What would I tell a younger version of myself if given the opportunity about motherhood? “Don’t do it!!!!” No I’m just kidding. Partly. Sort of. Lately I’ve been muffling a lot under my breath. I have a very fresh five year old. “Honey it’s way to early to get up for the day, you have to lay down and close your eyes.” “NO!!!!” yes that was my child this morning, the dark crept behind the blinds and my eyes were barley open. “Sweetie you can’t have a snack right now, I’m cooking dinner.” “Well I’m going to have it anyway.” Yes, again imagine that with some stuck up attitude, as I locked the fridge door and tripped over the same toy for the 5th time while preparing dinner. Oh and don’t even get me started on the night time routine, the testing that happens while we prepare for bed time, when we are leaving for school or any other minute of the day for that matter. Why must we need to suddenly blow our nose or become thirsty, have 13 toys in the car, or whether or not we have apple or orange juice for the ride to school. So back to muffling under my breath, it helps me get through the day. My husband and I have been really pushing hard to knock this attitude from my once so sweet little girl. Between many time-outs and some serious get down on her level conversations, I find myself singing “I love my life, I love my life, this is awesome.” Hey it helps me keep calm and the kids get a kick out of it when I throw some dance moves in there and make a fool of myself. It lightens the mood.
Then the guilt kicks in. One day while my Mom was visiting, she finally got to witness our new tried and true time-out system that we’ve put into place, I turned around with steam coming out of my ears and with way too much rage said “If I had known it was going to be this damn hard I wouldn’t have done it!” Yes I said the forbidden words. Guilt kill me now. Her simple reply was “yes you would have.” Even my husband has plopped down on the couch next to me at night and has said “Why weren’t we told it was so difficult to raise kids?” Of course my response was if there was a manual and you read it, would you choose to proceed in the parenting department? We had a chuckle but it got me thinking. We all clearly know how badly childbirth hurts before we actually have a child but we choose to do it anyways, is this one of those situations where even though I know how difficult it’s ends up being I still proceed to do the one thing I’ve wanted my entire life ? Have children. It got me thinking, and thinking.
Dear Younger Me: If you knew how many sleepless nights you were in for would you do it all over again?
Older Me: Yes. You would. You would do it all over again because you have learned more about yourself in the the first year of motherhood and grew stronger from it.
Dear Younger Me: If you knew how many grey hairs and wrinkles you would develop in such a short amount of time, would you do it all over again?
Older Me: Yes. The hugs, giggles and the way your kids run to you when they get home from school is so much more important than your hair. Every new wrinkle you gain, You’ve earned.
Dear younger me: If you knew how selfless motherhood really was and how you tend to loose your true self at times, would you do it all over again?
Older me: Yes because it has changed you for the better. You’ve become selfless in more than just motherhood. You’ve become selfless in your friendships and marriage.
Dear younger me: If you knew how much you would worry and how every decision you make reflects who your children become, would you do it all over again?
Older me: Yep. The worry makes you a great mother and your decisions reflect who you are as not only a person now, but as a mother. You are a person trying to raise two little people to be great big people some day.
Dear younger me: If you knew that feeling the clasp of your daughters hand tighten around yours as you walked her into school every single day would literally rip your heart right out of your chest, would you do it all over again?
Dear older me: God yes. That clasp means you have someone who depends on you, loves you, and needs you more than you’ll ever know.
Dear younger me: If you knew that you would go years without so much as a bathroom trip alone, a hot meal or more than five nights of uninterrupted sleep in a row, would you do it all over again?
Older me: Absolutely. Watching your children learn something new everyday is truly beautiful. You already forget what it’s like to have privacy in the bathroom, you have learned how to enjoy a hot meal once in awhile and sleep…..well it is over rated!
Dear younger me: If you knew how much raising kids could try your marriage and change your relationship, would you do it all over again?
Older me: In a heart beat. It’s made your marriage stronger than ever. Through every “lord help me get through this day” to every “OMG we aren’t going to make this” it’s been worth it 100 times over.
If you wrote a letter to your younger self what would it say?