I’ve been a mom for half my life now. My oldest daughter just turned 22, which is the same age I was when I had her. When I look back on being 22 and that time surrounding her birth, I remember being so eager to have her and to be a mom. I had no idea what deep love and pain motherhood would hold. The depth I could feel honest, raw emotions that no words could describe never crossed my mind as a possibility until she arrived.
I remember being astounded that my own mother could feel the immediate and overwhelming love that I felt about my daughter. “She loves me this much?!” I thought. Seeing and feeling that mother love was like someone had revealed a secret world that had existed all around me, but I was blind to my whole life to that point.
When at 26 I had my second daughter, I felt like I knew enough to know I didn’t know enough. The experience of being a new mom was beautiful but exhausting. The expectations I had for myself were overwhelming. I know now that the expectations I had for my daughter’s were often too ambitious.
As a 20-something new mom there was a lot I didn’t know. I wish I could go back and tell the younger me all about the future women I was raising. I wish I could tell the 20-something me that I didn’t need to be a perfect mom. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself to slow down, savor the time with my little daughters instead of rushing to get to the next milestone.
If you could go back in time to your younger mom self, what would you tell her?