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An Open Letter to My Daughters on Mother's Day

Updated: May 19, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful girls. Ever since I played with Barbie dolls when I was young, I wanted to be a mommy. I always played make believe with my dolls and acted happy and loving and fun with my babies. Looking back, I realize I was creating the imaginative mommy I wanted to become. The one who threw cookie dough balls across the kitchen trying to get them in your mouth; made whip cream sundaes squirted right into your mouth; took you on TP’ing adventures, laughing and peeing our pants when we almost got caught; and held you at night in the dark, singing our favorite songs or talking about life’s questions. ️

I remember laying in bed at night when I was ten years old, dreaming and planning about not living in Ohio one day. I knew there was a great big life for me out there, and I knew there was motherhood — full of love and happiness and joy. And I found it in all of you and your brother.

Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for bringing such light and joy to my life. Thank you for teaching me the exact lessons I needed to know and am still learning. Thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood that is beyond comparison. For filling my life with amazing, beautiful little souls — G-babies who have changed everything. They make us laugh and love. They push you beyond what you thought you were capable of as a mama, fill you with all that is good and indescribable, teach you your own unique lessons, but most of all, show you a reflection of yourself and their daddy that makes you realize you truly are one.

At this season of life, I realize motherhood is looking beyond the physical, the words, the emotions, the capabilities of your child. It’s seeing their possibilities, feeling and recognizing their spirit. It’s knowing their heart and being its keeper the rest of your life. Motherhood is having a unique shared respect so that you don’t parent with blanket intentions or by a book — but with a hybrid approach to each perfect creation that was entrusted to you.

Motherhood is a bond, a journey, a commitment and a test. It’s not for the weak at heart, nor the fragile. It requires the strength of a superhero, the resilience of a rubberband, the faith of the Pope, and a heart of gold. These are qualities you all have and it’s been so beautiful to watch them evolve, all in perfect timing.

If I could talk to my younger-mom self I would tell myself -relax, girl. It’s okay. Don’t worry so much. Unwind. Play more, work less. Really sit with your kiddos and look into their eyes more. Lay with them and feel their heartbeat until they kick you out of their bed at 10 or 12 or 15 or when it gets really weird. Hold their hands. Why does this have to stop? Stay connected. Don’t just parent and teach and discipline - just be, and enjoy and bask in the love. Do happy things. Become experts at joy-making. Watch sunsets together. Allow them to unfold and blossom like beautiful flowers. It’s okay mama. You are enough. No one was chosen to be their mommy but you. Take all you’ve learned from me, keep what you want to use, throw out what you don’t, and make up the rest as you go from your intuitive heart and soul. This is your journey and yours only. Be gentle with yourself and allow your child’s heart to show you the way.

Lastly, girls, I have to squeeze in a quote for Dad, and this beautiful quote is us — “When you’re a child she walks before you, so she can set an example. When you’re a teenager she walks behind you To be there should you need her. When you’re an adult she walks beside you so that as two friends, you can enjoy life together.” -Unknown

Happy Mother Day today and everyday. Thank you for making me into the mother I am

today. I am forever grateful.

Shelli Netko - Mother's Day 2020 (c)

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