Dear Ten-Years-Ago Me,
I’m writing because I have a few things I want to tell you. First of all, you do indeed become a mom. Yay! It’s awesome – all that you imagine, and so much more. It is really hard, but you’ll deal because you will be 100% crazy about your kids. I know you’re not sure if you will be able to handle all it entails, but you can, and you will.
Also, I have some words of wisdom to impart to you. Just some things that I can see clearly now that I’m a few years ahead of you …
1. You should wear a bikini all the time. I’m not joking. OK, maybe not to work, but other than that, wear a bikini. Because you will never, ever look the way you do now. Don’t worry – you and your husband (more on him later) will love your body even more after you carry and deliver three (ha-ha, YUP!) amazing humans, but nevertheless, you really should be showing off that taut, flat belly of yours all the time because it will go away and never come back. It will be fine, but after you have kids, it just won’t be the same. What’s that you say? You’re self-conscious about your butt? I say this out of love – YOU ARE CRAZY!! You look AMAZING!! Seriously, bikini … OK, fine, during the winter go ahead and wear some skin-tight jeans and a sexy tube top, circa 2005. But whatever you do, DO NOT WEAR YOGA PANTS OUTSIDE OF YOGA CLASS. Believe me, there will be plenty of time for that in the future.
2. Sleep. Oh my God, SLEEP. Like, right now. Stop reading this and get in your bed. You’re awake already? Fine, but plan on taking another nap as soon as you’re done with this letter. Oh, you have other things to do? Ha ha! That’s cute – you don’t. You don’t have a single diaper to change, a single colicky baby to soothe, or a single person to feed other than yourself. Trust me, you have all the time in the world. Sleep now, while you can.
3. Stop procrastinating and dilly-dallying. Someday you are going to amaze yourself with all the things you manage to do within 24 hours. There is not nearly enough time in the day to do it all, and yet, you do (the important stuff, anyway). Believe me, nothing keeps you on task at work like a looming daycare pickup time so that you a) avoid the late charge and b) get your arms around those babies of yours that you haven’t seen since the morning.
You know how you spend an entire day off doing laundry (just your own, mind you) and going to the grocery store (to shop for one person…)? And how you keep saying to yourself, “I really need to grade those quizzes…” but you “don’t feel like it” so instead you procrastinate by watching a 5th, 6th, and 7th episode of Sex in the City with your roommate? KNOCK IT OFF AND GET TO WORK!! Channel some of the multi-tasking-momtastic-efficiency that is lying dormant within you, get through that adorable little to-do list of yours, and go do something fun! Go to the beach, or the mall, or Morocco for crying out loud, because you can! When you’re a mom, you are going to plow through your to-do list so you can get to the park, or get upstairs for story time (which, in all honesty, are both pretty great, too), but for now you’ll just have to settle for Morocco.
4. On second thought, skip Morocco. Because you need to start saving for a down payment on a house and college tuition (times three) now.
5. Changed my mind. Go to Morocco. And Vegas. And Sonoma. And Paris, Sardinia, and Peru. You can still travel when you have kids, but … it will be different. So, GO!
6. Babysit for your niece and nephews. When you start having kids and find yourself completely overwhelmed, your siblings (and good friends) who already have kids will be the ones who really “get” what you need, and they’ll step in to give you the extra hand, or few hours to yourself, that you desperately crave. I have such guilt about all the Saturday nights that we did nothing extraordinary when we could have given our brother and sister-in-law a well-deserved night on the town by chilling at home with our nephews watching Toy Story.
7. Go on that second date. Despite all the extra attention that you will get from showing off that hot bod of yours in a bikini, do go out again with that guy you just had dinner with on Monday night. I know, you’re not sure about a second date, but go anyway. I did, and it was the best decision you and I ever made.
You will have a beautiful life with him. Together you will have the greatest kids anyone has ever had. He will bug you at times, but still be grateful for him. Try not to take 5 years to realize that he doesn’t leave plastic cheese stick wrappers on the kitchen counter out of disrespect for you. Though there is no good reason for him to do that, there’s no bad one, either.
When you are annoyed that he didn’t throw his dirty clothes in the hamper that is three feet away, be better than I have been about noticing the other stuff, like the fact that he doesn’t bat an eye when you ask him to go to the basement to put the laundry in the dryer, and that he makes the kids’ lunches every night so you can get to bed earlier, and that when you skip dinner to give the cranky baby a bath, you come down to find a plate waiting for you in the microwave. Seriously – he’s amazing. Appreciate him.
Sometimes I look back on you and envy you for how fun and carefree your life is. I do miss aspects of your life, so please enjoy it, but I remember how frustrating the dating scene is for you, and I appreciate how fortunate I was to find and fall in love with a patient, caring, forgiving partner who became a responsible, involved, loving dad. I also remember how much you want to have kids. I do my best to look past the toddler tantrums and sleepless nights and treasure the family that we end up with. Let me tell you – we are very lucky.
So, that’s all for now. Take good care of yourself, and have fun Saturday night on your second date. Speaking of – let me save you the time it will take you to try on 16 different outfits. Just go with the black top and jeans. You know, the first outfit you’re considering. For every date after that? You know the answer … Bikini. Always bikini.
With lots of love