The archives of a mother's heart: How to write a letter to your child
Express your love by learning how to write a letter to your child.
As I sat there feeding and rocking my newborn girl, I was overwhelmed with love for my baby girl and her older siblings.
I knew there was nothing I could say to them at that moment to convey what I was feeling. They wouldn’t ‘get it’ because they were still very young. But somehow I had to let them know…
Being a writer, I turned to my trusty pen and paper. I wrote a letter to each of my children, expressing my thoughts and feelings of what that day meant to me. After I'd finished writing the letters, I tucked them away and got back to the business of being a mum.
My children are older now. Throughout the years, I have written letters to them about first days of school, accomplishments, first dates, learning to drive, falling in love, their times of trying their father and I to near insanity, their weddings, and becoming parents themselves.
These letters, the archives of this mother’s heart, are kept tucked away — their existence known only to me. My children don’t know that they exist and will not know until I am gone.
They are a legacy of sorts from me to them. I have contemplated giving them their letters from time to time, but I haven’t.
These letters will be a part of their inheritance. I’ve sometimes wondered what effect they will have on my children. Will my words bring smiles or tears to their faces the way they did mine?
Whatever the reaction, I hope the letters will bring back fond memories — of love, laughter and this mother's desire to pour out her life for her children.
I'm sure I'm not the only mother who wishes to do so — which is why I'm encouraging you, my fellow mum, to write a letter to your child today, and begin the archives of YOUR own heart.
There are so many things we want to say to our children — things they need and want to hear but simply can’t understand. When you write a letter to your child, you're able to communicate all of these clearly.
You're also able to say things you might not normally say when you're speaking in person to your child. So don’t put off what you can start right now.
Here are some points to keep in mind when you've decided to write a letter to your child:
- Write a letter to each child every time. If you have more than 1 child, write to each one. Writing to each child every time you write ‘forces’ you to focus on each child regularly, and will speak immeasurably to them about how each of them was loved fully and equally.
- Write about what is on your heart and what is happening in their life. Yes, you can mention siblings in letters, but make each letter personal and about them.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest. Your children aren’t perfect and they will do things that hurt and disappoint you. It’s okay to let them know how their actions made you feel as long as you convey the message that their actions didn’t (and will never) change the love that you have for them.
The following list is just to help guide you on 'perfect moments' which can prompt you to write a letter to your child:
- The birth of your child
- Their milestones/first(s)
- The first day of school
- Childhood accidents-broken bones, etc.
- Accomplishments and awards, sporting events
- Family holidays and vacations
- Difficult times - not meant to hold a grudge, but to clear your heart and mind
- Rite of passage
- Broken hearts
- Learning to drive and first jobs
- Graduations and entering the world of adulthood
- Falling in love and getting married
- Becoming a parent
- A 'thank you' from you to your child for being privileged to be their parent
Writing letters to your children isn’t something that needs to be done on fine paper with precision spelling and grammar. More than a few of my letters are tear-stained.
What matters most is the sincerity, love and thought that goes into archiving a 'mother's heart' — YOUR heart.
Watch this sentimental video about what all a mother's heart should tell her child:
Share your stories if you have a 'mother's heart' archive of your own, or share your comments about this article!