Dear 26 Year Old Lauren,

you’ll be a family of two for just a few more months. Your house is almost completely remodeled, and it’s coming together perfectly! The windows are clean, the floor is spotless, and everything has its own place. You’re just a tad OCD and the idea of a clean house rules your every thought, but your first baby is on her way and your desire to clean every square inch of your house is in overdrive. You. Must. Clean.

Life has always been this way for you, though. Needing to clean and organize is just part of who you are. People have told you that things will change after Piper arrives, but you’ve got the system figured out. No need to worry.

Laundry will get done and the house will get cleaned. But your life is going to look much different in four years. The beautiful baby girl that you’re about to have will be an energetic, full of life, 3 years old and you’ll have a chunky, little 8-month-old who is into everything. Your hands will be full!

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There will be fingerprints on every surface of your house, yogurt on the couch, peanut butter on the T.V., and sweet potato on the high chair. You will find syrup in places you didn’t know you could find syrup.

But life is going to be so much more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Sometimes it will feel like you’ll never get caught up on¬†the mess. You won’t. Once one load of laundry is done, you’ll have another one waiting. And it’s ok if you only want to clean the fingerprints once a week. It’s pointless to try for any more than that.IMG_6111One day, though, one day the surfaces of your house will be clean again. You won’t see tiny fingerprints and yogurt on the stainless steel and glass. And surprisingly, the mere thought of this will make you sad.

You’ll be able to hang your white, monogrammed towels again and you won’t have to worry about crayon all over the couch. The nest you’re preparing now will one day be empty, and you’ll long for the days of endless chores and messy countertops.

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Dear 30-year-old Lauren,

soak it in, mama. You can clean another day.

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