Dear Pre-Mom Self:
Sleep. Whenever you can and however you can. Whether you’re sitting at a red light or waiting in line at McDonald’s drive thru… I don’t care… just. do. it. When interacting with others, remember to use your blinks to your advantage and make them as long as you can. Because your eyes are still technically open, they’ll feel you’re listening and you’ll be getting a little bit of rest at the same time… I call that a win for everyone. I can tell by the smirk on your face that you think you’ll totally be able to handle those sleepless nights with a newborn, but trust me… you totally will not. You’ll be reduced to a crazy, emotional, mood-swingin’ mess and you’ll convince yourself that you will never sleep again… and you’ll be absolutely right. Do you hear me? You will never sleep again. So once more, I repeat… sleep, whenever you can and however you can. Trust me on this one.
Eat whatever you want, whenever you want and I even give you permission to stop working out. Why bother? No matter what you do before the baby comes, you’ll gain fifty pounds after the baby comes that will be stuck to you like white on rice and you’ll realize you were destined to be a member of Team Thunder Thighs for all of eternity. Which also reminds me: Rock those cute, little dresses and skinny jeans now because if by some act of God you’re actually able to fit into them again, they’re probably going to be covered in spit up, drool or other bodily fluids… and possibly all three at the same time.
Enjoy your food now and savor every bite because pretty soon you’ll be eating ice-cold meatloaf for dinner and that dinner will be eaten at 11 o’clock at night. Tell hubby to enjoy all the home-cooked meals while he can because the day is coming when your meal plan will exist of spaghetti four nights a week and the other three nights you’ll be serving a little bit of ‘fend for yourself.’ Enjoy your nice, quiet dinners together and make sure you make it a point to initiate deep, meaningful conversations with one another. Eventually your dinners will consist of you trying to entertain the baby and hubby trying to keep little Jimmy from sticking peas up his nose, all while scarfing down your own food like you’re competing in one of Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contests (and FYI, if you haven’t been forced to watch one of these contests yet… trust me, you will).
Sign up for Netflix this very second and watch every movie or TV show you think you might even possibly be interested in. Soon you’ll be watching nothing but reruns of Paw Patrol and Bob the Builder. There will be exactly three times you will be able to ‘watch’ a movie that has real, human people in it and the first time, your two hour movie will end up turning into five because the baby won’t be able to sleep more than five minutes at a time. The other two times you’ll be so tired that you’ll fall asleep forty-five seconds into the movie.
Stand in the middle of your living room and look all around you. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember this moment. Your house will never, ever, ever be this clean again. For the rest of your life, you’ll be finding Cheerios stuck in the couch cushions and macaroni noodles smashed into your pretty, little rug. Your bed will never stay made, your windows will always be smudged and the amount of laundry in your baskets will make you wonder where the other sixteen people are who live in your house. I only have one thing to say to you about all of this: let.it.go.
Oh, one more thing… go ahead and buy a turtle and train it to pick up toys that have been scattered all over the family room floor. Not only is this a great patience-building exercise, but it will begin to prepare you for what it will be like when you ask your toddler to clean up his messes. Another great exercise? Stand in front of the mirror and repeat the phrase ‘clean up your toys’ at least 873 times a day. I know it seems extreme, but you need to be a master in the art of repetition to survive.
Lastly… relax. Smile and think about how perfect everything seems right now. Then get ready, because life is about to get a million times better. The best is yet to come.
Your extra-large, out-of-style, exhausted future self