By Carrie Kerpen
Dear Future Moms,
I know Mother's Day is all about celebrating moms. And as a mom, I appreciate it. But I also remember being a young woman who didn't yet have kids—and I remember being totally excited, scared, and overwhelmed by the thought of having kids. And so, this letter is for you. Print it out, fold it up, and put it in your pocket. Read it right around the time your first baby turns eight months old—since before that time, you're basically in a total fog getting used to this whole thing. (See? That's tip number one....know that you'll be in a total fog, don't stress about it, and just accept it! We all get it.)
Here are some tips for moms to remember. And you'll probably remember them better now, since you haven't had a baby yet—so you can still remember things with ease! Put this in your long-term memory bank, k?
After you have your baby, you might question yourself. A lot. Just remember: You will do this for the rest of your time as a parent. And so will everyone else. Remember there's not a single one of us who feels that we're getting it right all of the time.
Now that you're a mom, you will worry. A lot. You will stare at a baby monitor, or you'll wonder incessantly if that nail you clipped a little too close is infected, or you'll worry that your child hasn't eaten or slept or moved enough. Remember this: Worry is a misuse of the imagination. Every second you spend worrying about your children is time taken away from enjoying them.
I talk a lot about the highlight reel in social media. You know, when you're staring at everyone's posts thinking how fabulous they are, and you're feeling like you just don't measure up? The concept of the highlight reel is that you're only looking at the highlights of someone's life, while you're living your own everyday ups and downs. When you're a parent, it's even worse. The mom you're staring at thinking that she's supermom? Chances are she's staring right back at you thinking the exact same thing and wondering why she can't be more like you. Know that. You are good enough.
Lastly, don't forget to take some human adult time for yourself. You can't imagine this now, because you haven't yet been thrust into parenthood. Once you are, the world shifts, and fast, and it's good to reclaim some semblance of your former self by making time for you. Just you. Not you and your partner. Not you and your friends. Those are all good too. But make some time for JUST YOU. You'll thank me later.
Good luck. All I can say is, it's totally, totally worth it.