[2013 Archives] Dear 28 Year-Old Me,

So. You’re going to have a baby? Please, young lady, let me prepare you for everything you think you already know. Ha.

You are soon to learn that being a mother is truly a thankless job. This is something you’ve heard time and time again as naive young girl, but it won’t make much sense to you until you’ve spent some sleepless nights with a fussy newborn. Thankless. Those ten little piggies aren’t going to thank you for the billions of tasks you do each day to make her life wonderful.

They won’t thank you for letting your body take a hit on behalf of her birth (and by ‘hit” I mean that you’re not invisible to gravity like you currently believe. Your plump college booty is going south, sweetie… and you can kiss triangle-top bikinis goodbye. Nobody wants to see that.)

You won’t be showered with gratitude for quietly cleaning up that last massive blow-out that occurred just before you were able to slide the next clean diaper under her butt (the one that left you with a hand full of Lord-only-knows-how-that-came-out-of-a-baby).

That little meaty ball of cuteness isn’t going to wipe away your tears when your amidst a mommy-meltdown because your keys are missing, you’re wearing two different shoes and you’re trying to get out the door before the end of the century.

Thankless (for now)… but amazing.

It’s not going to take you long to learn this. Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. It’s this realization that will make you thankful for your own mother beyond words… something that she’s been waiting for you to realize for 29 years now.

Let me tell you what being a new momma will mean…

It means you’ll never really sleep again… and when you do fall into a 2 hour super-coma, your dreams will be loaded with all of the worries of being a new mom: the plethora of terrible things in this world that could possibly harm your little peewee. You’ll be shaken awake by even the tiniest little baby fart, and like a warrior you will rise to the occasion of changing your ten billionth poopy diaper at O’dark thirty while daddy sleeps soundly on the pillow next to yours.

Being a mother means that your body is no longer yours. You’ll simply become a glorified cow, dropping everything when she needs to eat – no matter when or where. Your cute “Very Sexy” bras will be replaced with the ugly fleshy colored slings that you and your girlfriends used to laugh at while walking past the underwear section. And don’t think for a second that you won’t pick up a pair of those sweet granny panties hanging next to them. Slipping on those comfy drawers will soon be more rewarding than a day at the spa.

Speaking of shopping…being a new mom means that your beloved Target trips no longer consist of scouting the sale rack for a new wardrobe under $50 while you stroll around with hot pretzel and an icee. It means you will plop that newborn in the back of that cart and zip through the store like you’re on Supermarket Sweep – stopping only long enough to compare diaper prices and pick up some clearance deodorant… all while pookie-pants cries her face off as your boobs are leaking down to your knees because it’s feeding time. Moo.

It means that “date night” with your hubby will consist of conversations about baby’s latest poop over a quick burger and water. You’ll talk about your new life at home (reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day), about things like laundry and dust bunnies… while your husband stares blankly at the new creature that babbles on in front of him. Poor man. Gone are the days of grabbing a few drinks and “painting the town red” (whatever that means..). Now you’ve got a three-hour window to rush through dinner and maybe even an exciting trip to Babies R’ Us before your precious udders are being screamed for by that little farmer back home.

Being a mother is tough. The glow of pregnancy has faded. You’re no longer that cute round “momma to be” that everyone wants to talk to. You’ll become that young mom whose baby is screaming her face off in Target while everyone stares at you in horror.

You’ll learn that there isn’t enough concealer in the world to truly hide the new bags you’re sporting. You’ll feel jiggles in parts of your body that you could have sworn were made of bone. You will inevitably have at least one night where there’s nothing left to do but cry with your baby and it will feel surprisingly good.

You’ll become your mother in ways you swore you wouldn’t – complaining about how inappropriate commercials are these days and worrying that your baby might have developed West Nile from that brisk walk to the park. You’ll look forward to things like Jeopardy and Meatloaf.

When I say being a mother is thankless I simply mean that only other mothers will truly understand how hard you work, how tired you are, and how much you do. It’s impossible for anyone else to see it. It doesn’t mean your husband won’t tell you that you’re doing great, because he will. And you will hang on those words for as long as you can, repeating them over in your head.. trying to believe them yourself.

The “thank you’s” won’t come as words from her for a long time.. but whatever you do – DO NOT wish this time away. Embrace it. It won’t always be like this. It’s not easy being a new mom. I don’t believe anybody ever told you it would be. You have become part of a sacred society of women who have learned the art of selflessness. A society of women who eat 4-day-old cold pizza for breakfast while they nurse a baby and simultaneously clean up the living room with their feet. You will become, in a sense, a super hero.

This isn’t to say that motherhood is an unrewarding job.

Her love for you will be the greatest earthly reward you’ve ever known.

It’s that little cutie that will keep you going long passed the point you’d expected yourself to quit. You will thrive off of a tiny smile, a little hand grasped around your finger… you will live for the little moments where your eyes lock and you can’t look away. You’ll enjoy just watching her sleep like an angel. You’ll crave the feeling of her warm little body snuggled into your chest. You’ll think of her every second you’re away from her. You’ll speak of her every chance you get. She will make your heart feel bigger than it ever has… She will remind you how mighty God is… She will restore your faith in miracles.

That will be her way of thanking you until she’s far older… about the age that you are now. And while that seems like an eternity away, you’ve been warned that it’s only a matter of a single blink before she’s grown. Dear me, hold on tight, stay strong, and believe your husband when he tells you that you’re doing a great job… because you are.

Love,
29-Year-Old You

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