If I could sit down with my 19-year-old self, I would say this:
Dear Young Mom,
Tomorrow you will deliver your first baby. You will be both courageous and incredibly scared in this process but you will learn quickly what needs to be done. It is completely okay that you have never held a baby, much less cared for one–people will help you and it won’t be long until you are a natural. Remember this always: you can only do your best at any given moment.
Being a mom at 19 years old is not going to be easy. You will hear about your friends off at college and you will have pangs of envy. You will be tired more days than not and you will learn very quickly just how much a little person can take your energy.
On the flip side of the fatigue and sleepless nights for years to come, you will experience what true love is the second your arms cradle that little person. You will feel something that you have never felt before and it will extend throughout the rest of your life. Being a mom will forever change who you are. Your heart is so filled with love for this person that at times it aches.
As this person grows there will be hard times. You will lose your temper and you will make decisions that you will later regret. It is okay because, at the time, it was the best you knew. You will lay awake at night filled with worry time and time again. You will cry tears of joy and tears of pain. You will ache to be near this person and also learn that you will need space to be alone and refuel. Your job will be to not just teach, but it will be your greatest job is to show this person what unconditional love really is. You will also learn in time to show what self-respect is by taking care of yourself. You will demonstrate compassion for others by demanding that this person learn to think of others first. You will be a model for respect by demanding it for yourself and for others. You will have to make hard decisions that will teach this person perseverance and determination. You be a guide as their ship gets off track throughout the years. You will carry the light and you will be an example of grace.
And in return, young mom, you will be loved back fiercely. You will be the light in their eyes and the soft place to come to when nobody else cares. You will be the one that this person knows beyond any doubt who will love them forever. You will have given this person the greatest gift–love–and they will give it right back.
Now go on and welcome that baby into your life. You will have time later in life for you, now is the time to offer your heart to this person. Be ready for anything and appreciate each day. In a blink of an eye, this little person will be turning 24 years old and you will look back on this day and wonder where the years went.
Your Older Mom Wisdom