Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Letter to One-Year-Ago Me

Dear Me,

There are so many things I want to tell you and I don't know where to start.  First of all, you look tired.  I know...I know you HATE hearing that and it's the biggest insult ever, but let's be honest....

You're tired and you've sick of being tired and I know that.  I was there.  It's probably one of the most miserable feelings ever, next to complete loneliness.  (at least to you...and me too)  Being so tired that you feel like you have no thoughts of your own.  I know you're so tired that even your own body won't let you sleep.  It's're too tired to sleep.  You lay awake, waiting for the baby to wake up, knowing it could be 10 minutes or 2 hours, and you just can't settle down.  Bless you.

But let me tell you...I am living proof that you will eventually  not feel quite so tired.  In fact, you'll get your energy back and then some.  Even better news, your little boy that never seems to sleep at the right time of the day...he WILL figure it out.  He does a pretty dang good job at figuring things out.  He's SO smart.  You should see him.  Yesterday, he took his first real steps.  But I'm jumping ahead a bit....Let's go back a little.

Now that you've been told you'll get sleep eventually I suspect you're feeling relieved.  I hope you can understand, or at least try to understand, that absolutely nothing about the situation you are in right now is permanent.  And that is exactly what makes it so amazing.  It's so fleeting and so precious that even though you don't want to soak it all up right now and you feel like you want to pull your hair out because you're an emotional basket-case 24/7, eventually it'll sink in.  You'll learn to love it and you'll take it all in stride because it's your life now.

Going back to work won't be as hard as you think it will be.  You'll be ready for a routine.  Little Man will do great.  He loves his Granny and she does an excellent job taking care of him.  You won't worry about him while you're at work.  In fact, you'll be too busy teaching to worry.  Sure, you'll send text messages now and then to check on him.  You might even ask for a picture or 2 just because you'll miss him.  And then you'll look forward to getting home each evening to see his little face.

The first few months of being back at work will be a little tough though.  You'll be tired and want to relax.  The baby will be grouchy and in need of an evening nap, but he'll be difficult to settle.  You and Shane will need to figure out a little routine.  And you will.  You guys are such a great team.  He really is the best, isn't he?  And eventually, Ellis won't need that evening nap anymore and he'll be content to stay up and play until bedtime.....

Bedtime, you ask?  Yes....there will be a bedtime.  And it will be consistent and it will happen ALMOST every single night.  You'll put him in his little crib, turn on his noisemaker, close the door, and that'll be it until morning.  Hard to believe, I know....But I'm telling you it's true.  You'll get to relax with your husband, watch TV, have adult conversation, drink wine, read a magazine, go to bed early, or stay up late, whatever you want to do!  For a few months, perhaps between 3-6 months, you might have to go comfort him a time or two in the evening.  After all, he's busy growing and changing and that can cause some sleeping troubles.  But you won't mind it.  It won't make you too tired and it won't get you down.  In fact, nothing can get you down now that you've finally gotten the hang of this whole Mom thing.  You're rocking it now, you will keep rocking it, and eventually it won't even seem like you're trying anymore.  It'll just happen naturally!  So, try to wipe those tears as best you can, smile, and remember....there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

More about Ellis.....Not to spoil anything for you, but seriously, he's an amazing little guy.  Right now he's so super tiny and fragile.  He'll stay little for some time.  But by about 5 months old, suddenly that boy will start filling out.  Oh...and unfortunately you'll need to keep bibs and extra clothes in stock because the spitting up won't stop for about another 8-9 months.  The boy is just a fountain.  But don't's nothing you're doing wrong.  He's healthy.  Just strap a burp rag to him and to you and you'll be fine.  Maybe layer his bibs too....

He'll try to crawl for awhile.  He's definitely a little fighter and stays busy!  Don't rush him.  It'll happen when it's supposed to.  I won't tell you when...especially since I already spoiled the walking thing for you.  Either way though, it'll be special and exciting and you'll want to share the moment with all your friends and family.  The best part about it is Shane will be with you for both moments.  Talk about priceless memories!  

Last but not least, I want to tell you about you....You're in a really dark place right now and I totally get it.  I was there.  But other people won't and don't get it.  And you absolutely cannot let that get to you.  Just take it one day at a time and don't let the opinions of others make you feel lower or like you aren't a good mom.  You are a good mom.  You just need a little boost.  And that's okay.

You also need to know that you are pretty special too.  Your husband knows you're a good mom and he will tell you that a lot.  You won't really listen or believe him, but he means it.  He still says it all the time even now.  And now things are completely different than they were a year ago.  So take heart....Things will get better.  Things will get great actually.  And you'll be happy.

Hug your baby tight.  Hold him and cuddle him.  Enjoy the moments.  Try not to get discouraged when he cries.  It's all a phase.  Nothing is forever.  And soon, he won't be little anymore and you'll be chasing him around like I was doing today.  As best you can, try to live each moment with the knowledge that there's going to be a "last time" for every single interaction you have with him.  He'll be grown and gone in the blink of an eye.

So give that boy a kiss.  And chin up.  You can do it!


A Year-Later-Me