Friday, April 13, 2012

A letter to my pre-mother self

I'm still undecided on my theory of time travel, but just in case, I'm writing a series of letters to my younger self, to help her through some important crossroads.

Here's the first.

Dear Jennifer:

I know you've got a lot on your mind. You're trying to figure out the best way to time it all: Career, family, traveling. And you're plate never seems full enough.

How do I know all of this? Because I'm you! An older, and wiser you.

Let me tell you woman, your career... You may think you know what you want to do but that's all going to change. Sure, you've wanted to work for CNN your entire life, but there are things coming your way that are going to blow your mind. You don't believe it now, but trust me, in a few years you are going to wonder why CNN was ever appealing to you in the first place.

Next, about babies.

You look at women around you who swoon and brag bout their kids and wonder what all the fuss is about. Newsflash! Other people's kids aren't as fun as your own.

You also hear mothers complain and whine, so you wonder why they KEEP having more kids if it's so bad, and the "hardest job in the world." Here's the thing. Parenting isn't hard labor or rocket science, it's just an incredibly large investment with your heart as collateral. That's what makes it so hard.

You think you know love now, but just wait. In fact, knowing what I know now, and how much love all the mothers on the world must have, I'm amazed at how much hatred still exists.

I know you are waiting for the perfect time. Waiting for some sign, or obvious signal that THIS IS IT. The RIGHT time to have a baby! But that won't happen. Not in the way you're hoping it will. This is just one of those things you're going to have to go with your gut on. The right time is after unrealistic and somewhere between terrifying and excitement. It's always going to seem a little scary. I only have the one right now and I'm scared to add another to the mix. But I'm more excited than anything else and that mix of emotions seems about right. But back to you... Don't worry, it's all going to be ok.

Your husband--my husband a but younger--is going to take some convincing. He's still the same way today. That's just how he is. Don't worry he LOVES being a daddy and is completely smitten by our child. Just today he told me how he's so happy to be a father. He may seem scared out of his mind and completely against it at times, but he'll come around. Keep reminding him how good of a dad he'll be. If I remember correctly, that's what did it.

I know you worry most about the permanency of it all. Once you become a mother you are always a mother and can't go back. You can hardly commit to a toothpaste without slight anxiety. I know. I get it! But this is one of those things you won't regret.

It'll awaken a side of you you didn't know exist, and open your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and joy.

Jennifer, this is a defining moment in your life and a start of a journey that will put your life in lightening mode. So fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.


Your Older, Wiser Self



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