In honor of Mother's Day, TIME asked a few influential moms to write letters to their children. Simple enough, right? Well, let's just say things got emotional real quick. From Tina Knowles-Lawson speaking about her daughters supporting her during her divorce, to Savannah Guthrie sharing her labor story, the tears haven't stopped flowing.
Read excerpts from all the moms below and head over to TIME for the full version of their letters.
Tina Knowles Lawson to daughters Beyoncé, Solange, Angie, and Kelly
"I gave birth to two of you, but I have four incredible daughters. Writing this brought to mind all the ways you guys have been such a blessing to me.
When I’m feeling sad or not-so-cute or maybe a little sorry for myself, and you all include me in your group chat and tell me how hot I still look or how cool I am. Maybe you send me a crazy YouTube video. What actually works best is a cute photo of my grandchildren.
I remember slumber parties after my divorce, when we watched old movies and ate a lot of ice cream. I felt so loved and supported. The roles were reversed, and it was ME who needed nurturing."
Sharon Osbourne to son and daughters Jack, Aimee, and Kelly
"Being your mom has made me a well-rounded person. It’s made me not as selfish, and not as motivated when it comes to the competitiveness I had in the industry. It gave me a different outlook on life that it’s not about winning or being number one. Raising a child is the most important thing you can ever do.
It’s the hardest thing in the world, to be a hands-on mother and sustain a career. You cannot do it without having endless guilt.
When I think of you all, my heart just melts. People come into my home and they say it’s like a time capsule. Everything is covered in pictures and notes and paintings that I have framed. Every gift you ever gave me I still have, and they are most treasured. Necklaces and paintings and hearts for Mother’s Day and all those drawings, I have them framed everywhere. They are my family jewels."
Savannah Guthrie to daughter Vale
"Remember when we first met? It was early morning, it was mid-August, I was large and you were ready. You were beautiful, all blue eyes and big—impossibly big—cheeks. You were born, and we both cried. You, because you had suddenly and bravely plunged into a bright, strange world. Me, because in one instant all my hopes and joys and desires were unlocked and unleashed, poured out in big wet tears, in a cry from deep within, in a sound from myself I had never before heard—because it belongs to you and only you."
Candace Parker to daughter Lailaa
"I wish to shower you and spoil you not with things but moments. I want your childhood to be a constant reminder of happiness, precious quality time, and unconditional love. Although you do rear your spoiled head sometimes when I ask what you want to do on a weekend off in L.A., and you shrug and say, “Let’s go to Dubai.”
Lailaa, I am in awe of your maturity at such a young age. You travel from country to country following your parents’ career without a blink of an eye. A 12-hour flight to China, Russia, France, etc.—no problem! You are a seasoned traveler that holds memories and experiences some don’t grasp in a lifetime. Who can say they attended pre-school in Russia, spent Christmas in China, and crawled for the first time in Istanbul?"
Melissa Etheridge to sons and daughters Bailey Jean, Beckett, Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven
"It has been the most rewarding thing I have done in my life, to watch you four come into this world and grow and grow and learn and love and share this life with me. It has been one of my greatest, greatest joys. I’m so proud of the force with which each of you live your lives. You are meeting life head on, on your own terms, and I just wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course, as I write this, I’m on the road. I’m doing what I love, and if there’s anything I can give you in this life, it’s the desire to do what you love, to go out there in the world and live life to the fullest. I hope you see that the only thing that would take me away from you is what I love to do. I hope you find that sort of joy in your work, too."
Chirlane McCray to son and daughter Dante and Chiara
"But what makes me truly proud is that both of you are putting your knowledge and creativity to good use. Dante, I often think back to the day when one of your elementary school teachers pulled me aside to thank me for raising such a thoughtful and sensitive boy. When it was time to pair students up for walks or projects, she often teamed you with her most difficult students. She saw that you had a special gift for calming disruptive behavior and also mediating arguments—a skill you have put to good use as the captain of your high school’s prize-winning debate team. Chiara, you’re never afraid to jump into the middle of a conversation and take it in a bold new direction. Watching you establish yourself as a fierce advocate for young people who are grappling with mental health issues has been a revelation. I am honored to be your partner on that campaign, and I can’t wait to see where we end up."
Jenna Wolfe to son and daughter Harper and Quinn
"I became a mother. And what was once the unpopular answer to the question WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP suddenly became the only answer that mattered. Where I used to look both ways just one time when crossing the street, now I stand like a fool looking back and forth a dozen times. Where I used to skydive and bungee jump and skateboard and parasail, now I’ll order white rice in my sushi roll instead of brown and call it a crazy night. Exaggeration aside, I have too much to lose to tempt fate for kicks. I spent all my life courting extreme activities. I’m perfectly fine shifting down a gear or two for you girls.
People ask me all the time how motherhood has changed me. Well let’s put it this way. Before I met you two, the word responsibility meant getting to work on time. And eating vegetables. Now it means guiding, feeding, teaching, protecting two little babies, completely dependent on us for everything. And while it takes every morsel of my effort and energy to do it all day everyday, there’s nothing else in the world that makes me happier. The truth is, I want to do it for the rest of your lives."
Nikki Haley to son and daughter Nalin and Rena
"You are the ones that keep me grounded. No other title will ever mean more to me than being your mom. Whether it is us walking down the dozens of State House steps at the Christmas tree lighting all trying to smile and not fall, or you having to deal with me getting locked out of the house in my robe when your dad was deployed, I love how we are always able to laugh at everything.
Your dad and I are so proud of both of you. I feel so blessed to be able to kiss your cheeks as we get you out the door to school, or be silly on our Haley Family Fun Nights. I know whatever comes our way in life, nothing will ever mean more to me than the gift of being your mom."
How will you be celebrating Mother's Day this year? Tweet us @wewomenUSA.
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