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If I could do it all over again—Start over having each of my babies, I wouldn’t change a thing. That is, unless I knew what I know now. In that case, I’d change so much. I’m pretty confident time travel will be invented someday… Or has been already–You know, in the future. Well, in case my future self happens upon this post, I thought I’d write a letter to send to myself. My past-self, that is from 6 years ago. —The hopeful, yet clueless pregnant mom-to-be.
Dear 24-year-old self,
I know you’ve been waiting a long time to have children. You’ve been married to the love of your life for five years now, and you’re so excited to have the girl you’ve always dreamed of. I just wanted to send you a little note from the future with some advice.
I’ve been there. I know how it feels. I get all of the anticipation, and anxiety about not knowing what’s ahead. I’m going to give you a hint: everything is going to be ok.
I know right now it seems like the most important decision you are going to make in your daughter’s life is whether or not to get an epidural and what effect the decision you make will have on her development. I can promise you that you’re worrying your sweet little head for nothing. It may seem like that’s the biggest decision of your life, but it’s not even close. You’ll see soon enough.
Then, after she’s born, you’ll be on to worrying about breastfeeding. Are you producing enough? Pumping enough? And before you know it a year and a half later, WILL SHE EVER STOP?
You’ll worry about which brands to choose. We’re a very indecisive person. You give cloth diapers a try but (spoiler alert!) you go back to Pampers. It’s what your mom loved, and what you have found to be most absorbent when your heavy wetter goes in the middle of the night.
Let me give you some more advice. Don’t compare yourself or your baby to other mothers and babies. You’re all different. There’s no perfect formula for raising the perfect child, and no matter how hard you try your little girl is going to someday turn into her own little person who can walk and talk and give her own opinions. Don’t worry, you’ll be proud.
Oh, and don’t think you’re off the hook with just one kid. Though you can’t possibly imagine loving another child as much as your first, you will. And though some of the worrying will start over again with another baby, you’ll feel much more confident.
I’m not going to say it’s all going to be easy, because it’s not. There will be many hard days. Days you cry and some nights you don’t sleep at all. But I promise you; it’s all worth it.
And when your babies turn three you’ll smile because you’re so proud to see the little people they are turning into. But you’ll be aching inside, wishing you could just go back and do it all over again.
I know because I’m you.
A mom from the future
What would you tell your pre-parent self?
Use this as a fun journal prompt and write your past-self a letter.