Dear twentysomething moms—I see you

I was a twentysomething when I started having my babies. Looking back, I was just a baby myself, and even though I only have four years of parenting experience under my belt—I feel like those four years have taught me so much. That’s motherhood for you.

I’ve learned more about who I am, who I want to be and what’s truly important in my life.

I’ve learned that I absolutely love my children with every fiber of my being and that I can’t picture life without them. 💜

I’ve learned that being a mom is everything and nothing like I expected.

It’s surprising, it’s fun, it’s exhausting and it’ll definitely keep you on your toes.

But I still wonder.

I wonder how my life would have differed if we waited a little longer to start a family.

I wonder if we would have traveled more, my husband and I.

I wonder if I would have made more spontaneous plans with girlfriends.

I wonder if I would have worked out more, would have made regular manicure appointments, been on top of my self-care game. 💅

Because now that my younger sister and cousins are the twentysomethings having kids it makes me feel—older, yes—but it also makes me feel like I want to hug them, cheer them on and reassure them if they’re wondering whether the path they’re going down is the right one.

I want to tell them that it is the right path—it’s not the right path for everyone, but it is the right one for them.

So, to the twentysomething mom who’s the first of her friends to have a babyI see you.

To the twentysomething mom who can’t quite swing that bachelorette trip to New Orleans because she has a newborn at home—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who is continually too tired to meet the girls out for drinks on Friday nights, like you used to—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who is jealous of her friend who’s off to Spain on a getaway by herself—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who worries how they’ll have the money to make it all work with a baby—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who just found out she’s pregnant, and it wasn’t quite in the plan yet (or so she thought)—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who wonders if she didn’t give the relationship with her significant other enough alone time, pre-children—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who stays up at night worrying if she can handle all of thisI see you.

I see you because I was you. And I’m here to tell you that the path of twentysomething momhood is a good one. And not just good. It’s pretty amazing, actually. 🙌

I may not be able to jet off to, well… anywhere on a whim, but there are many pros for having had children in my twenties.

I am a younger mom.

I have an almost four-year-old, and just crossed over into my thirties. Which theoretically means I may have more energy to do this whole “parenting young children” thing at this age vs. an older one.

You figure out who your forever friends are.

My girlfriends stuck around. I guess this might not be the case for everyone, but I hope it is. Your true girls will stay by you even if they’re not having kids yet.

You probably already know which ones will. They’ll bring you dinners when your baby is born, they’ll force you out to the movies when you really need it, they’ll play with your kids and love them like their own.

Family time trumps anything else.

And you become okay with this faster than you’d ever even believe.

You may not be going to wine tastings and breweries every weekend like you see people doing on Facebook or going to that destination bachelorette party, but you are making a craft with your daughter or reading a book to your son or getting excited about family movie night. To me, nothing else compares to that now.

Life’s detours often turn out to be life’s most beautiful moments.

Your pregnancy may have been a bit of a surprise or something that happened faster than you thought or something you weren’t sure you were ready for—but what’s not a surprise is how much you love your kiddo.

Sure, life may be filled with more up-all-night nursing sessions vs up-all-night parties and wine-fueled heart-to-hearts, but you wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can’t imagine life without my kiddos now.

(Plus, we'll get those wine-fuelled heart-to-hearts back soon. 🍷)

You may have traded in the ‘freedom’ of your twenties for the joys of motherhood and family life—but that doesn’t mean the sacrifice isn’t real. I know those wine tasting Facebook photos can cause FOMO and hearing about that trip to Spain can sting a bit—but we all have different paths, and that’s okay.

The love we have for our children is deep and raw and beyond anything else. Motherhood is one of life’s greatest adventures—at any age, mama—so don’t feel like you’re missing anything. Truth be told, there will always be challenges and amazing moments at any age of life—whether you’re a mother or not.

Because no one’s life is perfect. And everyone’s paths have zigzags and roadblocks.

But this is your path, and you are rocking it.

Just believe in yourself, the family you’re creating and this wild ride we call motherhood. Because, you’ve got this.

Colleen is a wife and mom to three awesome girls. She is the Motherly Stories Editor at Motherly. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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