An Open Letter to Myself Before Children

I don’t really know how to start this. It’s all a little strange writing to yourself isn’t it? What I do know is that if you could read this letter, it would bring you some comfort knowing that, although your life is about to change completely, it will be for the better. Trust me.

Right now you are unsure of yourself, of what you want to be ‘when you grow up’, of who your true friends are and what you should be doing with your life. I think it’s fair to say that you hadn’t seen your life going the way it is at the moment. Things have happened to you in your past that never should have happened. What was done to you was not ok, but it happened, and it’s shaped the way you’ve viewed yourself ever since.

You’ve let men treat you badly, and you’ve felt you deserved things that have been done to you. You need to stop thinking like that, but in reality it will take a long time until you do. That’s ok. It’s hard to look at things objectively at this stage. It’s hard to blame anyone but yourself, but once you realise those things weren’t your fault, you will feel a weight has lifted.

What’s about to happen to you, when you find out you’re expecting a baby, it’s going to feel like your whole world has turned upside down but honestly, it’s going to be the best thing to ever happen to you. Having a baby this young wasn’t the plan, but it isn’t going to stop you from achieving your dreams, from having a career and from doing something you love with your life.

Yes, you’ll need to go through some tough times, that’s inevitable, but you will come through it all and feel stronger than you do right now. You will experience pain you can’t even imagine at the moment, both physical (it’s true, childbirth really is a bitch) and emotional. You will feel at times that you can’t go on, and your mental health will suffer. But you will survive. You will learn from all the things that you go through and you will fight because you have reason to.

Your first child will be there at your graduation. He will be too young to understand what it all means, but when he is older, you will be able to tell him all about it and that you carried on with the degree people thought you would give up on when you found out you were expecting him.

Not long afterwards, in the grand scheme of things, you will go on to have a second child, a daughter. You will worry, when pregnant with her, that you couldn’t possibly love another as much as you love your first born, but believe me, love her you will. It is a fierce, almost primal love you feel for her, and she will help you understand that special bond between mother and daughter.

When your children are both young, you will start what you think is your dream job. It will make you feel like ‘you’ again, but it won’t be without sacrifices. When you lose that job, it will feel like your world has fallen apart, but you’ll get back up and find another job because those children depend on you.

You will have a third child, who will be loved not only by you, but by your other children, and by his daddy, the man who made you feel complete. It will have taken almost a decade, but by the time you get to where I am now, all the heartache, all the struggles, all the tears you have cried will have been worth it for the three perfect children you get to call your own. So yes, it may seem impossible to imagine right now, as a twenty year old who hasn’t a clue where her life is going, but having children young hasn’t spoilt your dreams, it’s made them.

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