A Letter to my 22-year-old self…..

Dear Lisa,

As you bundle your gorgeous newborn into the car for the nerve-wracking journey home you are excited, petrified and really hoping that Scott knows more about babies than you. You are sore but feel stronger than you have in your life. It just dawned on you that your body is capable of so much more than you ever gave it credit for. You just produced a human!

Morgan will be the perfect first baby. She is happy, content and the light of your lives. She will be lulling you into a false sense of security and will make you believe that all babies are this easy……It’s just as frightening the second time round but you have some experience under your belt. More experience with quiet babies that sleep! The universe has sent you Paige and you will be forever grateful that it did. You will also curse the universe for the lack of sleep.

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22 years old, first baby and matching vests!

Your decision to “just wing it” and not read too many books or listen to too much advice from others will serve you well. You will develop a strong sense of who you are as a mother. You will look to your babies for guidance and you will make mistakes, lots of mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself though, this is where the learning and the growing happens.

You will find your way through the minefield of post-natal depression. Your mum is your rock and she will be the one to help you on the road to recovery. This will be one of your biggest challenges and will change you. You will keep a journal and you will tell yourself to “let them love you”. Take that advice, the walls will come down and the darkness will turn to light once more. You will slow down and allow yourself the time to breathe. You will learn more about yourself from this experience than you thought possible. It will alter your perspective and approach to life, for the better.

Although you will not always agree on how things are done, you will be glad you stalked Scott and he is the father of your children. He is the sensible one. He will back your slightly off kilter decisions, he will give the birds and bees talk when you get the giggles and he will buy many sanitary products without batting an eyelid. He will be the man your girls look up to and he sets the bar so high for all men that enter their lives. He will show them every day how real men treat women. You two will have some ups and downs but will get through them fairly unscathed. Scott still makes you laugh more than anyone else, and he knows you are slightly twisted but loves you anyway. He is a keeper and you will keep him.

Trust your instincts. Move schools, say no, say yes, let them eat soup for breakfast and cereal for dinner. Paige’s dress sense will delight and frustrate you and you will wish Morgan did not out adult you at times. You will not like all their friends but allow them the experience of finding out for themselves.

There will be teenage angst and tantrums. You will out bitch them and tell them off through dance. They will never know what is coming next but they’ll always know it will come from the heart. They will ban you from using the words vagina, bowel and nipples. You’ll know why! Diagrams will be drawn to describe what words can’t when it comes to the female anatomy. Your girls will equal parts delighted and disturbed at your ability to make any subject dinner table conversation.

The greatest gift you are giving your girls is the confidence to be themselves. They will be strong, independent young women before you know it and you will wonder where they came from. At 42 you are comfortable in your own skin but it has taken work.

As you stand on the peak of a mountain called parenting, dig in your flag and know you did good.

Paige bought her first car. She is ecstatic. The car is cute, cheeky and reliable, just like her. She has worked hard to save and she is going to relish having her independence. You are happy/sad. Happy that she is achieving these goals and just a bit sad that soon the car conversations will not be as frequent. No more trapping her in the car and getting information and gossip. She is a joy to be around and one of the nicest people you know.

Morgan is on her way to Europe on a scholarship tour and then onto a group tour of Europe. She will be gone for 3 weeks and she is nervous. You will be strong for her, even though you just want to keep her close always. She is about to embark on the most exciting time of her life and you are so proud of her that you could burst. She is an amazing young woman and you would want to be her friend if she wasn’t your child.

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We made it!!

It is now your time Lisa. Time to be who you want to be. Age brings with it the wonderful gift of not giving a shit. Embrace this now and go forward. Book trips, take walks, sing and dance, laugh loudly and cry when the moment moves you. Be kind but don’t be a pushover. Accept that your boobs are not as perky and your skin more wrinkled, but your body is strong, has carried you over some rough terrain and on some fantastic adventures.

Enjoy being in a couple again and take time out for romance. This takes on many forms, don’t rely on flowers or chocolate. Recognise it in the form of a cup of tea made just the way you like it, the ironing being done and a full tank of petrol when it’s raining.

You have had quite a ride so far and it’s only getting better.

I am proud of you and all you have learnt over the years. Be kind to yourself and true to your soul. On a slightly vain note, you are still looking ok and everything is still working.

Lisa XX

 

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