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,
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.