Dear [(future) daughter

Dear future daughter,

Hi there... this is your mother, in 2013. It's really weird for me to say that, because right now I have a hard time imagining myself as a mom. I'm not really sure what "mom" is supposed to look like. I'm sure people will tell me that there's no one definition of or way to be a mom, but I'm also pretty sure that there are some basic traits that are fairly consistent across the board... the non-negotiable elements of motherhood, if you will. Things like letting go of my selfishness, thinking of you first, and being there when you need me. I'll be honest--all of those things sound really hard. I'm not sure I'm ready for any of it... yet.

But when the time comes, whether I'm ready for it or not, I promise that I'll try really, really hard to be a good mom.  

I'll do my best to bite my tongue when you're being naughty. Don't get me wrong, I'll discipline you (sorry kid, that's another one of those things that I'm pretty sure is non-negotiable), but I won't call you names or put you down in the process.

I'll come to as many of your dance recitals, choir concerts, play performances, soccer games, or swim meets as I possibly can.

I'll teach you how to cook, but probably just mac and cheese and ramen, because I really don't know how to cook anything else. But I’ll try. We'll bake together, and I'll make sure you always have a birthday cake.

I'll take lots of pictures. You might find that annoying, but humor me, OK? You’ll be grateful when you’re older.

I'll teach you to love and trust your Daddy. He's a really great guy, and I think you should know and appreciate that.

We'll play dress-up sometimes. We'll have tea parties and tell stories and pretend that your stuffed animals are alive. I can't promise that this won't annoy me sometimes, but I do promise to play along when I can.

I'll teach you how to wear makeup. I don't think any woman is every 100 percent proficient at this, but I'll help you figure out the basics.

I’ll do my best to set a good example for you. I know that you want to see me do the things I tell you to do, so we’ll do them together, OK? We’ll learn and practice being good women, one step at a time, together.

I’ll take you to experience things. We’ll go to the zoo, on family vacations, and to the park. I want you to know what it is to really enjoy life, instead of just trudging through it.

Daughter, I won’t be perfect. I’ll break some of these promises sometimes. I might even lose my temper and yell. But I’ll make sure you know that no matter what, every minute of every day, I love you more than anything in the world. That you are more important to me than anything else. You are my princess, baby girl. Not just in the future, but right now. I’m a mess, and I probably always will be, but I’m learning and trying to be the kind of woman you’ll be proud to have for a mom one day.

I love you,

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