I am happy to be helping out with the blog tour for the Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness 2nd Edition book launch tour.
Dawn Dune of the W.T.F words thoughts feelings blog is our guest blogger today, and she is sharing her heartfelt take on living in the moment, despite being so dang tired.
photo credit: Krisztina.Konczos / Foter / CC BY-SA
Dear Younger, Tired, Maternal Self,
You rolled your eyes and said, “I know, I know,” when a mother of teenagers said “Enjoy them while they’re small.” You had no idea. You had no idea how fast the time would go and how soon you would be wishing your babies still craved to be under your feet, on your lap, or in your arms.
Your days are full of attention seeking antics and answering a four-year-old’s questions that you forgot you weren’t born knowing. You smell the baby’s butt and sigh in frustration at changing a third poopy diaper before 3 p. m. You can’t fathom how a little guy that barely eats anything can poop four times in a day. You can’t wait for him to not need you on such a basic level. You can’t imagine a day when your children see you as a person instead of a lifeline.
You’re so tired. Little man’s sporadic sleeping habits lead him to your bed every night. You dream of a night’s sleep that isn’t as broken as your body feels, after being kicked and hit all night by little feet and a precious noggin. You wake up to baby boy screeching “Momma, MOM-ma, MOMMA!” and your full-of-energy little girl barrels into your bed, ready to plan out the day. You just want coffee and a morning that moves at a slow, quiet pace.
You look at the walls with discontent, walls that shelter your young family. You wish you could figure out a way to afford a home with decor and more space. You’re frustrated with unfinished projects. You dream of a home with enough bed rooms, updated appliances, less creaky floors, and maybe, just maybe, one room with a closet.
This letter is to assure you this is temporary. A day much sooner than you think will come and you will get to be you again. You’ll have cocktails with friends. Sleep until 8 a.m., have many uninterrupted conversations, and go and come as you please.
That time will come with a change of heart; a heart that will crave the sound of your kids belly laughs; a heart that will want to tell your daughter she can’t sleep over at a friend’s house, because you want to spend time with her. But you’ll let her go anyway, knowing that’s where she would rather be.
Hang in there Momma. Put the broom down. Hands covered in finger paint are more valuable than clean feet. Put technology down. Connect with the little bodies and minds blooming right in front of you. Your influence will only be absorbed for a short time, and that time is now. Accept the challenges of “I spy with my little eye” and lead singer in a mixing bowl rock band. Such antics will be seen as lame before you know it.
Ten years from now I see earthy-color-schemed walls surrounding you and furniture that isn’t covered in questionable dark spots. I see dark-oak kitchen cabinets and a custom mosaic back splash to matche new tile floors. I see two bathrooms and three bedrooms, all with closets. It comes with bittersweet timing. The lovely furniture won’t be shared as much as the old, hand-me-down couch. The cabinets will not house musical instruments but plates that will rarely be used altogether, because everyone is so busy. The kids’ new bedrooms will become caves you’ll beg them to come out of once in a while.
You’re doing the best you can to help your children navigate life, on every level. They need you now and they will appreciate you later. Until then, inhale the moments when you’re being beckoned to watch high jumps in the living room. You have a small window of time that soon enough will shut out a need to be needed, that you never knew you had.
Youth is precious–both yours and your beautiful, innocent, and incredibly in-love-with-you babies. Own this time. It’s fleeting.
Older, wiser and still pretty tired self
OK, my dear readers, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment and tell us what you would say to your younger-mom self!
Want to read more stories by sleep-challenged moms, stories that will make you laugh, shed a tear or two, inspire you, and make you feel like you are NOT alone in your sleep-deprived, post-baby world? Be sure to check out Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches!
“From start to finish, this book is a gem. I can’t think of a mother who shouldn’t read it, whether you have a newborn or grown children, you will totally relate to these funny and heartwarming stories. This second edition includes 18 new essays from some amazing authors. Having bought the first Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, I was delighted to read this new edition. One of my favorite quotes from the book: ‘Organic homemade cakes made out of kale and promises.’ This book is funny and then funnier.”—Stephanie Marsh of We Don’t Chew Glass.
