This week I went with my friend Nina to help her do her baby registry at Target.
We started in the diaper aisle and zigzagged our way up and down the baby section scanning all the necessary things and a few cute, but not-so-necessary things. We talked about her being nervous about breastfeeding, thick vs. thin wipes, how every one of my kids liked a different kind of bottle nipple, the benefits of babywearing and what things aren't worth all the bells and whistles.
As she was scanning a pack of baby booties, she said to me, “scanning all these things makes it seem real.”
Oh my friend, just wait.
That night, I thought about our trip to Target and how that act of registering for diapers, bottles, swaddle blankets and lanolin with Nina was such a gift to me. I've done lots of baby registries with lots of friends.
While on the surface it might seem like its about diaper and stroller recommendations, its really about assurance and saying, you are going to be okay. I know all of this feels overwhelming, but you are not alone. It is a joy to be here with you.
In the aisles of Target, I felt the weight of ushering a mama into the club of motherhood. The club that understands what it is like to not sleep the night, to have your little one not be so little as they enter kindergarten, to experience a love bigger than you have ever known.
Motherhood should not be experienced alone. One of the most profound gifts of motherhood has come to me in assurance from other mothers. From words on a screen to in-person playdates, motherhood is an experience of togetherness.
We all need encouragement from time to time. It starts with pregnancy and lots of unknowns, and as our children get older, the unknowns are still there – they are just different.
If I could give every mom a book of encouragement and solidarity, I would give them The Mother Letters. Each mother-to-mother letter offers encouragement, advice, and vulnerable honesty about the struggles and joys of motherhood. These letters show that no matter how many times mothers feel like they’ve failed, they are still doing their greatest work.
The Mother Letters was put together by Seth and Amber Haines. After Amber had given birth to three boys in three years, Seth saw she needed encouragement in the day-to-day drama and details of motherhood. He secretly collected nearly 600 wise, honest, and sometimes hilarious letters from other mothers across the world, gifting these “mother letters” to her. Amber and Seth have chosen the best of those letters to include in this beautiful book.
If you need encouragement in your motherhood journey, or you know a mama who does, buy The Mother Letters. I laughed and cried through it. It is profound and beautiful, both in words and design. It's my top Mother's Day pick, the book that I will give at every baby shower, in every new baby gift, and to every mother who needs to know she isn't alone.
Because the days are long, but the years are not.