Thank You for Being Exactly What I Needed {A Letter to My Mom}

Thank You for Being Exactly What I Needed {A Letter to My Mom}I never thought about what kind of mom I would be until I held my daughter for the first time. As I gazed down at her in my arms, my fear of actually becoming a mom subsided. I was solely focused on loving her unconditionally, protecting and guiding her throughout life. And I realized that everything I hoped to be as a mom is exactly who my mother already was.

I’m forever grateful that my mom has been by my side for every pivotal moment of my life. From the first day of school to each graduation, I could count on her smiling with pride as I looked for her in the crowd. When I graduated medical school, she placed the hood over my doctoral gown. Walking me down the aisle with my dad, she held my hand tight as I prepared to marry the love of my life. She was even there the moment I became a mom and welcomed my first child into this world. 

Dear Mom,

Thank you for showing me how to be a good mother.

You are the best mom I could ever ask for. Like you, I am now balancing life as a mom and as a physician. And it’s hard. I’m sure it was just as challenging for you, but you made it look so effortless. You prepared almost every meal, never complained about being too tired to read me a bedtime story, and always let me crawl into bed when I had a bad dream. I often worry that I’m not caring for my kids enough or that I let the stress from work influence how I am at home. So when I start feeling overwhelmed, I think about how you would handle it – how you stayed calm amidst the household chaos or gave that perfect look to bring immediate attention. 

Thank you for always supporting me.

To your dismay, I wasn’t very girly as a child. I despised frilly dresses and could care less about dolls. But you let me be me. You would surprise me with a Hot Wheels car when you picked me up from school. And even when you hoped I’d wear a brand-new floral dress, you would let me wear my favorite faded tie-dye dress for the millionth time. You let me explore my individuality, and you always gave me a choice. When I didn’t want to continue with ballet or softball, you let me quit and encouraged me to focus on activities I loved, like tennis, voice, and piano. You have always been my #1 fan.

Thank you for letting me grow.

My brief stint as a teenager probably caused more gray hair than necessary.  And against your better judgement, you let me make more mistakes than even I cared to endure. But you were always there to catch me when I fell. You let me learn from each experience and gave me strength when I needed it most. 

Thank you for believing in me.

You encouraged me to work hard and to be confident in my intelligence. Knowing that the future is not always certain, you made sure I was self-sufficient and could take care of myself. You never expected me to get straight A’s, but you believed I could fulfill my potential. And when I struggled, you were still proud of me for trying my best. 

Thank you for being a great role model.

I can only hope my daughters look up to me the way I look up to you. You’re patient and kind. Your love is immeasurable. And you always put our family first. You’re more than a mom. You’re my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you very much! 

Love, Cathy

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