Buckle up, Buttercup: A Letter to my Twenty Something Self


Dear Twenty-Something Self,

You think you’ve really got things figured out, don’t you? You know how things are going to be, and you’re pumped for the future. I hate to be the one to tell you this but…

{Wait for it}

…You’re going to drive a MINIVAN. I know, I know. You swear that you’ll have a “cool mom car,” but the allure of a Swagger Wagon will win you over. It really is your favorite car EVER. Everything fits in it and the doors open with the click of a button. What’s more, in case of a zombie apocalypse, you have enough food in those seats to feed your family for a few months.

Speaking of.. HELLO, you’re a mom now! You’ve successfully grown/evicted three other people. Crazy, right? What sounds even crazier to you right now is that you embraced breastfeeding like a pro. Remember when you said it’s weird to breastfeed after kids talk/walk/have teeth? Fast forward to the future, when you select outfits based on ease of chest access. That comes in handy when you have to not flash strangers feed your baby in public and/or while you’re wearing your baby. AND thanks to baby wearing, you fine-tuned a brand new talent –  picking things up from the floor with your toes. You’re really bringing sexy back.

You know what’s really sexy now? SLEEP. Motherhood means less “quality” sleep (thanks, cosleeping-ninja-child), but who really needs it when there’s coffee? Baristas don’t even give you the side eye when you go there sans matching clothes, makeup, or personal hygeine. Remember when you said that motherhood wouldn’t change you – that you’d always look cute and wear makeup and stylish clothes everyday…? One word, Youngster: LEGGINGS. You are also questioning what you once considered “Mom Stores,” because *WOW* those clothes seem super on-trend to you. Have “Mom Stores” really stepped up their game, or did you somehow develop the “Mom Style” you mocked as a teenager? Let’s go with option 1.


One more thing has changed – your job! Did you ever think you’d be working from home and homeschooling your little Einsteins? Surprise! You are. That plan you had to be a working professional shifted a bit. Once you had a baby, your world changed dramatically. You traded that cute briefcase for a diaper bag full of Cheerios, Gerber Puffs, and Goldfish. You now know intimate potty training details of all your mom-friends’ kids (sorrynotsorry, Facebook). You thank your lucky stars that Pregnant You found every store bathroom, because now you can sprint there carrying an “igottapeerightnow” child in 10 seconds flat. You’re still just as wild and crazy as you were in your twenties. It just looks different nowadays.

Your definition of “exciting” has changed, too. No longer does a  “fun” weekend entail LEAVING at 10. It’s being IN BED by 10 (woot woot!). 

And you know what else? Weekends without any plans are THE BESTEST now. You not-so-secretly rejoice when plans get cancelled, because you can FINALLY do nothing. Or try – I mean, you have kids and all, so that “sleeping in” thing you’re enjoying now is out of the picture, unless it’s Mother’s Day. Allow me to list things that are “exciting” now:

  1. selecting new tile/appliances/carpet
  2. poop IN the potty (finally)
  3. puke IN the toilet
  4. freshly vacuumed minivan
  5. fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans
  6. non-interrupted phone conversation/shower/pee time
  7. successful removal of a really gnarly stain. 

But you’re still cool, I promise. You know the lyrics to all the KidzBop songs (with the original PG-13 words included, thank you very much). But, please do me a favor and take more pictures now, to show your future kids just how cool you once were… though they honestly won’t believe you were ever anything other than a mom until they’re parents themselves. 

Your life is going to be so different than you imagine it will be right now, Twenty Something Self, and it will be so much more fulfilling than you can fathom. It goes by fast, with twists and turns you don’t expect, each part lasting simultaneously forever and only a moment. 

It’s humbling.

It’s overwhelming.

It’s incredible.

Buckle up, buttercup. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do. 


Your Forty-Something Self



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Jeanie is a perfectly imperfect mama, transplanted to Cordova fresh out of graduate school. She and her husband, Matt, had no intent on making Memphis “home” – but ten years later, they’re still here (and love it!). They have three saucy gingers, along with three “fur babies”. Between homeschooling and chairing graduate Psychology departments online, life is never boring in the Whinghter house. It’s no surprise that Jeanie fancies coffee, but she also loves bargain shopping and embarrassing her children with her questionable singing/dancing skills. She’s had more #PinterestFails that she can count and has perfected the art of giving a good pep talk (watch out, puberty!). Motherhood has slowly transformed her into the “uncool” Mom she thought she’d never be, yet she’s never felt cooler or more content with her life.


  1. Jeanie we are still totally cool as our past. Kinston craziness has just twerked, I mean tweaked into new ways to embarrass our kids and live our lives. One day we will become totally awesome 60 somethings. Till then party on.

  2. Haha! Yes, our kids have no idea how awesome we will be in our retired days…. stay tuned for that blog post in a few decades!

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