Dear 19 Year Old Monica,
This is your 34 year old self to tell you a few things about life. Listen closely now, I have lived 15 years longer than you so I know what I’m talking about.
You know that guy you’re about to dump? The one you started a long distance relationship with as you were leaving to go back to school and then began to rethink what you were doing after Grandma died? Yeah, you’re going to end up married to that man and have four children with him. I know shocker, but he wins you over again and it all starts with a note he leaves in your pocket just before you leave to go back to school after Christmas break. Make sure you check those coat pockets before you wash your winter coat.
Oh, those four kids you have? Yes, they are all yours. I know you said you’d have two of your own and adopt two, but that didn’t happen. You also ended up with 3 girls and 1 boy instead of 2 and 2. They are pretty amazing too.
Here’s a little tip, don’t be in such a hurry to see those kids get to the next stage. It’s not necessarily better than the last and it will all be over before you know it. So cherish every moment from the sleepless nights, to the potty training, to the temper tantrums, and the mood swings.
Are you ready for this one? You will be the mini van driving mom, with the kid who plays soccer, selling girl scout cookies, and you’ll have been the PTA president. Watch out for that PTA though. It sucks you in and has a way of getting you in trouble. Kind of hard sometimes to express your opinion on things when you have to be a public representative of your child’s school. So be weary of what you say about things having to do with the school and be careful who you befriend through the PTA. Most will be great, but some not so much.
Oh and get this, you can cook! You actually inherited Mom’s baking abilities too. You really do become a little Suzy Homemaker baking cakes from scratch and chocolate chip cookies for the kids. You even plan a pretty mean birthday party.
Up until now the greatest loss you have experienced is Grandma. That was hard enough on you, but be prepared to lose a child. You won’t see it at the time, but it will change you for the better over time. You’ll have a better understanding of just how precious life truly is and what it’s like to pull yourself up and go on for the children. You will get through it and come out stronger for it.
You know how things like breastfeeding and cloth diapers seemed so 19th century to you? Well, you will find yourself really enjoying those aspects of motherhood.
You will have to get over your please everyone all the time mentality. It’s just impossible to do. You’ll see, no one is ever happy with you so do what makes you happy. And do it well. The ones who matter the most (your husband and children) will thank you for it.
Basically what all of this boils down to is keep an open mind. Don’t be so sure you’re always right about everything, because you just might find that what’s right for you now isn’t right for you later.
Revel in the fact that you are living the life you have always wanted to have. You are a stay at home mom with four kids. You are happily married. It’s a good life. Let what will happen happen.
Your 34 year old self