A letter to the woman I was before kids

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

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

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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