My dear friend,
Soon, so very soon after eons of waiting, you’ll be bringing your new little one home. You’ve been a mama in your heart for a long time, but now finally the world will recognize you for it.
As my first act of welcoming you to the sisterhood of diapers and drool, I make the following promises to you:
First and foremost, I will never give you advice unless you ask for it. Whether it’s baby gear, sleep schedules, toilet training, or preschools, I’ll leave my soapbox in the closet to gather dust.
Never will I say, “Just wait until…” For better or for worse, where you and your little one are now is where you should be. Also it’s not nice to terrify mothers of two-year-olds about what age three will be like. It’s just not nice, people (even if it’s true).
I will never utter the phrases, “You don’t understand because…” or “You’ll understand when…” These dismiss the fact that you are smart and kind and loving and you always do your best to understand where others are coming from even if your own path is different.
Speaking of which, I promise not to counter every one of your stories with one about my own children. You’ve probably already heard them all anyway.
If you call me to tell me every single milestone your little one hits, I will squeal and clap along with you each and every time and tell you that you are one fabulous mama with the most clever baby.
On the days when you worry that your baby hasn’t yet hit a milestone, I won’t tell you what you should do or that it’s no big deal or that babies do things in their own time or to be patient or (worst of all) to be grateful because that milestone only makes life harder. I’ll just listen.
I promise never to notice your unwashed hair or rumpled clothing, but if you happen to mention it, I will immediately offer to babysit (or pay for one if you insist on living way too far away) so you can have an hour to yourself.
I promise to call or write often and talk about the baby if that’s where your mind is or NOT talk about the baby if you need to just be an adult for 20 minutes. I will totally understand your need to interrupt the conversation every two minutes to avoid meltdowns or handle snack requests.
But I will also understand that you are busier and more exhausted than you have ever been, and that when you do have a half-hour to yourself, you probably want to just sleep or read or watch tv. I will miss you, but know that you’ll be back when the fog lifts.
Every birthday and Christmas, I will check first before sending clothes or toys or books to see if you have something in mind. But if your brain is frazzled and you don’t know what you want or need, I’ll just pick out something and send it, along with a gift receipt.
I will sympathize when you’re at the end of your rope and say you aren’t sure why you wanted to be a mom in the first place, and promptly forget it afterward when you are having a better day.
Most importantly, when I screw up and do every one of the aforementioned things, I super-duper-double promise to apologize profusely and try a thousand times harder next time.
I am honored to share this journey with such an amazing friend. I cannot wait to meet your little one. Because I also promise that I will always love you both with all my heart.