Dear 2013 Andrea,
I have been thinking about you a lot lately. The hope and drive you had for motherhood. Getting pregnant was trickier than you hoped, so you were sure that this whole mom thing was going to be the easy part. It isn’t.
Life does not get better from here.
It doesn’t get worse either. It just gets different.
You will trade those late night feedings for a small sweaty body crawling between you and your husband. You will trade those colicky hours for tantrums in the produce section. You will trade dirty diapers for emergency potty stops in the middle of nowhere, Iowa.
You will give up a lot. You will see your friends less. You will completely lose your tolerance for alcohol. You will never watch a movie from start to end without anyone needing a snack or crying from their crib. You will not have more money or a cleaner house. You will never go to the bathroom alone again. You will never stop worrying.
But wait, I told you…it doesn’t get worse, just different. You will trade sleepy baby cuddles for hand holding in the park. You will trade coos for “I love you.” You will trade quiet for giggles. You will trade praying over to praying with. You will trade couple for family.
You will learn so much. You will understand love in a way I cannot prepare you for. No one can. You will hurt from the way you love your child. You will laugh so often. You will find purpose and drive in your children. You will choose happiness. You will learn about faith and friendship from them. And you will follow their lead. You will realize you don’t care if you are raising lawyers or doctors, you want to raise kind children.
Kind children become kind adults. You know this. And this will push you to be kinder. This will push you to try harder. Because you know they are watching. And when they see you speak hurtful words and do angry things, they will do those same things. Nothing will hurt more than seeing your children imitate your ugliest moments. I hate to tell you this will happen, but it will. Learn from it.
You are going to hear people tell you the first few months of being a mom is the best part. This isn’t true. It is all good. Life will not get better. Life will not get worse. But it will change. It will change because they will change you. Follow their lead. It is a beautiful ride.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful moms out there. Hold on to those perfect moments, but know that more are coming. They won’t be better or worse, they will just be different.