A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A letter to my 30ish year old self.....

There is no manual....
Me age 23 and my 1st born 1984
I'm not sure I would have done anything differently because that's what I knew then, 
 I was younger and busy with 3 little ones. 
Some days I felt like I was in survival mode, but now I know more, 
I've been there and done that,
 I'm older and (maybe) a bit wiser, 
To do it all over again, yes I probably would have varied a few things,
 but I cant beat myself up, for knowing what I knew then....

 Being a young mom with little ones is a busy crazy wild trip.
 For me I filled my days trying to figure out what to do that will suffice a 7 year old, 4 year old and a newborn, having to incorporate cleaning the house and thinking about what to make for supper, all the while trying to look like I'm in control of it all. Sound familiar? 
 It's exhausting, overwhelming and some days seemed like they would never end.
 I lived for 5 o'clock when my dear husband would come home and..... take over.
He loved it of course, on the floor with little ones crawling all over him, giggling, squealing with delight. Rick remembers some of the best times was when he laid on the floor
 with a pillow over his head, (for protection) the kids jumping on him
 and running around him like wild animals.
So why do the daddy's have all the fun..... I wasn't feeling like the fun parent.
That's ok....
*Your children will remember the fun things you did with them
 even though you felt like you were going out of your mind
*Your children will grow up, as strong independent adults, 
and you had something to do with that!
*It's not always about the money you spend on them
it's about the time you spend with them!
*The dirt on the floor will be there tomorrow
and the next day, and the next.
*Simplify your life at home,
picnics in the back yard, forts in the house on rainy days, hopscotch on the driveway
*You will be rewarded one day when your children reminisce and say...
remember when we used to .... that was so fun!

Someday you will grow older and you can look back and know 
that what you knew then was a good thing. You loved your children, 
you sacrifed your time , energy and freedom for them.
You see the fruits of your labor later....

 these strong, loving adults that you influenced the best way you knew how.
You see the admirable character in them,
 and are proud of them for what you hope'd they'd be. 
 The prayers that you prayed, even before they were born are answered.
God is good!

So don't beat yourself up, you do what you know best, you heed advise from those you respect and have "been there", Pray, pray and pray some more, then you make your choices and life will be what it is, you may even make a few mistakes, but that's ok, 
you are not perfect, none of us are. 
Through all the chaos, love your family, enjoy the craziness, laugh at yourself, and know that this chapter of your life will be gone before you know it.  

There will be a day, hard to believe, but really...there will be a day when the 'freedom' well return.... 
the day you leave your oldest to tend the younger's.  
You will step out the door for a SHORT date, just you and your husband, 
He will probably be pulling you out the door as you are continuing to emphasize the rules of the house, while mom and dad are out. It will probably be a errand at Target, maybe not a romantic dinner but some alone time, just you and your hubby. Yes, you will worry and you'll want to cut the "date" short, but you have a touch of that freedom back. 
The children will LOVE that you are leaving them alone, 
the oldest will feel a wonderful sense of responsibility, and they will want to behave so that
 mom & dad will trust them and want to leave them again.
 Ahhhh the freedom of stepping out without bringing the smalls who would really rather be home playing with friends or just simply doing what they want to do.

Husband and wife relationship....

You think.... will we ever be able to have an uninterrupted conversation, will I ever have the energy to want to have a conversation,  will we ever get some quality "alone" time?
Life is a series of challenges, it's full of surprises, hardships, joys, and many changes.
 Through it all LOVE one another, respect each other, be selfless, don't take things for granted,
 you never know what tomorrow will bring.  
You will get "yourself" back some day, 
but for now.... in your 20's and 30's it's all about raising those kids and staying sane. 
You will never, ever regret the time you spend with them...be involved, make it simple, listen to them even when you feel like your at your wits end, smile a lot, kiss, hug and laugh. 
I leave you with a quote, it's a timeless quote, not bound by the ages....

"The most important thing a father and Mother can do for their children is to love and respect each other”



  1. Thank you so much for this well written post Jackie! I know that I can use this kind of encouragement all the time from women like you who have such a beautiful family.

    1. Thank you Rachel... We all need encouragement don't we....even Grandma's like me starting over with a new generation.

  2. Jackie, there is nothing I can add to this beautifully written and deeply heartfelt post. You are an inspiration and all you wrote is a great reminder to each of us mothers, no matter the stage of our parenting.

    Your children are beautiful. How blessed they are to have you as their mother.

    1. Oh you are too kind Audrey, I actually wrote it and then thought I wouldn't post it....didn't want anyone to think I'm an expert or that I have it all figured out. But I think there is a little encouragement there, especially for the younger mom's, and it even helps me when i see those photo's of my grown kids to think maybe I did ok, like I wrote in the post, I did what I knew then and That's the best I knew. I'm still learning, now as a mom of adult children, and as a grandma....I would love to read a letter from a 80 year old about that :)

  3. I've had a front row seat to your parenting for 21 years and believe you always had your act together! You are a great role model!

    1. That's sweet of you to say Cheri, good friends make parenting a lot easier, I was blessed to have you as my sounding board while the kids were growing up! I quote you my friend...."it takes a village, to raise your kids" , Thanks for being part of my "village"

    2. ....and you my village! :)

  4. That was such a cool post Mom, I'm glad you didn't 'not' post it. It's fun to hear your perspective from when you were in the thick of parenting us! It makes me feel better that you felt a similar way to what I feel now. It's always encouraging to read these sorts of things. We all know you did an awesome job, you're the best mom. Thank you for getting us through all those years, I know now what it is like, at least with little little ones, I don't have any memories of seeing you struggle or sensing the exasperation you felt at times, so that means you really did it well :) All I remember is a wonderful childhood :) Love you.

  5. You turned out pretty good sweet daughter of mine, you're a good mommy....proud of you!!!

  6. Beautiful post Jackie. Thanks for sharing:)