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A Letter To My Pre-Mom Self

Dear the Less Sleep-Deprived, Bright-Eyed, Ready to Tackle the World, Naïve Version of Me:

I’d like to start by saying that you, my friend, are an idiot. And you don’t even know it.

Right now you look in the mirror each morning confidently aware of how your day will go. Your biggest surprise might be an unexpected deadline, or perhaps a random tall, sugar-free vanilla, nonfat, no water chai latte from Starbucks hand-delivered to you to the office by your husband. You proudly go about your day, sure of everything and anything around you. You’re organized.

You have a very vivid image in your mind about what you will look like as a mom. You firmly believe that your innate attention to detail and extreme organization and memory will create a sense of ease as you take on the new life role as a mom. {Let me rephrase that} At this point, you don’t realize that being a mom will be your new role in life, but rather you expect it to be an added responsibility to your current priority list. How wrong you are. Becoming a mom is going to be your role. Your career, workouts and friends will instantaneously become merely added goals you can only pray to fulfill.

Right now you adamantly tell anyone who asks about your detailed travel schedule that it will in no way change once you become a mom. You’re sure that your career will remain the reason your heart beats so rhythmically, and that your jet setting tendencies will continue to create that ever-so-often “skip a beat” we all yearn to feel. You scoff at those that try so deliberately to tell you otherwise, but let me tell you, those people hold wisdom far beyond what you currently grasp.

You don’t doubt that you’re going to love your baby very much, but exactly how much is something you cannot begin to fathom until you hold her that first time in the hospital. That tiny little 7-pound, 2-ounce being is going to jump to first rank and running off to that next business trip is going to make you hesitate. No, it’s going to make you cringe with tears pricking the back of your eyes at the thought. That vision of becoming tired of being home after your 10-week maternity leave is not going to happen, and you are actually going to struggle for months [perhaps years since it is still a struggle as I write this to you] every time you say goodbye to that precious child in the morning to head into the office.

Career aside, your minimum of six days a week at the gym with added 5:30 a.m. summer morning runs before work will fade. Not because you don’t still thrive on exercise, but because that mom role I mentioned earlier? It has become your life. I know you don’t believe this right now, but none of this makes you sad or disappointed.

Throughout your maternity leave you’ll feel excited and motivated to work out in the gym daily. This will be so helpful to get back to your pre-baby weight in just 10 weeks! However, that strict schedule too shall fade. It was easy when you were just leaving your baby for a couple hours in a day, but once you’re away from her for nine hours in the office, stopping at the gym on the way home becomes harder and harder to justify. But don’t worry, you figure it out! You learn that you enjoy crossfit and that it’s something you can do at home. Some days you fit it in when the baby is awake, and others you have to force yourself to do it after she’s gone to bed when the last thing you want to do is anything that doesn’t require sitting (yes, believe it, there are moments that you don’t want to work out). And Husby buys you a jogging stroller for evening runs!

Oh and that sitting thing? You won’t really do much of that anymore. Nope, not even for those sacred spa nights you make sure to give yourself routinely right now. Your fingernails will only get filed roughly once a month, and that weekly deep conditioning treatment will become closer to monthly. Long showers will only happen when Husby is around, and even then it will take you almost eight months to finally relax enough to enjoy that alone time. But don’t worry, the natural matte finish of your nails will provoke multiple internal smiles throughout your days away from home as they remind you of all the hot soapy water your hands are regularly submerged in from washing bottles and pumping equipment. Even the strongest nail polish couldn’t sustain that kind of abuse.

Last but not least, hold on tight because your husband is about to get really busy at work. He’s going to take on a full time job in addition to his thriving studio (that was just nominated for Studio of the Year in addition to his Producer of the Year nomination for the Wisconsin Area Music Awards!). Some days you only see each other for long enough to say hi in passing, and if you’re lucky you get to spend Sundays together as a family. Rest easy, kid. You two are strong enough to make it through that trying time and are still more in love than ever. But it’s hard. Every day is hard. But it’s a happy hard if that makes any sense. Because together you are raising a beautiful little girl and you are becoming responsible adults to raise her well.

I know reading this it all sounds a little {ok, A LOT} overwhelming; and at times it is. But let me tell you, you never regret this choice for even one second. You love being a mom more than you have ever loved anything in your life (yep, even more than French fries!). That little girl of yours teaches you new things about yourself every single day. She teaches you that you are stronger than you ever thought you could be, and that you are—in fact—breakable. And that teaches you that you have an outstanding husband to lean on. Your little girl makes you smile incessantly, and she’s so.darn.funny the older she gets. Her love for you is unconditional, despite the many mistakes you make as you stumble through this thing called motherhood. She never holds it against you.

All in all, being a mom isn’t what you currently think it is. It’s so.much.better. I can’t wait for you to see the view from over here.


The Current, Sleep-Deprived, Happier-Than-Ever-Before Mom Self

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