Dear Teenagers, Be patient while I let go…

To my teenagers,

Be patient with me as I learn to let you go.

I know it’s time. I know you’re growing and becoming and that sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Be patient with me because it’s not just you who is adjusting, my love. It’s me too.

I know it’s hard to understand, but hear me out.

I dreamed about you before you were a whisper or a reality. I dreamed of you when you were so tiny in my belly no one could see you, but me. I dreamed of you when I was bent over a toilet until there was nothing left. I dreamed of you while I laid on the couch telling Dad that yes, I was sure I needed fries ASAP and another episode of Lost. I dreamed of you and I treasured you as my belly made my pants tight and uncomfortable, as my legs swelled, and as my cheeks grew full and my dimples deeper. I dreamed of you on the sleepless nights holding my belly and counting contractions like the midwives told me I should. I dreamed of you as I gave my body over to something that was completely beyond my control.

I’d never felt such purpose and anticipation, my love.

I dreamed of you when the contractions radiated through my body and I knew this was it. I dreamed of you as I labored through a pain I didn’t know existed. In my heart I knew you were worth every breath, every pain, every push. I knew, because I was the one who carried you. I carried you in my womb, in my heart, and in my soul.

You were my dream before the world even knew you existed.

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I dreamed of you as the hospital room became a war zone and I fought with all my strength for your entrance into the world.

And then you were on my chest, there you were, my dream; my reason, my heart. You were all my purpose in one tiny body, pressed against my soul.  Every second was worth it, every single second.

I never wanted to feel that pain again, but I also knew I’d do it a thousand times just to hold you in my arms. A mother’s love is unexplainable; it’s unreasonable; it’s undone. A mother’s love completely belongs to her children. There are no corridors of her heart that are off limits.

Every door is wide open for you; I am all yours.

And then you grew.

Every day I doubted myself. I struggled to become the woman who I felt you deserved. I wanted to give you the world, but my actions seemed to fall short.

I dreamed of your future as I spent sleepless nights with milk soaked sheets. I dreamed of you as you sat screaming at me from your timeout chair in the thick of your toddler years. I dreamed of you when I cried myself to sleep because I was sure I was doing it all wrong and I so badly wanted to get it all right. I dreamed of you when I snuggled your warm body after a bad dream. I dreamed of you when I held your hand and walked you to your first day of kindergarten. I dreamed of you as I watched you run onto the football field for the very first time.

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Someday maybe you’ll see. Maybe you’ll hold your own baby on your chest for the very first time. Maybe your heart will shatter into a million pieces and be built again from scratch. A love like this is impossible to explain until you’ve had the chance to touch it.

These baby, these are the days I dreamed of. I dreamed of the person you’d become; I dreamed of seeing you fly. Please be patient with me my love, as I learn to let go and let you stretch your legs and use your voice. Be patient with me as I go through yet another transition and becoming.

You’re growing, and I am too.

You were my dream before the world got to share you. You were my dream before your very first breath.

Be patient with me as I unclench these fingers and loosen these hands that have held you. Be patient with me as I relax these arms that have carried you since the first day you breathed life. Be patient with me as I recognize that the time has come to do less protecting and holding and more listening and cheering.

I dreamed of you and here you are.

And still I dream.

I love you more than you will ever know.

Love,

Mama

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45 thoughts on “Dear Teenagers, Be patient while I let go…

  1. Dana Shulman

    so beautifully written. my kiddos are still in the ‘time out chair’ phase, but thisfeelsso relatable. thank you for sharing!

  2. stomperdad

    Beautifully written. Having a pre-teen in the house I know our teen years are just around the corner. Can I still use the time out chair when they’re teenagers?

  3. Kristin Galloway Sorheim

    I love this so, so much! I have a 13 year old son and I can relate to this on so many levels. This is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Kate

    Such a shame that articles like this continue to present birth experiences that discount and make those who had C sections feel bad. There’s enough negativity and shame without mothers doing the same.

  5. Andria Henderson

    My mom just sent this to me I’m twelve and asked to get my hair dyed and this made me tear up😢💗I love my mom♥️♥️

  6. Jennifer Christianson

    This was beautifully written. Now if I can condense it so my 19 year old son would read it and wonder why I cry a lot more these days… 😍😥

  7. Vivian Parsons

    My baby boys are 38 and 35, and I still feel like this! They are still becoming and I am still becoming and it is still a beautiful thing!

  8. Aleesha bake

    So beautiful, I’m not sure I’ll get my teenage sons to read through it, but I’m sure gonna try! I loved all of the years that came before, but the teenage years are by far my favorite yet 🙂 I get built in best friends to comfort me, share in my joy and watch late movies with. But there is so much stretching in allowing them their own choices!!!

  9. Viv

    That is so beautiful and so very true. I have three children and only one still at home with me but it doesn’t get any easier letting go. They are still all my world and I would do absolutely anything for them. A mother’s love can never be explained only felt.

  10. Beth

    This is every feeling I’m feeling as my first born is 17 and a senior. I have felt as though a part of me is dying this year, a severe loss for me, its so hard to explain to anyone, I felt as though something was wrong with me but I’mstarting to realize it’s just a new phase of life. But forever he will be my baby

  11. Winx

    @Wonderoak – there’s always going to be that one person who ruins everything. Yes, I’m talking about the one who’s being negative about this post! This was such an emotional read. I only have a 4yo but I’m kinda dreading those incoming teen years.

