Laura Dern wrote the most touching letter to her 12-year-old daughter, and her advice is timeless

We love Laura Dern in everything she does, from Big Little Lies to Twin Peaks. Now, Laura Dern wrote a touching letter to her daughter, and her advice is timeless. The letter is to her 12-year-old, Jaya, and it appears in the September issue of InStyle. We’re telling you now — it’s ~amazing~, and we wish mothers everywhere were just like Dern! It gives our future selves #MomGoals for sure!

In a nutshell, it’s about expectations, and letting go of them, even in the midst of societal pressure. Here are our favorite excerpts from the letter. No matter if you’re Jaya’s age or an adult, one thing’s for sure — you’ll be able to relate.

So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be inspired.

“Dear Jaya, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman today. A woman in her own skin, in her power, without any labels placed on her. And as part of that process, I’ve thought back to what I saw when I was your age...

Dern then goes into how she grew up in a “new time, culturally” — the 1970s, a time when women wanted to do more than women in past generations. But:

“…Although society was beginning to accept this, it was assumed that those who tried to do it all were going to fail at everything…So my reaction, as I got older, was to decide that even though I could do all things, I was going to focus only on one at a time…And I’m writing this to you because I want to make sure that you don’t limit yourself in the same ways…

Hear ye, hear ye, right?! And how many of us wish we knew all this sooner?!

"...In this strange climate I started realizing that focusing on one thing in an effort not to fail at anything else was a weight I was carrying. And I want to be a woman who does it all, no matter how it turns out..."

Then, Dern gets into what’s different between her generation growing up, and her daughter’s. Any guesses?

“…There’s a huge force that’s affecting your generation — it’s called social media, and it’s mothering you as much as I am. This other mother is very influential, and she’s telling you that your value is determined by how many people follow you. She is also deciding what beauty looks like and which extravagances add up to a fun life.

Okay, admit it, who can relate?!

“What social media is giving young girls right now are the two stories that keep us trapped — the black and the white…But I want you to know that most of your life will happen in the gray spaces between bliss and heartbreak, between having everything lock into place and having it all fall apart. That’s where the grace is. You have to get out of your own way and write your own story — and not be forced into the narrative that you think will give you the easiest path to success or the most likes.

In case you’re curious, we’re feeling like this about Dern’s letter.

And here are some super adorbs photos of Dern with her daughter over the years. Here, they’re at the 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala in January of this year.


Don’t you LOVE how they’re holding hands?! Mother/daughter inspo, yes?! And here, they’re at the premiere of The Weinstein Company’s The Founder in Los Angeles, also in January of this year. Plus, more hand-holding! ❤️️


And here are Dern and her daughter at the Wild premiere in L.A. back in 2014. The mother-daughter duo is too cute once again!


You can check out Dern’s letter to her daughter in its entirety here at InStyle. Now, if you’ll excuse us while we go print it out and reread it 100 more times…