In another life, I wasn't a mom. I was just me. I had a fun and uber stressful job as a news anchor and reporter on the radio. I woke up late and went to bed late. I made plans for the weekend and even looked forward to it. I took trips. I also thought being an adult was tough.
You know that old adage, hindsight is 20/20. Well, I look back now and wish I had seen that all the trials and tribulations I endured in the workplace and in life were preparing me for my role of a lifetime.
If I could visit my pre-mommy self now, I'd have a lot of advice to impart. The old me probably wouldn't want to listen, but I'd talk at myself any way. Here's what I'd tell my past self about the future:
1. GET READY FOR A NEW KIND OF LOVE
You think you know what love is, but you have no idea. You surely love your dog, but the love you will feel for your child is indescribable. Because that love is so strong, you will also feel that much pain. When your child is sick, you will wish it was you who were sick. The emotions you will experience as a mother are far more significant than anything you think is important now. A boyfriend dumps you? Yeah, that sucks. Lose your job? That's pretty terrible. But your child gets hurt? That trumps all. So just know, whatever you're feeling before being a mom, it's probably -- in the grand scheme of things -- not that bad.
2. YOUR BODY IS AMAZING
You can't begin to fathom what your body is capable of. Sure, you've seen your mother pregnant and had plenty of friends who've had babies. But it won't be until you give birth yourself that you'll truly comprehend the complete magic that is nature. Tiny cells that are barely visible under a microscope become a tiny human being. And you'll grow that inside you. Then when that little baby is hungry, you will nourish it. From your breasts. Your body will make just the right combination of nutrients and through breastfeeding, your child with grow and thrive. It's seriously miraculous.
3. (WO)MAN PLANS, GOD LAUGHS
Anything you ever believed about being able to plan, you should just stop now. Once you have children, you can make grand decisions but you should know, they may not come to pass. You can RSVP to attend an event, for example, and your child will be sick or uncooperative or anything else you could possibly imagine and you'll either have to leave early or forfeit going altogether. You're also going to plan to have a baby in a non-election year so that your colleagues in the newsroom won't be down a reporter, then you're going to get laid off at 5 months pregnant. How's that for irony?
4. DON'T LET YOUR SELF WORTH BE TIED TO YOUR JOB TITLE
Your job defines you. Yes, you're extremely guilty of this one. You think that if you don't have a profession, you're not worth much. Let me tell you, being someone's mom is the toughest gig in the world. Sometimes it's very rewarding. Other times, you feel like you're banging your head against a wall. If you have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom, you should feel grateful. Sure, it's taxing as all hell, but at least you get to be the one to watch baby roll over for the first time. It's unfortunate that the U.S. doesn't make maternity leave an important agenda, when clearly it is. So if you get to be on call with baby 24/7 as a SAHM, that's a job you should feel proud and thankful to have.
5. MISTAKES ARE BOUND TO HAPPEN
You're going to make mistakes. You can't be perfect all the time. You're going to forget to do tummy time. You're probably going to have a drink a little closer to breastfeeding time than you meant to. You're going to feel so helpless when your baby cries uncontrollably. There will be times when you put her in the crib screaming and you walk away just to maintain your sanity. You may keep a diaper on her longer than you normally like because you've run out and Amazon hasn't delivered the new package yet.
6. TRUST YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITIES
Remember that it's all going to be okay. You just keep doing your very best for baby. Keep her as healthy and happy as you can and try not to sweat the small stuff. You're a strong woman and you can do this parenting thing!