Bio: Dawn is a thirty-something wife, momma to two, writer, dreamer, survivor and student of life. She is co-editor of the upcoming anthology Trigger Points: Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting, and her work has been featured on Huff Post Parents, The Indie Chicks, and Scary Mommy. Dawn is also a contributing author to the mom-lit anthology, Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Mom Stories from the Trenches. Dawn can be found on her blog, W.T.F words thoughts feelings, and on Facebook and Twitter.
This post originally appeared at https://tdawneightyone.wordpress.com
25 thoughts on “A Letter To My Younger Self”
My boys are 7 & 10 and I do miss them being so little. It goes by so fast.
It certainly does! My son is ten, goodness!
Yes…yes it does. Mine are 6 and almost 3 now. They are both at points where their personalities are starting to shine and I am really learning who they are as individuals, just in different ways. It’s lovely, terrifying, sad and wonderful all within a five minute time span. 😉 Thanks for reading, Robin.
Wonderful letter and sounds similar to what I would also share with my younger self in a letter if I had the opportunity, as well. Thanks for sharing here with us all today 😉
If we could all read letters to our younger selves it might get us through those tough moments!
Thanks, Janine. I think I need to re-read this on a weekly (if not daily) basis. This motherhood gig is rough! And I think we all need to remind ourselves that we are doing the best we can…and that is all we can ask of ourselves. Thanks for reading.
I loved this post and can completely relate to it. It truly is “temporary” and it’s during those moments that I’ve watched my 54,093 cartwheel or somersault despite all the work I have to do or am cleaning up some various mess that I try to remember this! 🙂
Thanks for commenting, Jessica! Yes, it helps to know it’s not forever!
It’s funny because I never regret putting the broom or phone or dishes down, despite my initial annoyance with it at first. My time with the babes is so much more valuable then my time cleaning and going through the motions of life. It’s just not always easy to live in the moment and remember that, when the tasks of daily life start to overwhelm you. Thanks for reading, Jessica.
My youngest will be 2 in September. I can’t believe how quickly it goes by. I miss when my kiddos were so small, I think about it often. This is such a good idea, and lovely letter.
I love this. It is so true. The days of little feet and needing momma are beginning to fade and I miss them already! I hate how fast time flies.
I love this! I would tell my younger self “to not stress out over every little thing. You are doing a great job and your children love you!”
I agree, I try to always remember this. I have 5 kids and I cannot believe how fast time goes. I try to remember that before I know they will be out of the house so I gladly do what needs to be done even if it means I am tired!
It’s hard to focus when you’re crazy busy and tired. But I do try and cherish these moments with my children now and forever.
Very lovely letter. The message I take away from this is to enjoy the here and now. Things change so quickly, esp when it comes to your kids. They grow up quickly and you realize that when they were young you already had everything you really needed.
My kids are both in their 20s now so I can tell you that time definitely flies. This is a great letter, and I can’t wait to read the book.
Awesome post. I think I would just tell myself to stay calm and all will be as it should.
I can definitely relate to this post. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget about what matters.
My kids are only 3 and 5 and I am already feeling the sadness they are getting older. I would probably tell myself, sorry, you are going to be tired for a very, very long time.
Though I don’t have human kids, having a dog has taught me to cherish every moment – the years fly by and then they are gone.
What a beautiful post. It is so hard to remember this when you’re weary and tired. But the time goes quickly, and every day should be cherished. I make a conscious effort every day to spend quality time with my kids because sometimes, you find yourself swept away by all of the responsibilities that come with being a mom…and lose the experience of mothering.
Thank you for this! 🙂
One thing i would tell my younger self is to listen more , don’t take every thing for granted and be appreciative for the little things in Life. This was a great letter
Very well stated and helpful to young tired parents everywhere! Pinned! Sharing. Thanks so much, Carolyn
Glad you enjoyed it!
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