Dear Pre-Parent Hannah,
I'm writing you from your future in order to offer you the peace of mind that you seem to be on an endless quest to find. I wouldn't call it a warning or a deterrent, but rather a preview of what's to come, a sneak peek into the milk-encrusted life that we're living now.
It isn't exactly the life you imagined — it's better, but not the kind of better that you're expecting. I know that you're currently infatuated by the boozy bliss of collegiate freedom, so it's unlikely that the image of two adorable little blonde toddlers would serve as a catalyst in anticipating the future, but you'll get there eventually. Oh, wait a second; you don't want kids, do you? Or to get married, or to be bound by the restrictive confines of societal conformity because you're so ideological and "cool." Pardon me while I go laugh hysterically...
Remember that guy who also never wanted to get married or have kids, and was equally enthused about the nomadic adventures that the two of you so deeply craved? The tall, dark, handsome one? He's an incredible husband and an even better father, and he also ages like a fine wine. I don't want to give away all the goods, but the two of you get married and have two boys together. They're 15 months apart (not intentionally), and even though they drive you crazy, you stare at them like a total creep while they're sleeping because you're so freaking in love with them.
Your life is about to change in ways that you never imagined, but you'll still hold steadfastly to your strong will. In fact that strong will is exactly what led us to where we are today, and just so you know —we're incredibly happy. There's a lot coming your way, and whether you realize it now or not, it's right around the corner, so you should probably rest up.
Enjoy sleeping in on Sundays (or any day for that matter) and drinking mimosas at brunch. Also, enjoy the speed in which you recover because your body is about to turn on you. Revel in the cleanliness of your apartment and the free time you spend not doing mountains of laundry. Embrace your Hot Wheels-free existence, your perfect throw pillows and your comically small high school jeans.
You should understand that you're not invisible, nor are you immune to the effects of aging. Your bras are going to eventually resemble hardware, and the bra fitter at the maternity store is going to mock you relentlessly as you attempt to tame your side boob in double-D cups. You have no idea what's about to happen up there. Your body is going to change. It's not going to look like it runs 10 miles every day anymore, and that's going to affect you in ways you thought you were immune to. Try to keep in mind that your body did something truly amazing — it brought life to two incredible little boys that melt your heart into a sentimental pile of mush every single day.
As it turns out, we're actually not so bad at the whole mom thing, and our boys are pretty much awesome; smelly, but awesome. They say please and thank you, and do touchdown dances when Tennessee scores. They high-five strangers in Target (we go there way too much, by the way), and give the sweetest goodnight kisses. Motherhood is hard, yes, but it's also remarkable to watch our kids grow and play and learn and thrive.
You're going to get crapped on a lot, both physically and metaphorically speaking. It never ceases to amaze me how much our life revolves around the bowel movements of two little humans (it's not as bad as it sounds, I promise). Also, the people that you would never expect to let you down are, well, going to let you down. You're going to have to say goodbye to some people you love long before you're ready, and though you've done that before, it never gets any easier. That's going to suck... big time. But you're soon going to realize that you've got some truly incredible people in your life. They're going to offer you a shoulder to cry on, and at some point you're actually going to use it (yes, really). They're going to pour you drinks without judgment and listen to your endless, annoyingly drunken rants.
Really, I just want you to calm the heck down. Things turn out OK for us. More than OK, actually. It's beautiful here — messy, smelly and covered in either urine or crackers, but beautiful nonetheless. So stop worrying and take a nap while you still can.
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