Dear mama who wishes she could go back to being a single twenty-something

By Liz Stitt

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Sept. 20 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

Being a twenty-something career woman may not be the dream you had in mind for yourself. But your dream might be just as difficult, if not more so. Learn to love where you are, but still reach for your dream.

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Dear Future Mama Liz,

I'm pretty sure one day you'll need this. As you write this, you are thinking about how you're turning 28 this week. Not married yet. Thankfully, your mom didn't get married until she was 28, so you didn't need to worry about, "Man, when my mom was this age, she already had four kids …." No, she was just where you are. Except she was dating someone, but whatever, it fits.

What I want to say to you is: I hope you are loving being a mom.

First of all, you know that your single life was actually awesome. You had super awesome wonderful opportunities. So many friends. So many blessings. And you were happy. And you had fun.

But you also know that when you wrote this, things had been a little bit (lot-a-bit) hard at work. Long hours and really difficult projects to work on. Implementing feedback from high-profile people. So many revisions. So much to do, so much to catch up on, so many people to please. And you were trying to build a career after finishing an MBA.

Sometimes your single life was awesome … and hard.

Remember how your goal ever since you were little was to get a bachelor's degree, go on a mission, get a master's degree, get married to a super awesome guy and have kids? Well, as I write this to you, I might be close to achieving all of those. Maybe. Or maybe not. (And if it is the next life when you get married and have kids, I hope the Internet is eternal and you can read this blog!)

But you know that work and school and your singles ward and your many responsibilities were sometimes tough on you. There were a few days where you came home in tears or even cried while you were at work (thank you, waterproof mascara).

On those days, you just wished that you were living the part of your dream of being a mom. That you were with a bunch of hooligan kiddos at home. That you were living the life of the mommy bloggers! On those days, you yelled to the heavens (have you noticed I do that a lot?), "I will take 45 dirty diapers and burned toast and a child who cries the whole time we are shopping! I will take the kids who dropped all the eggs on the floor. I will even take the kids who say I'm mean. I will take the inadequacies. I will take the feelings of not being enough and I will take the feelings of thinking I am a horrible mother."

And whether or not you are temporarily working full-time because your husband is in school, or part-time to pay the bills, or (cross your fingers) not employed at all (except freelance work because you just really like to edit stuff to death!), you won't even mind being in the cross-fire of the stay-at-home vs. employed mom debate (because, really, there's no way to avoid it. Moms can be so mean to each other!).

But you know it's hard, future Mama Liz. Just last week you watched your nieces and nephew. Little terror nephew unwrapped the wrapping paper roll so many times you could scream (… and maybe you did). The kids squashed many of the pears you were going to can all over the pear box. They opened up the drainpipe access where there are spiders, even though you told them the spiders would kill them! And they did not stay in the garage while you put the car seats in your car and it was raining. They walked through the puddles, of course.

And last week, you watched a friend's kids. While the baby screamed, you tried to make sugar cookies and while the 3-year-old rolled out the dough, flour got everywhere! Once you finished a glorious nine cookies (that's as many as you could handle) you found out the baby was screaming because she had a major blow-out … all the way up her back. And while you tried to clean that up, the other sweetheart wanted to do watercolor painting, which was a feat to keep clean. And you wondered how moms could do that 24/7.

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