There is so much I have to say about the journey I am experiencing on this roller-coaster of a ride called parenting. I find it extremely difficult to summarize all my thoughts and feelings. If I could capture just a glimpse of my experience so far, I guess I would have this to say.

If I could offer my children advice from the perspective I have in this particular moment in time, I would say - be happy with your own self before entering into a commitment to be happy with someone else. You can’t lift someone else up if you are stuck on the ground, you should fly together.

I wish I spent more time alone, getting to know myself, before committing to my partner. Learning to be alone and loving it because to know how beautiful you are without having to be told can be powerful. Enjoying independence is something I hope my children will have the opportunity to experience.

I wish I had spent more time alone before creating a family. It might have made a difference in the way I parent today. I might have had more patience. Instead of being pulled into different directions trying to find the right path, if I spent more time with myself maybe I would have already ended up on the right path or if not right, at least somewhat more of a stable path before bringing others on my journey. I only know myself as attached to other people. A daughter, a friend, a girlfriend, a wife, a mother. I hope my children get to genuinely know and feel comfortable with themselves before starting their families, maybe that will help them be more attentive parents.

I wish I spent more time fostering my relationship with my partner before having children. In this moment it feels like there is no time for us to be together and just be us. We are constantly in the role of mom and dad instead of wife and husband. I wish there was more time for us to be together as adults in a relationship instead of the mom and dad of the family all of the time. It’s like being right beside someone yet not being able to reach out to them. I hope my children invest in their relationships and get the chance to spend time really getting to know the people they care about. Having children has made me realize you truly need to love, trust, and have faith in your partner fully because raising children can bring out your rawest emotions and if you cant handle your partners truest self, it will be impossible to get through parenting together.

I wish I was able to see more of the world before being financially confined to one spot. Owning a home for me is bitter sweet. Of course I love my home, everyone, and everything inside of it, yet there is a sense of feeling trapped. Even writing these words and consciously thinking about it is giving me anxiety. I can’t really handle the thought of spending a significant amount of time doing the same thing. I want to be able to show my children there is more to life then this. I hope they get the opportunity to travel and embrace culture. I hope I get the opportunity to show them just how beautiful our world is.

I think technology and social media has changed the way we parent in both negative and positive ways. It allows us to connect, share, and research but it also has the ability to pull us away, limit us, and waste our time. It can become an addiction to be stuck on our phones and this isn’t an issue I faced when I was growing up so it’s difficult to realize the impact it could have on my children. I hope I’m not neglecting time with my children for time on my phone. That would be a real tragedy. I hope my children don’t waste their time behind a screen instead of enjoying the outdoors and taking adventures.

I hope I can show my children how being conscious of the choices we make can make a positive impact on the greater good and I hope they are empathetic enough to care.

Life is short with the ones you love. Parenting is a journey and every step is a new learning curve. I just hope I’m making the right choices because I am not the only one anymore who has to live with the choices I make.

An Anonymous Letter to my Child’s Biological Father

To my daughter’s biological father, It has been eight years since I’ve seen you. Eight years since I believed that our lives were destined to be intertwined together forever. I thought we were happy. I should have known better. So young. So naive. So desperate to be seen. I allowed you to take my world and crash it upside down the day I realized you didn’t want to have anything to do with me or our child. And while I will never understand how you can go on living life knowing a part of you that you know absolutely nothing about exists out in the world, I want to say that I forgive you. I will never understand how you can’t have a desire to check up on her, or hear her call your name. But I forgive you. I forgive you because you gave me the best gift. You gave me life. You gave me her love. And you gave me a second chance at finding what true life and love really was.... but with better standards. I hope that one day she forgives you too. But in the mean time. She knows she is loved beyond compare. And I will make it my mission in life to make sure she knows that you are the one missing out.

An Anonymous Letter to my PPD

Dear PPD

I first of all want to tell you that I am sorry. I am sorry for not believing you were legitimate. Even when you had your strongest grip on me I did everything in my power to ignore you. With that said, you realized that I was ignoring so you became louder. You brought me to a dark place, a place that I did not feel like a contributing member of society, a place that I felt if I just disappeared no one would really notice. This place was so dark that I had a plan to switch my sweet babe to formula so he wouldn’t need me any more - I truly thought that breastfeeding was my only use in the entire world.

Looking back I understand how you came to be - the curve balls we were thrown in my pregnancy. The day I found out my baby was not a sweet girl and on top of that would be born, undergo surgery and then “we would see.” The day that sweet baby boy was born only to be immediately whisked away to NICU. The three weeks following his surgery that I couldn’t pick him up and hold him, watching him go through morphine withdraws, relying on three nurses to help me change a dirty diaper. I can see how my level of exhaustion helped you grow. Waking up to pump every three hours and calling the hospital to get updates. Spending every moment I could bedside with my sweet babe instead of healing and nourishing my body. I can see that the guilt I carried for my child’s condition empowered you. It made your grip tighter while my grip on reality slowly slipped away. In hindsight I understand why you were present - You had every reason to occupy a space in my life.

Dear PPD, with all of that said I still want to thank you. You created a hole in me so deep and dark that I began to seek ways to heal it. At the time I didn’t understand what I was doing - but I was looking into every type of alternative healing to heal this wound no one could see. I bought crystals, oils, oracle decks. I entertained energy healing, acupuncture, lunar cycles. And finally, FINALLY, I found the courage to say to my amazing husband “I need help”. The giant dark hole you created in me made room to let so much light and love in. It gave me the courage to heal relationships, to be a better wife, daughter and mother. You made me understand my need to serve and make sure that no woman ever feels the loneliness and isolation you lead me to.

I want to let you know, I can see your strength and I can understand why you were born. I also want you to know that we can be friends now. I have gained the courage to face you, question you and honor your role in my journey of motherhood.