Monday, September 17, 2012

my future self writes a letter

Last week I wrote a letter from my present self to my teenage self, along with many others that linked up with Emily.  I found myself thinking, as I was reading the letters by other ladies, that some of their advice to their teenage-selves was applicable today. What would it be like if future-me could come encourage present tired-mommy-me? Sometimes you have to be the one to tell yourself the things you need to hear. Today was that day.

Dear Amanda2012,

I see you.

You are the one wearing jeans smeared with peanut butter and a t-shirt with slobber marks, You washed your hair yesterday, and you shaved your legs last week. You are counting the minutes till bedtime because Bubby didn't nap today. You're putting both boys to bed early because that is as close to a vacation is you are going to get for awhile.  I see you, sweet mama. 

Some days you find yourself thinking that life was supposed to be different. Easier, probably, because you've done a, b and c, and therefore x, y, and z should follow.  You are wondering how you can carry a twenty-seven pound child around throughout the day and still be at your heaviest. You are dealing with the perfect storm of Bugaboo's molars coming in, and Bubby deciding this will be the week he boycotts pee-peeing in the potty. The Hubs started nursing school, and he is still counseling wherever it fits.

I see you.

Even though I am you several years down the road, I can't tell you how it will all work out. I can't tell you when Bugaboo will start walking or talking. I can't tell you when Bubby will stop holding his poop until bedtime. I can't even tell you when you'll finally get out of the house you never thought you'd be living in for seven years.  Every single situation in life you are questioning right now, big or small, is building your faith. I know you don't want to hear that, but it's true. Instead I will come alongside you and tell you this.

You love those boys like nobody else could. Keep it up. It matters. Every sacrifice, every silly moment, every song matters because what they need to know about life and God, themselves and the world they are learning from you and The Hubs. Yes, even now. Especially now.  Treasure the moments as much as you can.

Some days are hard, so give yourself (and them) some grace with the times you'd rather not treasure.  Your boys won't always want to snuggle on the couch with you and their sippy cups first thing in the morning. They will get owies that don't go away with a kiss and a prayer.  They won't always want to "help" you with the laundry or the sweeping. They will get bigger faster than you ever think that they will.

Store in your heart the way Bugaboo grabs your mouth, the way he loves to be zubba-ed, the way he takes awkward steps behind the push toy, the way he claps to music, and the way he lights up when big brother walks in the room.  Make sure to tuck away the way Bubby dances with his little guitar, the way he calls out, "S-T-O-P- STOP!" at intersections, the way he calls his stuffed animals his babies, the way he holds your hand after preschool, and the way he comes up with the funniest and most random things to talk about. (For instance, today's topic was Disneyland.)  Find a way to record their laughs every month because that is the sound you will miss most. Big, innocent belly laughs from both of your boys.

You are not a perfect mother, but you are perfect for them. There will come a day when you are not the same kind of tired that you are currently.  Honestly, that day is not coming anytime soon.  Until then remember, you are not a perfect mother. They do not expect you to be. The Hubs doesn't expect you to be. So stop putting such stress on yourself that you will screw them up.  You won't. Some days it is okay to put in the second Veggie Tale DVD. Seriously. God is with you in every moment. He will give you the strength you need when you need it the most.    Keep surrounding yourself with the people who love and encourage you, with those who love your kids. I know you need to stop reading this and take care of that teething little boy now.  Hang in there, friend. You've got this.


linking up with my other favorite Emily blogger for imperfect prose


  1. "some days you find yourself thinking that life was supposed to be different" My future self would definitely say that to my current self too. Actually, so much of this post I can relate too. Thanks for putting it into words!

    1. Meg, I wish you lived closer. I feel we have so much in common!

  2. Hi Amanda! I'm right there with you. I have four children and thought I was done at two. Ha! God is funny that way. Although my oldest are in school during the day, I am right back in the season of life you are with two little boys at home. I love every little bitty thing about them but it is a challenging and exhausting season of life for sure. Thankfully you have your faith to hold you steady. I didn't have that so much when the girls were little and I know I couldn't do it now with four if I didn't seek God daily--thus why he probably blessed me with four--to keep me close to him.

    Your letter is a great reminder to live in the moment, even when it is hard, and to not beat ourselves up over imperfection. Something I need constant reminding of. Thank you!

    PS. As you can imagine, it is tough to get back into physical shape with four kids. I am NOT a morning person but my husband and I started waking up before the kids at 5am to work out (P90X). We are only on day to but we keep each other motivated, have some alone time, and welcome the kids to a new day versus me waking up to chaos. I think this might be just the change we needed and just wanted to pass along a good thing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind encouragement. My husband and I have talked about P90X - but that's it. :) Now that the weather is beautiful, I take the boys to the park a lot, and I try to get a (walking)lap around the pond, which is better than nothing!
      Have a great day!

  3. oh amanda, i found this so encouraging, for where i'm at too. thank you, girl, for voicing what a thousand mothers feel every day. you're doing wonderfully, sweet girl. and i do pray you get that vacation sometime soon.

  4. Dang, Future Amanda is very wise. I need her to write me letters, like, daily.

    1. Wise or a little crazy, haha.
      I needed someone to say this to me this week - and so I took it upon myself to do it. Weird? Probably. But strangely, it has kept me going... that and Col.1:11-12 today.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.