Welcome to the June 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Talking to Yourself
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written letters to themselves. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
To be delivered on June 9, 2007 at approximately 8 PM
I’m writing this letter to you from eight years in the future. If it arrives when I think it will, you are just arriving home from the hospital. Gracie is just three days old, and she is more perfect that you even imagined. You are curled up in that old blue LaZboy recliner staring at that precious babe. And although the world keeps telling you that this should be the happiest day of your life, all you can think is that you wish someone would take her away. Someone who could be a better mother to her than you. I know you feel like you’ve already failed. I know because I lived it. I lived it, because I’m you.
I know your gremlins are telling you that you’re not a real mother. You think that having the birth go “all wrong” and the fact that you don’t know how to breastfeed mean that you’re no good. I know it’s a little wrong to give you spoilers for the future, but you are going to do it. You actually breastfeed that little girl. You’re gonna pull it together at the last possible second this evening and you’ll never give her formula again.
You reach your goal to nurse her to two years old and then some. Your precious babe self weans in the end.
It’s true that nothing about the birth went the way that you planned. You’re going to be down about that for a while. Then you’re going to be angry. You’re not ready to hear that your life couldn’t have been the same without that c-section…and that’s okay. You can skip this next part if it just makes you too angry. I don’t mean that it saved your life or anything. It didn’t. And you were treated badly in the hospital. That’s a fact. It’s totally fine to work through all those emotions….and you will.
You’re not going to believe this, but in a year and a half you will be a La Leche League leader. The fire that you begin to feel about almost having your breastfeeding relationship stolen from you spurs you onward. And two and a half years after that, you become an IBCLC…An IBCLC is a lactation consultant…I forgot that you don’t know what that is yet.
At the date of this writing, you have helped over a thousand women breastfeed their babies. And the spark for getting started began when breastfeeding Gracie was almost completely sabotaged in the hospital. I know you’re scared and ashamed right now, but you are freaking strong as steel, and I’m proud of you.
I’ll leave the rest a surprise for you. Because, oh man, there are some amazing surprises in store.
I just have a few pieces of advice.
Let yourself change and grow.
Put yourself out there to make friends. Some of the deepest connections come from new and deepened friendships from this timeframe.
Give yourself plenty of forgiveness and grace.
Know that I would do it all over again if I could, and I would hope to end up right back here.
With all my love,
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Dear Me. — Meegs at A New Day writes to her decade-younger self offering a good reminder of how far she’s come, and she addresses some fears she wishes future her could assuage.
- Reflecting on Motherhood with Parental Intelligence: A Letter to Myself — Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence writes about raising her two loving, empathic sons with Parental Intelligence and finding they have become industrious, accomplished young men with warm social relationships.
- A Letter to Myself — The Barefoot Mama writes to herself in the moments around the birth of her daughter.
- A Letter to Myself — Holly at Leaves of Lavender offers a missive to herself in the past… three years in the past, to be precise, when her little one was only four months old.
- Dear me: Nothing will go the way you’ve planned — Lauren at Hobo Mama gets real with her just-starting-parenting self and tells it to her straight.
- A Letter to the Mama Whom I Will Become — Erin from And Now, for Something Completely Different writes a letter to the Mama whom she will one day be, filled with musings on the past, present, and future.
- Dear Me of 7 Years Ago — Lactating Girl at The Adventures of Lactating Girl writes to her pre-baby self telling her about the whirlwind she’s about to enter called parenting.
- Talking to My 18 Year Old Self — HannahandHorn talks to herself as she is just entering college.
- Dear highly sensitive soul — Marija Smits tells a younger version of herself that motherhood will bring unexpected benefits – one of them being the realization that she is a highly sensitive person.
- Talking to myself: Dear Pre Stoneageparent — Stoneageparent enlightens her pre-pregnant self about the amazing transformations life has in store for her after having two children
- Dear Me: I love you. — Dionna at Code Name: Mama wrote herself a few little reminders to help her be at peace with who she is in the moment. That may give her the greatest chance of being at peace in the future, too.
- My best advice to the new mama I was 8 years ago — Tat at Mum in Search shares the one thing she wishes she’d figured out earlier in a letter to her 8-years-ago self (that’s when her first baby was 6 moths old).
- A Letter to Myself — Bibi at The Conscious Doer sends a letter back in time eight years to her darkest moment post partum.
- To me, with love — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama makes peace with her past and projects what a future her will need to hear.
- To Myself on the Last Day — Rachael at The Variegated Life tells her panicked last-day-before-motherhood self not to worry.