A Letter to Pre-Mom Me

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Dear pre-mom Olivia,

Hi there. Sometimes I don't even recognize you when I think back or when I look at old pictures- so much has changed. If someone told you that by the age of 19 you'd be pregnant, at 20 you'd be a mom and a wife and then at 21 have baby #2 on the way, you would have laughed. No, probably not laughed; passed out probably. Or quit school and run away or something. Because, I know, that is not the direction you saw your life going.

The weird thing is, you aren't really sure where your life is going. You absolutely love college. You're doing great at it, you have awesome friends, a great social life, a sexy boyfriend.... life is good.

But when it comes to "big picture" things, that's where it starts to get hazy. You know you want to get married, but you're not sure when. You know you love writing, but you don't know what to do with it. Your English Education degree is fun and sparking a lot of passion inside you, but you're still not really sure if teaching is for you. You know you want to have kids- when, where, how many and with whom is still up in the air. Basically, you're normal. So good job there.

Things are about to get really, really (really) stressful though. Something you never expected to happen to you is about to change your life.

You're going to be a mom.

Take a deep breath and let that sink in for a while. It might take the next few years to sink fully, but embrace it. As unprepared, inadequate and inexperienced as you are, you're going to be Evelyn's momma. It's going to be the most life-giving, challenging, stressful, beautiful name you're ever given.

I know it seems crazy, because motherhood is the last place you want to walk into right now, but it's happening. You will jump in heart first and sometimes it will feel like you'll never be able to come up for air, but you'll be fine and you'll learn so much along the way. You'll read all the books and take all the classes, but nothing will ever truly prepare you for it.

No one ever told you that becoming a mom would be the most fulfilling life-path you've ever taken.

No one ever told you that sometimes you won't shower for days, most of the time you'll look like a zombie, and you'll loose your patience a lot.

No one ever told you that giving birth would be THAT painful. And you get to do it twice....yay.

No one ever told you that watching AJ be a daddy would make you fall in love with him more than you ever did before.

No one ever told you that you would take all the fear you're feeling and turn it to strength. That's how confidence is born. Sometimes you just have to jump in.

No one ever told you that sometimes your heart will feel so full that you just have to laugh. Like this morning when Evie was playing on the kitchen floor with her newly found stuffed puppy- giving him the biggest hug her arms could muster. Or when she gets so excited to take a bath in her new big girl tub that she can barely hold still. Or when she runs up to you and kisses your legs and says "I yuv ya" in her own little voice.

All the love, the stress, the lack of sleep. No one ever prepared you for any of this. Not even your childbirth class or that childhood psychology class you took.

And that's okay.

You're going to be a mom. No matter what you do with the rest of your life, that job will always be there- the most important one.

You'll fail a lot. But you'll succeed too.

Motherhood is like that- a crazy mixture of success and failures, hugs and tears, dance parties and time outs.

But at the end of the day, the literal day, when all you want to do is lay down, take off your bra (sorry, its true..), and have no one touch or speak to you for the next 8 hours, you'll realize that it is all worth it. And that you're actually pretty good at this motherhood thing.

So, brace yourself, because change is coming. But don't brace yourself so hard that you close your eyes and miss all the beauty coming your way. Embrace the small, quiet moments and the loud, hard ones equally.

You can do this.