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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

But when you watched the nieces and nephew, they also helped you can those pears so sweetly and were so proud of their work. They told you that they loved you. They asked for more stories at bedtime and cuddled up so close there was no breathing room. They let you sing to them and asked for you to come play again.

When you watched the other kiddos, you rocked that little baby with her bottle until she calmed down. And as you read books to the other sweetheart, she fell asleep on the couch.

Yes, dear future Mama Liz, you will need this someday. I bet someday you'll wish to take back everything stressful at work and a life where the kids you had to worry about were only loaned to you for 4-6 hours. Where you could actually get your laundry done in two loads every two weeks. Where you could go to work and come home and do what you wanted to do. And go to your activities and to your classes and live your life. Where you came home after a hard day at work and talked about your needs.

But future Mama Liz, it might have been fun, but what are you doing today?

When you wrote this, yes, work was stressful, but I'm pretty sure I know what you're doing right now, future Mama Liz. You have a passel of kids with six piano lessons, three soccer games, a ballet recital and track meet all in one week. Not to mention the book reports and the science fair projects they just told you about.

And the toddler just cut her hair and the Ensign magazine with the scissors you left out because you were sewing a Halloween costume (ruined hair and ruined fabric scissors! Not to mention you hadn't read the Ensign yet that month). And you are supposed to teach in Relief Society that week, but your kindergartener came home with a cold and dad is out of town on a business trip.

Well future Mama Liz, just remember that's what you dreamed of. It was never a nightmare, always a dream. You knew it would be hard, but you knew it would be awesome, too! Remember the little baby who screamed until you rocked her? That will be worth more to you — and to her — than anything else. The little nephew who drew with crayons on the linoleum? Well, that cleaned up, and then you watched him laugh so hard while you made silly faces. And laughed with him. And remember when the nieces hugged you so tight and asked if you could stay forever? Precious, that is what it is. And love. And innocence.

So take your life with an extra dose of courage today. It was great when you didn't have kids and it was hard when you didn't have kids. It is great that you do have kids and it is hard that you do have kids. But I think you might be just a little bit happier with those sticky handprints on the wall. And if you can't handle it, just call up a 28-year-old working gal and let her watch your kids for a bit. She just might need that this week.

Love,

Me

P.S. You should probably call your mom and tell her thanks for letting you live past your terrible twos.

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