A letter to the woman I was before kids

Dear younger, child-free me,

You don’t realize it, but trust me, you are doing amazing.

You just married that wonderful, kind, generous (and handsome) husband of yours and you are on top of the world. You’re building that strong foundation for your future family and ultimately, life-long happiness with your soulmate.

As older and wiser you, I have some perspective you may find helpful at this stage of your life, though.

First, don’t be so concerned with what others think of you. Give yourself permission to enjoy this special time of your life to the fullest. It’s okay to soak it all in. Remember that spontaneous trip to London over a long weekend? Or backpacking across South East Asia? Yeah… I do, too.

Future mommy, you won’t be able to take those kinds of trips as easily. So take advantage of your freedom. Go on as many adventures as you can with or without your hubby.

Don’t worry so much. Sure, you have a mortgage and a demanding full-time job, but believe me, life with kids will be infinitely more complicated.

Don't be so wrapped up in your work. I mean, it’s great that you’re dedicated and driven, but jobs will come and go. However, you’re only young and child-free for a limited time. Go to all the happy hours you want and take the time to eat a proper lunch away from your office! (Seriously. Do it.)

There will be times when you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to encounter some turbulence, and you’ll feel lost on your path. It’s okay. You will emerge a stronger woman than you were before. Girl, you are the definition of resilient!

Your heart will burst with joy upon seeing that pink plus sign on your pregnancy tests (you will take like 76, because well, you’re you…). And then your need to plan will kick in almost immediately.

Don’t fret about a thing. You’ll be more than ready for your next chapter. After the longest 42 weeks of your life (yep, your firstborn will be very late to this party called life), difficult labor and a traumatic emergency C-section, you’ll finally become the mama to an amazing baby girl. (Just like you always dreamed!)

You’ll fall head over heels in love with your babies at first sight.

I can’t prepare you for the intense, fierce love you will feel for your children—it’s almost painful—nothing like you’ve ever felt before.

And the moment you see your husband gingerly holding your precious, perfect new babies for the first time with tears in his eyes, you’re going to fall in love with him all over again, too.

Though being a mama is who you’re meant to be, it is not going to be easy. In fact, it’ll be the most challenging (but also most rewarding) job you’ll ever have.

There will be many occasions when you just won’t know what to do. For someone with a healthy need for control, that’s going to be really, really tough. But you’ll always figure out a way to deal with whatever life throws your way.

Just remember: you’re strong and resilient—not to mention determined. And another tip: it’s okay to ask for help! It takes a village to raise children. The sooner you learn that, the better!

While I’m being honest, I must also tell you that there will be moments when you won’t particularly like being a mom. Like around 3:30 AM, when your daughter wakes up and won’t go back to sleep. Or when your other daughter throws the monster of all tantrums because you served her favorite snack on the wrong color plate.

But every storm will pass. Your girls will spontaneously hug you and tell you that you’re the best mom in the whole wide world. Your oldest one will flash that megawatt smile that melts your heart as she snuggles in your lap. Your little one will giggle that sweet, adorable giggle that you just want to bottle up when you tickle her.

Those will be the moments when you realize just how blessed you are and how rewarding it is to be a mama. Take the time to pause and appreciate what you have now and then.

There will definitely be days when you fantasize about running away to a luxurious, kid-free place for a little peace and quiet. That’s completely normal. Everyone has days like that as your mommy village will confirm. They will also help you get through those rough moments.

Oh, another thing: you will be tired. Correction—you will be EXHAUSTED. You know how you looooove your sleep? Cherish those lazy weekends and glorious naps that don’t seem so special or significant to you right now. Future mommy you will be in a constant state of sleep deprivation for several years until the kids get older. Carry on and sleep while you can!

Lastly, I want you to know that life is only going to get better from here on. Sure, you’ll miss your 20’s some days, and you’ll have to adjust to life with kids in tow, but you wouldn’t want to have it any other way. In fact, you’ll be the happiest you’ve ever been.

You will realize that being a mama made you a better person. Your family will give you purpose, strength and inner peace. You’ll become who you are meant to be. Now that’s something to look forward to.


Older (and more tired) you

Tunde is a wife, mother to two amazing (and outspoken) girls and the brand partnership manager at Motherly. She is also an avid traveler, reader, knitter and a total coffee addict.

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