An Open Letter to Myself Ten Years from Now (by Darah)

Dear Self,

I know you are overwhelmed. Caring for five young children, maintaining the house, launching a new career, being a wife, friend, and daughter — all in a day’s work — is grueling. Your eyes are always bloodshot from the chronic sleep deprivation and the dark circles cannot be masked with any amount of concealer. Yet, believe me when I tell you this: you will yearn for these days ten years from now.

When the kids are all teens and preteens and no longer compete for your time, tell you about their day, hold your hand in public, or want tickles at bedtime, you will realize how precious and fleeting these moments are.

I know you crave time alone with your husband and a minute to yourself, but everything will come together as it should. Be patient. Enjoy the journey; I promise you will get to your destination, when the time is right.

So, for now, I urge you to stop trying to do it all. Remember to take care of your health, disconnect from time to time and relax.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you get frustrated:

1. It’ll get easier in time — they’ll help more if you train them now.

2. You will own nice things again; the kids won’t always be so destructive.

3. You won’t always be with broom or mop in hand; they’ll get less clumsy.

4. You will spend more QT with hubby; kid-free trips are on the horizon.

5. The “witching hour” will cease to exist- you’ll get through cooking dinner without constantly being interrupted to clean someone’s soiled bottom.

6. Laundry…this is a tough one. I cannot lie to you; the loads will not lighten. However, you’ll get more help. For now, just suck it up and deal.

7. You will experience the novelty of “sleeping in” and won’t always be awoken abruptly as if under siege.

8. Now you are fighting for time alone; later you’ll be fighting for their time.

9. Now they’re competing for YOUR attention; later you’ll be vying for theirs.

10. Now, they all compete to hold your hand; later you’ll beg them to take your hand.

Don’t glamorize life ten years from now either. Cherish each moment, be fully present and enjoy the ride!


Written by Darah Zeledon. Mother of five, freelance writer, small business owner, and fitness freak, Darah has just returned to the US after living 9 years with her large brood in South America.  Through an angle of humor, Darah´s uniquely optimistic perspective of raising children in today’s unstable world has been strongly influenced by her experiences running a household and various businesses in several foreign lands.  You can read more of her here and here.