Dear 17-Year-Old Me,

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First of all, you look great! Stop obsessing about your body because you look hot now, so enjoy that. Stop trying to starve yourself into a Kate Moss body when God gave you a Christina Hendricks-ish frame.   (You probably won’t understand that reference until you really get into Mad Men.)

I know you’re worried about dating. You shouldn’t be. By that I don’t mean you’re going to date a lot or meet Mr. Right immediately freshman year, because that’s not the case. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t going to be nights when all of your friends and roommates are out on dates and you spend the night watching a sad movie on your laptop (I’m past the statute of limitations on that, right?) and sighing into a Cup-O-Noodles. You’re going to get your heart-broken, more than once. You won’t be a stranger to the sting of rejection. It makes you a stronger person, but don’t let it make you hard-hearted and cold. In fact just don’t worry about it. In the words of Amy Poehler “Too often we are told to visualize what we want… Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it.” Do you want to know what happens when you stop worrying about how you’re ‘not dating’? That’s right, you meet the man of your dreams. Oh, and throw away all those notes about how you’re supposed to act on a date (yes, you actually pay tuition to take notes on stuff like that, but that’s a rant for another time) or how you’re supposed to look, because he loves you for you. Just the way you are, quirkiness and all.

Let loose and have some fun! You’ve always been a rule-follower so what I’m about to say is probably going to blow your mind. The memories of college that’ll make you smile aren’t the ones where you’re following all the rules. Be sensible, but do something a little crazy every once in a while. It’s good for you.

Love Love Love,

You(24 years-old)

P.S. Maybe put a little more effort into your spaghetti bridge project for physics. I’m married with a baby and people still talk about how awful it turned out. So, don’t procrastinate, seriously.

 

 

My Advice for New Moms

It is has been my experience that as long as one keeps herself in the presence of women, she will never be lacking unsolicited advice- bonus points if she is embarking on a new chapter in her life (engaged, planning a wedding, pregnant, moving to a new home.) I don’t blame them. Most of them mean well and just want to share a little something that helped them along when they were in that situation. But, sometimes it can be overwhelming.

etsy.com

etsy.com

When I was engaged, people offered all kinds of tips and tidbits on how to plan a wedding, where to buy a dress, where to go on a honeymoon, etc. This did not prepare me, however, for the onslaught of advice that came with having a baby.

“Never let your babies sleep in bed with you.”

“Bed-sharing is the only way to do it if you are breastfeeding. You are breastfeeding, right?”

“If you pick him up every time he cries like that you’ll spoil him.”

“How old is he? He should be sleeping in his own room.”

It’s just going to keep coming. But you know something? You don’t have to respond to it. More importantly, you don’t have to defend your choice (that’s right, your choice) to do whatever it is you decide works best for your child and your situation. For example, Henry was not a great sleeper. He would wake up at least three times every night to feed and be comforted. Most of the time he cried whenever I tried to put him back in his little crib in our room. I spent the better part of six months absolutely sleep deprived. The only thing worse than that was sleepily browsing Facebook and reading brag posts of my friends’ miracle babies who slept through the night, in their own room at three months old. It frustrated me. So, I sought advice. I tried everything: routines, baths, swaddling. Nothing worked. Then, a few weeks later, I noticed that Henry had only woken up once during the night. Eventually, he slept through the whole night, and recently in his own room. Just like that. In his time.

You’re the best qualified person to be your child’s mother.

I guess all this to say. People who give you advice mean well. They really do. Sometimes their recommendations might not be relevant to you. If that is the case, don’t be rude.There’s already enough of that in the world. Be gracious and smile. Remember you don’t have to defend your choices.

And in case no one’s told you today, You’re doing a great job, mom!