By Paula Bowlby, Associate Early Childhood Pastor
Woodland Hills Church
For a while, there was the fad – write a letter to your 16 year old self. I never wrote the letter, but I did ponder the question more than once as I read others’. I had the thought, “Why not write a letter to myself as a young mom? Maybe my kids will read it someday, and maybe I could help others through my experiences.” My thought was if I am going to go through something, I may as well learn something from it and hopefully help others. So, here is my letter to my younger self.
I hope you are enjoying every bit of being a young mother. I know you are hearing, “Enjoy every moment,” over and over. Listen to that gentle reminder- you won’t regret it. When you are told, “They grow up so fast!” believe it. Take time for the little things. Who cares if the house is messy- the mess will still be there later so have fun, laugh and enjoy the moment while you can. You will never regret it.
You are going to make mistakes – it is okay. Mistakes help you grow and learn. Your kids will make mistakes too, love them through it. Teach through example that mistakes are okay and how to overcome them. Say you are sorry and admit you were wrong. It goes a long way relationally.
Taking care of you is not being selfish. It is important to have self-care to make you the best parent you can be. Your kids are watching, and they are learning how to do self-care from you and that you are important. Your kids feel sad and confused when you do not advocate for yourself, so teach them how to advocate in a loving way.
Live in community. Have a good support system of friends and family. You will need them. Going through the trials and tribulations of life is not something that is meant to be done alone. God puts people in your life to walk through life with you and visa versa. Community is a beautiful thing.
Lastly, life will not turn out at all how you had planned. You will feel pain, you will feel joy, and everything in between. You will be alright. God is walking with you in each and every moment. He will speak to you but you need to be listening. You are loved and you can do this! It is going to be wonderful! All the sleepless nights from birth to college and beyond are so worth it! You will sit with your kids and the love you feel will almost hurt it is so intense. So now, as the craziness of life seems a little overwhelming, choose to be content. You are blessed and loved. Do your best to show His love to your kids, be their example and their cheerleader. You’ve got this, He is with you.
Love you, girl!
Your 46 year old self