Do Not Open Until Mother’s Day 2017

Two weekends ago, I found myself alone in the house for 48 hours. I had a clear calendar, a little bit of work to do, and no social obligations. After 18 days of straight work, alone time was exactly what this introvert needed.

As Winnie and I slept in and spent the afternoon snuggling in the sun, I realized these days are (literally) numbered. While I can’t speak for those who recharge by socializing, the prospect of always being surrounded by someone (little or big) for the foreseeable future is a concept I have a hard time visualizing. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe low expectations for what my life looks like as a mother helps me release my inherent need to control the future, and leaves me more room to be delighted by the transition.

Because I can’t possibly begin to imagine what the next year of my life will look like, I wrote a letter to my mysterious future self. A letter of encouragement, love and one filled with so. many. questions.

Perhaps this note will strike a chord with new moms who are celebrating their first anniversary in their new skin. I hope so.

Happy Mother’s Day, future self.

You made it! You’re now just 9 months into the most important job you’ve ever had. Are you getting on well with “The Boss?” Is he still keeping everyone up with those late night demands? I hope there are as many smiles and giggles as there are cries and wails. I hear the first three months (or is it year?) are a real doozy. Either way, my hope is that you, Joe, Winnie and The Boss are bonding. I bet your heart is bigger than you ever thought possible.

Now… a couple questions:

Did he grow out of that Patagonia jacket you got him last winter before you learned newborns often don’t fit into newborn clothes? Are his hands and feet as big as the ultrasound tech said they would be? Does he look anything like his ultrasounds? Because if he does, that is one cute looking gummy bear.

How is Joe? I can’t imagine you going through this with a better partner. What have you learned about marriage this year? Are you still finding time for just the two of you? What’s changed? What is different?

What about work? Have your priorities changed at all? We set a lot of goals in 2016… how did they come to fruition? Are you still imagining a similar future for Wit & Delight that we shared last year? Are you more efficient or less? What is it like balancing your role as a mother and a business owner? Is “having it all” really just mean deciding what you want and keeping your expectations realistic?

How much do you miss sleeping in? Because I know that sleeping in is pretty much your most favorite guilty pleasure of all time. What about your alone time? How are you coping with The Boss and his demands? Do they even seem like demands?

How’s your head? If you’re not sleeping as often, how are you managing your ADHD? Are you finding time to exercise? I don’t ask to pry or make you feel guilty about what you are or are not doing. Just hoping you’re doing all you can to make sure you’re brain is as healthy as it can be during what I imagine to be a trying time, both mentally and physically.

How about your relationships? Have you made new friends or strengthened any bonds with the ones you currently have? Have you retired your armor of independence and embraced your soft spots at all? Have you asked for help when you need it?

Have you stayed vulnerable? Have you found new ways to open up to yourself and others? Has it been rewarding? Do you maybe need to do that more?

How full is your heart? Does it feel like it could burst?

If you had anything to say to me, the pregnant version of you, all jittery with questions, what would you tell me about the future?

I’m waiting on bated breath.

Kate

  • This is beautiful, Kate. I love your openness going into motherhood, it seems like the best way to approach it. (No children here, or even soon, but I do love reading about others’ perspectives, and yours is a good one.) Especially love the part where you check in on yourself and your mental health, it’s so important for moms to take care of themselves, too.

  • Thank you for sharing this! I’m celebrating my first Mother’s Day this weekend and reading this takes me right back to feeling those nerves and jitters. I’m also balancing my business and a babe and after 9 months all I can say is get really comfortable delegating (you can’t do it all, but you can still get it all done) and get really comfortable sharing the parenting so you can go full introvert when you need to. My husband and I take turns taking a few hours or a day or a weekend away, totally guilt-free, which we both need to recharge and stay ourselves. This winter I actually rented a house in the middle of nowhere for a weekend retreat alone. I ate cheese and drank wine and did business planning for the year and it was glorious! Definitely becoming a new annual tradition for me and I would highly recommend it to anyone, baby or not 🙂 Anyway, don’t stress, it’s a wild ride but somehow we all figure out how to make it work for us. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Hi Carolyn- thank you for sharing. So glad to hear you’ve found a way to give yourself what you need from a professional and personal standpoint. And it sounds like you’ve strengthened your relationships by doing so. Well done and keep up the great perspective!! I really appreciate it.

  • This is such a sweet way to envision the next year of your life. I imagine there are countless unknowns and (being a Type A myself) I get that’s a struggle. But you’re a total rockstar and that baby is one lucky dude. Happy (almost there) Mother’s Day!

    xx, leslie
    http://www.onebrassfox.com

  • What no one tells you is about is a secret tool that breaks out the moment you hear, see and hold your baby for the first time. Everyone says you’ll love your baby — you know you’ll love your baby — but I swear I felt a new chamber in my heart burst open with the Mommy Love Super Concentrate Elixir (it also comes in a plaster, ointment or balm!) that allows you to do, handle, conquer amazing feats. You’ll also receive (Gift With Purchase) Mommy Radar which allows you to foresee danger, look deep into the future and develop an intuitive sense of what’s the right thing to do. And as wonderful as Joe (and father’s everywhere) is, he’ll only receive the Travel-size pack.

  • You have so much more insight than I had (or perhaps even still am yet to have?!) about your future life and self as a mother: he sure is going to be one lucky little Boss. At the root of what is always referred to in our household – and amongst a small gang of kindred mothers I’ve been fortunate to find – is the s*** no-one tells you about parenthood. And that it is probably equal parts good to bad; not all of us get that blinding, pristine rush of love the minute our babes arrive, but it’s okay, it comes and creeps up on you and sits there, a crown on your heart; the first six months realistically are yucky, but mother nature isn’t entirely unkind and most babies are sleeping for long stretches by circa 7/8 months – just as we’re beginning to feel and resemble extras from the Walking Dead. You’re so right about the clothing size ruse, too; dreamt up I expect by cunning clothing brands to get us to stock up in multiple sizes (guilty).

    The introvert bit is a tougher nut to crack yet, but I’ve found motherhood has gifted me clear-sightedness and a sense of purpose you grab onto with both hands whenever you get the chance. It just makes all the important facets, joys and goals of life all the more so. XX

  • This is such a sweet idea! It’s a really good practice to regularly use free time to do something creative like this that holds meaning. It’s a goal of mine to do things like this more often.
    Likely By Sea

  • Congrats to you all!! Your insight into future observations & reminders of goals will be a great reflective piece next year!! PS – Please buy a Boss aka Springsteen t- shirt for this little and have him rock it!! Love his nickname so much!! xx