain and it takes one to be a mother to truly understand that. When Naani used to say that to me, I used to be like, “Okay, sure”. But when you were born, I finally understood the meaning of it. They say it’s like one’s own heart is growing outside one’s body. And because of this, us mothers can become overly invested in everything in our child’s life. Sometimes, and more often than not, we want our kids to say and do things exactly how we would. Thanks to what Naanu-Naani have taught me, I’ve learnt that it might not always be the best idea to do that. It is one thing to guide one’s child and a completely different thing to try to make them our clones!
So, this I promise you –
I will be your guide. I’ll help you learn from my mistakes. I’ll also let you make your own mistakes, but with caution, because mistakes are also important. Mistakes are the best teachers. God knows I have never learnt from others’ mistakes, I’ve always burnt my hands and learnt from it. But I know you’re wiser than me, and I hope you will use my experience to guide you. I will be open to you about my shortcomings (as if they’re not obvious enough). I might be wrong many a times. Scratch that. I WILL be wrong many a times. I’m human. But when I realise my mistake, I will not be ashamed to accept it and apologise. You might have noticed that I do that even now because I know it’s okay to not be perfect. I mean, how perfect can a girl be? No one wants that kind of pressure!
Trust me, go easy on yourself baby, in life, we’re our own best friend. I promise I’ll try to first learn to love myself so that I can then teach you to love yourself. I hope I’m able to do that because that part sounds easy, but it really isn’t. For starters, don’t second guess yourself. There are others who will readily do that for you. I’ll teach you to be careful of those kinds. Don’t feel daunted. Never let anyone discourage you.
Listen to your gut. And when you’re not sure what to do, do what Naanu says, “Be a good human being” – and the rest will easily fall into place.
I’ll encourage you to be confident of yourself, but never arrogant. The beauty is in being sure of yourself, not in trying to prove that you are. I promise I’ll point your mistakes out to you when needed, but I’ll do that with respect. Just because you are a child and I’m the mother doesn’t make you any less worthy of respect. And with others, you must learn to command respect, not demand it. I promise I’ll also remind you that just because I’m your mother doesn’t make me the best candidate for a punching bag. I know I do that to Naani. But like I said, you’ve got to learn from my mistakes!
I’ll teach you to make decisions for yourself by letting you take decisions for yourself. If I disagree with your decisions, I will let you know the possible outcomes. I will remind you that it’s your life, and you have to live with your choices, so take decisions wisely and accordingly. I promise I will tell you what I think is the proper/right thing to do. But I also promise that I won’t be offended if you choose to not take my advice, provided your decision is guided by your inner voice and kind heart that I know you have.
A tiny example is something that happened recently – A friend of yours hurt your feelings, not on one occasion, but repeatedly and knowingly. As your mom, I feel your pain, possibly more than you do. I have been bullied when I was a kid. So I wasn’t having any of it when someone was being a bully to you. When you said that she wasn’t being a friend to you, I casually said what I’ve heard most kids say when they are upset – that famous “I won’t call you for my birthday!” line. So I said – “Fine, we won’t call her for your birthday if she doesn’t know how to be a good friend to you.” You were quick to retort – “No, Mumma. She made a mistake but she isn’t a bad girl. If I don’t call her, she will feel bad. And I don’t want anyone to feel bad.” I had tears in my eyes. I don’t know what I did right, but those were your words. My casual statement made to simply distract you from the hurt, which I thought would be taken lightly and forgotten the next minute, was understood by you and rejected straight away, and rightly so! You refused to do as I said. I felt proud. I really respect that you chose to do the right thing even if it meant pointing out how silly your mother was being. Stay the same noble and joyful girl that you are.
Always do the right thing. Be you. I promise you, I’ll always be your biggest cheerleader. God bless you, my love, with all the happiness in the world and more!
Love and hugs,
© 2020 Aanchal Nithin Prakashan All Rights Reserved.
All rights reserved.
I wrote this article for First Moms Club. This article was published in the First Moms Club’s first ever e-book called ‘A Mother’s Promise’ on May 12, 2019 on the ocassion of Mother’s Day on their official website – https://firstmomsclub.in.
First Moms Club is India’s leading community of over 1 lakh urban Indian mothers across 60 countries. FMC aims to encourage the women behind the mothers to find emotional, entrepreneurial and social identity.
Link to this article/e-book on the First Moms Club website – https://firstmomsclub.in/a-mothers-promise/