Dear Me: A Letter From a Seasoned Mom of Four to the New Mom I Used To Be

Dear Me,

Oh my gosh, you are gorgeous! I know you think that postpartum stomach bulge is unsightly, but please go buy an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini (color and pattern up to you, but I say embrace that leopard-print penchant now before anyone can make cougar jokes about you) and wear it every day no matter the weather because you are no longer two-piece swimsuit material in 12 years and 3 more babies. Trust me on this one. Also, I’m sorry. I really like raw cookie dough. Don’t judge me, ok?

Speaking of judging! You, young lady, need to roll those eyes a little less often and stop being such a sanctimommy. You can’t know another mom’s life until you walk a mile in her beat up Crocs. There’s a reason she is wearing those shoes! And that reason is that she has children literally dripping off of her body. THAT WILL BE YOU SOON, only you will wear Birks (which are every bit as ugly).

You feel like a super awesome smug MOTY because your preshus snowflake has never ingested anything but the purest of breastmilk. Someday, he will be a tween who eats buffalo chicken dip for breakfast and once spent the entire $10 you gave him for a field trip on Mountain Dew. Good for you on those first 12 months of A plus nutrition, but really? IT’S A DROP IN THE BUCKET. Your third kid? GMO could be his middle name. And would have been his middle name probably if he had been number 4 because it is REALLY HARD to come up with that many names for boys when you have been curating a girl name list since 3rd grade.

About that. You WILL have the daughter you have always wanted. She WILL NOT let you do her hair, and you are going to have to be OK with that. Also, she got your dance talent, you, the girl who once took down an entire small-town beauty pageant kick line, so that’s something she’ll have to deal with.

Your husband? That guy who thinks he might drop the baby and cried before his first business trip as a father? He is going to be the kind of dad you thought only existed in sitcoms written by feminists. He does housework and kid work, will be president of the PTO, coaches all of the sportsball, knows when you are going to lose your stuff without a morning to sleep in, and actually likes to make dinner. I know things are a little rough right now with the not sleeping and the hormones and the being worried you can’t afford to actually have a baby (you can’t—no one can—it doesn’t matter), but you guys are going to make it, and he’s going to age better than you, which is really infuriating, I know.

I know you think it’s hard right now to go to the grocery store and write your dissertation and understand where to put both the laundry detergent and the baby seat in the Target cart. But, trust me, you are going to figure it out. By the time you have your fourth, you will be a baby-wearing pro who can watch your oldest play sports, help the middle with homework and entertain and infant and a toddler all at the same time. It’s amazing. Also, you drink too much wine.

In 12 years, your kids will all be kids—sound sleepers, bathroom independent, good company, able to leave you alone for hours at a time—you know, all of the things you are dreaming about them being. Poor you, who has been wearing that same sour milk shirt for three days and appears to have some sort of French braid in those greasy bangs. A bang braid? Good lord, was that on purpose? You won’t believe me now, but you will miss these sweet, quiet days. You on the couch with that damp, fragrant baby asleep on your chest, nothing to do but guzzle water from a straw, read Twilight, (it will be a series, so get excited, and if you read them on your iPad, no one has to know), watch Lost on your DVR (such a disappointment—THEY’RE DEAD and the polar bears mean nothing), and smell that perfect baby smell.

Buckle up because these next 12 years are going to be the absolute best. Also the absolute worst, sometimes simultaneously. And I mean it about that bikini.

XoXo,

Me

Sarah Jedd
Sarah Jedd has a Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches and studies the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood. Sarah has 4 children between 14 and 7, three boys and an oh-look-you-finally-got-your girl (why does everyone say that?). In her spare time (ha! as if!) she is writing a memoir, and she blogs at harrytimes.blogspot.com. Find her oversharing on Instagram @sarahjedd. Sarah and her husband and their kids and world’s laziest dog live in Verona.

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