Dearest 2008 Jamie,
Hello mama of a five-, four-, and three-year-old! Congratulations on your blossoming brood. You've gone from zero to three kids in three years.
You are exactly where God wants you, but you're also completely out of your element! The next seven years have so much to teach you.
And if I could go back in time, this is what I wish I could let you know:
That blog you're currently following, the one that teaches young moms that every minute of their day needs to be accounted for and used diligently? Jamie, please stop following it.
Stop feeling guilty for your in-built, God-given need for rest. You'll figure this out eventually, but if you could get there sooner it would save you so much angst!
Welcome to survival mode; it will be your life for the next few years.
Stop resisting it. This isn't going to be your most productive season; it isn't meant to be. Do what has to be done to keep family life functioning, and don't aim for much more. More will come, but not for a while.
That amazing babysitter you've hired five hours each week? Jamie, why are you still staying with the children when she's there?
Can someone say "balance," lady? Get out of that house and surround yourself with quiet--for just a little while! You'll discover this soon.
Another thing I'd love to give you a heads up about:
Put on an extra episode of Signing Time or Little Einsteins once in a while! You're too rigid about how little screen time you allow. You don't have family nearby like some do, and you have a husband who regularly travels for work. Your sanity sometimes equates to screens for your littles, and that's okay.
Another big revelation is coming your way in the years ahead: You're a highly sensitive person!
This explains so much! Knowing this, you'll be able to tailor life to what you need most, enabling your whole family to thrive in new ways.
In seven years, you'll be amazed to look back and see all God is doing in you and the kids right now. You'll be so glad you listened to your heart, and didn't try to rush them. You'll be thankful you took big risks, even though some worked and some didn't.
If there's one message I could pass on, it would be this:
Your core values determine your family's reality.
Knowing this would encourage you to lighten up just a bit.
Here's what I mean:
Because you have a core value to eat healthily, it doesn't matter that you put in a frozen pizza once a week.
7 years later, your kids eat well and aren't afraid to try new foods.
Because you have a core value to limit screens, it doesn't matter that you let the kids watch extra when they're sick or you need a mental health day.
7 years later, your kids are not addicted to screens even though you use them regularly.
Because you have a core value to build your life around the power of story and books, it doesn't matter if one day or week you don't get around to reading.
7 years later, your kids adore books.
Because you have a core value to live as followers of Jesus, it doesn't matter that you sometimes screw up, lose it with the kids, raise your voice, or cry in the bathroom.
7 years later, your kids are learning for themselves the power of grace and forgiveness.
So if I could whisper to you from the future, 2008 Jamie, I'd tell you to be gentler with yourself. Be yourself a bit more, without so much analysis.
I'd tell you to deal with what's in front of you each day, and to reserve a tiny bit of energy for pursuing your own dreams.
Because seven years from now, you'll be so glad you pushed publish on that first mundane blog post in 2008. You won't believe where it's going to take you!
Written with much love from,
2015 Jamie (who can't wait to hear from 2022 Jamie in seven more years!)
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
P.S. I hope my readers who are currently mamas of littles will be able to find encouragement in this back to the future letter!