Dear Pre-Mommy Me…

There’s a fun blogsite called Dear Teen Me, where authors write letters to their teen selves. Perhaps there is another site for people writing to themselves before they were parents, but I haven’t come across one yet.

Guess we’ll just have to fill that niche, now, won’t we?


Letter to my Pre-Baby Self

Dear Pre-Mommy Me,

Being a parent is hard.

Wait. Stop. Read that first sentence again, because I don’t think you’re actually getting it. Being a parent is HARD.

You still don’t get it. Really, there’s no way you can. Maybe if you did a ride-along with another new mom, sleeping in her bed (or, rather, NOT sleeping), following her into the bathroom for the showers she can’t take in peace, experiencing the excruciating pain that is a poorly-latched breastfeeding session, and then the crazy-making times of being so super-in-love with this baby and also having to remember to keep your cool and NOT SHAKE THE BABY who will NOT stop crying and now you can’t stop crying and why couldn’t you just have been happy with your husband and a cat? Maybe then, you might get it.

You’ll want to scream shut up at every person who tells you, nodding wisely and nostalgically, that “it goes by so fast,” because it doesn’t feel that way when it’s actually going by.

And free time? You’re gonna have to fight for it. Nobody’s going to wave the magic Free Time Wand and hand it to you. Don’t forget to ask. Don’t forget to tell people what you need (because twelve months is an awfully long time to take to learn that lesson).

You will come to depend on your family and friends in ways that are thoroughly humbling and teach you the meanings of grace and compassion. Remember to thank them often [Dear Me-of-the-right now: thank those folks!].

Babies aren’t for everyone, but babe, once you have one, you’ll know there’s no going back, and even if you could, you wouldn’t.

With love, pity, and a surplus of picture books,

In-love-with-my-beautiful-family Me

PS: Your body will never look the same. Do us all a favor and get over it.



Annnnnd…because I’m going to have my hands full with a new baby in a few weeks, I’d like to invite other parents and aunties and uncles and friends who would like to share their own letters to themselves before their lives were taken over by kidlets. Your letters can help me out while I’m busy on the babywagon. If you’re interested, send me an email or use the contact page above.

Writing Prompt: Found Letter

Recently I started following the YA Muses blog, after I met Katy Longshore at a local get-together. The prompt is this: “At a used book sale, you purchase a leather-bound volume. At home, you thumb through the pages and an old letter tumbles out. What does it say? Write the letter.”

Here’s my response to the prompt.


I knew you would find this letter if I hid it here, among the books you call friends. You can’t look at a book without picking it up, thumbing through it, getting pulled into story.

You call these books “friends” and I imagine your surprise when one of them betrays you with this note.

Because the stories are the problem. A woman obsessed, you cannot stop. You paused briefly to give birth, but before your daughter was even weaned, already the pen, the paper, and the book were there, open before you while she slept at your breast.

No one needs to tell you these years are fleeting. You watch them scream past, measuring them in unsellable manuscripts, pausing to breathe and scream back only if something, or some little person, dares to disrupt your solitude, silence, sanctuary.

The guilt of the time you take for your failings is heavy indeed. No wonder you take photographs, evidence of what time you do spend with her, hoping that those frozen memories will be enough to convince her, when she’s older, that everything you did, you did for her. That it was always about her, never you.

Let me tell you a secret: the dedication at the beginning of your manuscript – published, unpublished – will never be a substitute for you.

Put down the pen, and play with your daughter.

Dear Blog.

Dear Blog,

We’ve had a pretty good year. In fact, I think we just passed our one-year anniversary. Quick investigation reveals January 29th as our first blog post together…I didn’t bring you flowers or anything. Oops.

The truth is, Blog, that when we began our relationship I was in between projects. Putting the finishing revisions on one manuscript, getting ready to begin another…and I didn’t realize what  a time investment you would be. At first I planned to do five posts a week. That lasted all of about, I don’t know, two weeks? That’s a generous guess.

Then we cut it down to three, which is doable. Oh, Blog, I don’t know how to say this, but…I’m seeing someone else. I’ve been seeing her for awhile now. When you and I took that break a couple of weeks ago, things started getting serious between me and her. She’s…oh, she’s high-maintenance and it’s all ups and downs. One minute I think she’s the best thing in the whole world, and the next minute I’m ready to cast her into the fireplace. She is completely bewitching, absorbing, and all-around mind-bending. Every step forward with her revisions brings me three steps back, and she’s a headache and a pain and she makes me want to scream sometimes and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE I SPEND WITH HER.

My current manuscript. Sigh. Even draped in her myriad imperfections, she is divine.

I feel a passion for her that I just don’t feel for you anymore.

Can we still be friends?

I think we should still see each other, but maybe slow things down a bit. Our dates might not be as regular. Definitely we should get together at least once a week. Miss you already! Bye!

With care, gratitude, and respect,