  12. fourcalders

    I had 2 C sections and that never crossed my mind. How silly. This is beautiful and made me tear up at work. I have an 18 year old son and 14 year old girl. I related to every word. I’m sure my 2 get sick of me saying you are my babies… you will always be my babies. Beautifully written – pure and simple. 🙂

  13. Ktaylor

    Beautiful. And not one thing, in any way, discounted the experience of a c-section birth. Crazy how some people need to tear others down. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Barbara Granholm

    So beautifully said, I have 5, my youngest is 29. It didn’t get any easier as I had to let go one at a time. The joy of watching their journey now blows my mind. Yes the are all still my babies.

  15. Carmen

    Loved this. I have 6 children, 3 still at home. It doesn’t get easier. I am going through some growing pains now with my 17 year old son and this says it all. It really touched my heart ❤️. Thank you for expressing so beautifully what all mothers go through – Csection or otherwise, and helping us to realize we are not alone. That makes such a huge difference. This gave me some perspective, too, that it’s ok to let go, it’s just another phase. It can still be beautiful, just in a new and different way. Thank you. 😊❤️

  16. Jen

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have 3 boys and the oldest being 11yrs old. I catch myself tearing up watching them grow and being more & more independent. It’s bittersweet moments that stand out like taking the step stool away at the bathroom sink because they are taller and can reach, watching my 1st born accepting Christ into his heart and being baptized, watching them blow out their candles year after year, and so on and so on. I know now what my mom has been saying to me what it truly feels like to say all those years she has said to me, “ You will never know how much I love you.” Thanks again for this tender moment!

  17. vis4voice

    Oh, my heart! You do a beautiful job speaking on behalf of motherhood! Thank you for sharing with us all who needed a little bridge to communicate with our teens.

  18. Shashi

    I am a Mama and child/parent therapist. I have written a similar letter in my heart to my son a million times. Love your words and heart💜. Tender and connected.

  19. Carleena

    Just beautiful ❤ my son is 13 and this is all so true!! Made me cry…in a good way. Us moms are so lucky to feel that kind of love…

  20. Anna

    In response to Kate, (Oct. 29), I have 3 kids, 2 of which were born via C-section. She simply used the word push. At no time did I feel like the blogger was discrediting C-section births. Wonderoak, what a beautiful blog that pulled on my momma heart strings. 💗💙💙

  21. Thirza

    Waw what a beautiful story, made me cry. I have a 7 Year old daughter and 11 Year old son.in about 1 month my son is becoming 12 💙 thanks for sharing this beautiful story with us

  22. DJ

    Wow im a 13 year old boy,my mom just sent this to me at school.I read it in class and made me feel so happy but sad at the sametime.Soon i will be out of the house and on my own,glad to know what moms do feel like even if your so mad at them sometimes.

  23. Lyndsey

    My daughter is in her Sr year of high school . Is she ready???? Am I ? NO Really getting to me as days get closer to graduation. Last of school activities, last prom , signing up for college. It is going to quickly. I know I have to let go but my heart will NEVER be ready . Ok I’m crying UGLY TEARS 😭

  24. Jennifer Allen

    I am adjusting to my oldest child away at college, and my youngest in the midst of middle school…soon to be high schooler. Your writing made me cry! After being a stay at home mom all these years, it is so hard to let go and grow…

  25. silvaportraits

    Beautifully written. I just wrote a similar story myself. Us mothers are united in sharing such a unique and special bond with our kids. All the best continuing with your beautiful motherhood journey. x

  26. Christina Day

    Mine are 18 and 14, I posted this and tagged both of them. The oldest came to me in tears…completely unexpected, yet another heartfelt moment with my “little girl”.

  27. Stacy

    Mama to 11 miracle babes spanning from 21 to 2. This blessed me so much as I’m learning to let go so they can fly. I often find myself in tears of joy and sadness at this new adult child phase. My children are so gracious and patient with me as I make this transition. I shared this with our oldest son…after he read it, he messaged me, “I love you.” Which of course caused me to burst into tears…I love that he tries the best he can to understand and doesn’t dismiss me 🙂 Our other kiddos are a little younger but are just as gracious with their mama 😂(and btw…10 of our babies became ours via adoption and this still spoke to me…got me thinking about writing something similar but including their adoption process which is consumed with so many dreams, too). Many blessings to you mama!

  28. Melody

    Can I LOVE this a million times…..although I didn’t carry or give birth to my daughter…..I have LOVED her since first sight (she was 4 and my husbands daughter from his previous marriage…..I adopted her) she is our only child, 16….JR in HS, and VERY stubborn, strong willed, flawed, BEAUTIFUL (inside and out) FUNNY….and one of my VERY favorite people in the whole universe! I will share this with her to help her understand why I am such a CRAZY person these days 😂 I know we will have to let go soon….and I’m NOT ready, although at the same time SO EXCITED to see all the WONDERFUL things she will accomplish ❤❤

  29. Tricia

    This is something that should be read to/given to all pre-teens as they enter those tough years, then again at graduation (or other event that marks adulthood) and finally, given after they have their first child. Wouldn’t it be great if it was the same letter passed down? Laminate it! (Will also prevent water spotting!) I’m not crying… You are.

  30. MaryLou

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to being a mom. I thank God everyday for the privilege of being a mom to 4 beautiful boys ages 22, 15,15,and 15! Motherhood is a gift. , no matter how one becomes a mom. Let’s remember to always find the joys!

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