What has been your hardest moment as a mother? Was it that newborn stage where you’re just so. damn. tired? Was it during a temper tantrum? Was it later, in adolescence, when your kid was lying to you? Cheating, stealing, having sex? No matter what the situation is, I have a fairly simple hack that has gotten me through some long, lonely nights. Today, I’m going to share it with you.
Now, this hack applies to mothers, fathers, parents, non-parents, teenagers, elderly, etc. It will work for everyone. But, for the sake of simplicity, in this blog post, I’m focusing on mothers.
Ready for the easiest way to make it through your hardest times?
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Today, we’re going to write a letter. You can make this letter as specific or as vague as you’d like. But we’re writing a letter to our future selves.
How I first started writing like this
I did this on accident. I kept a small running tab of the sweet things I loved and appreciated about my baby boy. But one day, when he decided to wake up for the day four hours earlier than normal, after a night of waking up every 1-2 hours, I pulled out my list and felt my heart rate slow.
Even as I was about to lose it, give in to the exhaustion and feelings of utter defeat as my son fought his nap, screaming and pinching me… I read my list and calmed down. In that moment, I realized what a powerful tool I had. And I had to share.
This is so insanely simple that I wouldn’t have even bothered writing about it, save for the fact that it helped me in such a profound way. If you’ve got a spare 20 minutes, get this done. If you don’t, keep a running tab on your phone.
What to Write in your Letter
In case you’re stuck, here are some writing prompts to help flesh out your letter:
If you have a baby…
Do you remember the feeling you had when you first found out you were pregnant? Describe it in as much detail as you can. Write about who you told first and their reactions.
When your baby is asleep, watch them sleep and write about the emotions you have. Don’t you love how peaceful they are? That sweet, innocent face that has no worries or fears… Write about it!
Think of something cute or funny your baby does that you want to remember. This could be anything from the way they sneeze to the sound of their laughter.
If your child is older…
What do you remember about infancy? The sounds, smells, etc. Do you remember that baby smell? Your child’s soft skin? The way you’d rock in your glider for hours? How your baby would grab your face just to stare at you?
Recollect one of your sweetest memories. That time in the park when your child was about to cry but smiled when they caught you looking at them? The face your baby made when they tried green beans for the first time? The first time your child said momma or I love you?
Focus all your energy on one thing you love about your child. This could be anything: their smile, their laugh, the way they say “Scooby Doo” like “wooby roo”, their kindness, their imagination, their peaceful expression when they sleep. Write about this in as much detail as possible.
Do you remember the day your child entered the world? Their first beautiful cries? How helpless they were? Entirely dependent upon you for every single one of their needs? Write about that.
As I said, you can be vague or specific. One year for Valentine’s day, I made my husband a bunch of those “open when…” letters (you’ve probably seen them on Pinterest). You could do the same for yourself. Here are some ideas:
Open when (your child’s name) just. won’t. sleep.
Open when you think to yourself “I’m a bad mom”.
Open when your child says they hate you
Open when you feel like giving up
Open when you wonder why you wanted a baby in the first place
Open when you’re at your wit’s end
Open when your child has a very public, very embarrassing tantrum
Open when your child refuses to eat anything you cook
Open when you need a break (it would be cute to include some things in this– a movie gift card and name/number of the sitter, a face mask, etc)
Open when your partner is late again and you feel ready to cry
Open when you’re waiting to hear back from the doctor
Open when you feel misunderstood
Open when your child yells at you or calls you names
There are so many things you could potentially do for this, the possibilities are endless.
What did you come up with? If you’d like to share any of your letters, comment or feel free to email me! Don’t forget to grab your free stationery, too!