Hey, girl!  What is up?  It’s me!  Katie from the Future! 

Hey, don’t freak out or anything.  I know you’re surprised to see me, but luck was a lady for you, my friend.  Not everybody gets to chat with their future selves and maybe even receive a teensy weensy bit of advice from someone who’s a little further down the road from you.  Okay, I know.  The one further down the road from you is you.  Only smarter.  And not afraid to wear jeggings anymore.  So cop a squat and lend an ear.  I got me some wisdom to impart.

Girl, you need to chill the hell out.  Seriously.  You’ve gotten so caught up in the forest, you can’t even see the trees.  Lemme ‘splain.  

First of all, stop trying to be the world’s greatest disciplinarian.  Just because Evie doesn’t do exactly what you say when you say to do it, doesn’t mean she’ll turn out to be a selfish, spoiled little brat.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Evie is and continues to be a sweet, compassionate, obedient child.  Try to concentrate on the big things like not running out in traffic, not touching a hot stove and holding your hand in crowded places.  If she wants to flap Spiderman and Little Mermaid placemats around while you’re trying to change her diaper, making the process rather difficult, ask yourself:  Is this the hill I want to die on?  You can either use your Mean Mommy voice and feel guilty for it later or realize that Evie can sometimes be a goofy little kid, which is why you love her so much.  And if you can’t get a diaper on a squirming child by now, we’re gonna need you to surrender your Mommy Merit Badge, sister.  Just sayin’.

Secondly, stop worrying about what others think of your mothering skills.  Yes, if Evie throws a fit in Target there are some folks (probably childless folks) who will judge you.  And, yes, some may think you should do something about your placemat-flapping, goofy little kid.  So what?  No one’s keeping score except you.  Therefore, the only person’s opinion who counts is yours.  And since I am you, trust me.  You’re doing fine.

Thirdly, stop worrying so much about your to-do list.  The world is not going to come grinding to a halt if things are a little dusty or that basket of clean clothes isn’t put away right now.  And don’t get so caught up in the cleaning, cooking, bathing, dressing routines of motherhood because while you’re busy doing those things, you’re missing Evie’s childhood.  She’ll only be little now.  This day.  This moment.  So put down the Swiffer for a damn minute and play with your daughter.  Relax.  Remember last night when you had a glass of wine, put on Barbie’s Fun Fashion-Filled Christmas Magical Miracle Christmas Whatever and let Evie adorn your head with stickers?  That was fun, wasn’t it?  Do more of that.  That’s what Evie will remember and not Mommy’s sparkling toilet bowls.

Fourthly, stop watching the news.  Stop sneaking peeks in the newspaper.  And when you overhear coworkers talking about something horrible that happened to a child, DON’T ask what they’re talking about.  You know what they’re talking about, and it will only upset you.  Look, I know you think diligently worrying something will happen to Evie gives you some kind of control over her fate.  And that’s really cute in a Hoarders kind of way.  But, honey, it doesn’t work.  It just takes up the time you could be spending enjoying her.  This is one of the lessons Evie was sent here to teach you:  treasure yesterday, live in today, look forward to tomorrow.  That’s all you can do. 

Lastly, and on a more personal note, remember when you were eight-months pregnant and exactly the size and weight of a large dump truck?  And felt just as attractive?  And you used to look at pictures from your skinny days and think, “God, I was always so worried about my weight and how I looked back then.  What was my problem?  I looked so good!”  I got news for you, chica.  You’re doing it again.  You’re going to look back at pictures of yourself from now and kick yourself for wasting time worrying about your double chin or the size of your thighs.  Think about it this way:  To your husband and your child, there is no one more beautiful in the world than you.  It’s time to start seeing what they see.  Take it from me — girl, you look so good!

Oh, crappers, look at the time.  I guess I better go.  My editor’s waiting on the last two chapters, and I can’t be late again for lunch with Meryl.  She gets so testy, you know.  No, I guess you don’t know yet, do you?  

Honey, it is fabulous!

Katie from the Future