To the girl in my honeymoon photos,

Yeah, you, with your fresh face and bright eyes. Dang girl, you look so happy.

You’re on your honeymoon with the love of your life and no care in the world except which one of you is going to make the dash across the hot sand to grab the next round of umbrella-garnished drinks.

You’ve got it made.

I bet you slept in this morning; you do that a lot. I bet you ate all you wanted at the buffet without a second thought about how it would affect your waistline. I bet you and your brand new hubby haven’t been able to keep your hands off of each other; I see the way he’s looking at you.

But let me tell you something. All of this—it’s going to change. And it’s going to happen so much faster than you could ever see coming.

You see, a few months from now, you’re going to get the positive pregnancy test that will change absolutely everything. The one that is going to bring the 10 most perfect fingers and 10 most perfect toes you’ve ever seen into your life.

And all at once, everything that you know in this moment is going to be shaken up and turned upside down.

That sleep you so enjoy? Yep, go ahead and kiss it goodbye. Soon you’ll be on someone else’s clock (and in case you’re wondering, that someone doesn’t tell time very well). You’ll become acquainted with a whole new brand of exhaustion; the kind everyone warns you about before you become a parent but you don’t really believe exists. Trust me, it exists, and you’re going to struggle with it nearly every day.

Those thighs you think are too big right now and that stomach that’s never flat enough for your liking? You’re going to mourn those as you struggle to come to terms with the new body you’ve been gifted; the one that is squishy in all the wrong places and doesn’t fit quite right into anything hanging in your closet. There will be days when you’ll avoid looking in the mirror at all costs because you just can’t handle the shame your reflection stirs up within you.

That husband who you currently admire with stars in your eyes and passion in your heart? You two are going to fight. A lot. You’re going to struggle and nit-pick and misunderstand, and your relationship is going to be tried in ways that you never imagined. There will be nights you’ll lay in bed wondering how the two of you ever seemed compatible in the first place.

I realize the things I’m telling you sound a little Doomsday, and you’re probably shaking your head and thinking, “Nuh-uh, not me. I’m not doing it. I’m not having kids if all of this is the price.”

But, girl? Yes, you will. And you’re going to love it.

The second those sweet fingers and toes come wiggling into your life, they’re going to steal your heart and run away with it. And you are never, ever going to get it back.

I won’t lie and say the sleep deprivation is a dream, but I will tell you the moments you spend holding your baby in the quietest hours of the night are downright spiritual. You’ll find yourself fighting the heaviness of your eyelids just to breathe that newborn smell in for two more minutes or to sing him one more song. You’ll marvel over the way his lips pucker and pout as he dreams, and you’ll wish you could read his mind as he sighs contentedly. You’ll find yourself crying silent tears over him as you’re overcome with an all-consuming joy and love you can’t even begin to put into words.

That body? It’s going to take a lot of time, patience, and a huge overhaul in mindset, but you’ll come to appreciate its transformation (mostly). You’ll grow to be proud of those stretch marks, and you’ll admire with gratitude all this vessel has brought into your life. You’ll discover new ways to eat and exercise that will fuel your body, and you’ll learn how to dress your new figure to bring back some of that confidence. And when your little one looks at you, the love and wonder reflected in those piercing eyes will make you feel like the most beautiful woman on earth. And to him—you will be.

That man who you love so much, the one who traveled this path right alongside you? Well, the two of you will figure it out. You’ll grow, and transform, and learn how to communicate better than ever before. You’ll realize the importance of telling one another exactly which of your needs aren’t being met and you’ll work together to fulfill each other in every way possible. You’ll still argue and roll your eyes at times, sure, but your marriage will be infinite times stronger than the day you said your vows. And you think you love him now . . .

This life; there’s nothing simple about it. But trust me when I say that once you’re here—standing in my shoes with the knowledge, wisdom, and experience you’ve acquired since that day on the beach—you’ll dive head first into the life that’s waiting for you.

Because girl, it is good. It is just so, so good.


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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward