Dear older women,
I know younger women can be scary. Sometimes we come across as Know-It-Alls with all of our independence, and opinions, and apps, and parenting philosophies.
But we don’t know what we’re doing.
We are lost and we need you, especially since many of us, in our insatiable drive for independence, moved far away from our mothers and grandmothers.
We are adrift as we strive to cobble together a definition of womanhood, or what it means to be a wife or a mother.
We need the wisdom of women who have gone before us: Your wisdom.
We need your stories.
…like the time you lost your toddler at the fair and, when you found him a frantic 27 minutes later, he was eating cotton candy at the firefighter tent. Tell us how you burst into tears and hugged him so tight that all the slobbery cotton candy got stuck in your hair.
We need to know that when we lose our kid in Target that we are not a bad moms, and that when we feel lost, we can find ourselves again too.
Tell us about the early years with your husband, and the middle years too, when you struggled to love each other as you raised your kids, or as you walked through infertility together.
Share the hard-won wisdom from the rocky years or the sobering counsel that only a woman who has walked through a divorce can offer.
Tell us the real, honest-to-goodness, mouth dropping truth:
That you didn’t like being a mom until they all went to school
That you hated breastfeeding
That it’s okay to want to run away sometimes.
Tell us how you and a girlfriend wanted to start a Home For Runaway Moms. And we will laugh as we feel our fingers grip that lifeline and reel us in.
Your stories let us know that we are okay, that we’ll be okay, and that we’re not alone.
Teach us how to embrace our gray hair, our varicose veins, our laugh lines, and how to pick out the most fabulous shade of red lipstick.
Tell us about your depression, the dark years, and how you found light again in your life. Hug us, encourage us, take us by the shoulders, look us in the eye and tell us it’s going to get better. Share your story. Help us light our candle by your flame.
Tell us the name of the baby you lost, at six weeks in your womb or six years in your arms. Welcome us with to The Club with open arms, where the price of admittance is the death of a child, the death of a dream. Wipe our tears and tell us we don’t always have to be so strong, that you will be there to walk with us through the days, and months and years of our grief.
Teach us about our bodies, how to embrace our fertility and honor our hormones. Tell us about menopause (because seriously, who else will??).
Show us how to work hard and how to rest well.
Teach us to pray for our daily bread and to let go of all the worries that threaten to drown out the joy of our everyday moments. Tell us your story, of how the hard stuff—big or little, real or imagined—worked out for the best.
Teach us how to be strong, to be women of integrity, to love our families fiercely and to keep moving forward when we want to quit (or run away).
We’re young and, a lot of times, we think we know everything. But the truth is, we don’t. We may shun advice, but we will always listen to your stories. We’ll absorb them, think about them, and share them with our girlfriends. Your stories will shift our thinking, and help us grow up into our womanhood.
Please reach out and befriend us. We’re there, all around you: At the park, the library, at church. We seem busy and distracted but we need you. We need your wisdom, your perspective, your relationship.
Relationships take time, and we probably both need practice and patience to accept this. But oh…! When that friendship blooms, when the foundation of mentorship is laid, it makes both of our lives stronger and more beautiful.
Will you be our friend?
Love, the tired and lost millennial women of the 21st century