To Send Parenting Advice to Future Self, Hit 'Send'
FutureMe.org is an electronic time capsule.
What would your younger parent self say to your older parent self, if the two could time travel to talk to each other?
You can arrange a meeting of your young mom and older mom minds without a time machine.
All you need is a computer, email, and an Internet connection to a website called FutureMe.org.
This website is the electronic version of a time capsule in written form.
Take the adorable stories you wrote in your child's baby book, or would have written if you weren't bleary eyed from lack of sleep, and send them from yourself in young motherhood to yourself in grandmotherhood. Write yourself an email and you will receive it on the date you designate.
Oh, and by the way, there's an app for that.
Are you the sort of mom who documents daily the down and dirty details of raising kids on Facebook? Instead of sending those thoughts into the social media stratosphere, collect them in an email and send them into your future. Use the public but anonymous option, or keep it private between present you and future you.
A friend recently posted this status update about her teenagers on her Facebook wall: "Miss the days when my kids were little. They were more work but they were worth it."
Written on FutureMe.org, her woeful words could return to her in an email 10 years from now when her kids are living back at home after college. As they litter her clean kitchen counter with half full cans of Coke, sully the bathroom floor with balled up wet towels, and fill the house with hoards of friends emptying her refrigerator, my friend may realize this phase will fly by as quickly as their toddler years. And how she'll miss these days too, once her children have flown the coop to populate hen houses of their own.
Using FutureMe.org, we can repent the inevitable slipups we make as moms and dads.
Send a message into a future where your children have thrived in spite of your pitiful parenting errors. The FutureMe.org email I might have sent myself 16 years ago contains advice I still use today:
"Even though the pediatrician assured me my baby doesn't have a concussion or worse, I can't stop berating myself about what happened. This morning when I turned for an instant to find my hairbrush, the baby bouncer with my little girl inside slipped from the toilet seat to the bathroom floor.
"How will my baby survive having a klutz like me for a mother? Will she live to enjoy her high school years? I couldn’t forgive myself until the doctor calmed me down with this prescription, 'Tell yourself two times you were a bad mother, that you will never let it happen ever again, and let it go.' Smart doctor. It worked!"
I'm composing an email I'll receive 14 years from now, when my daughter is 30 years old and I hope to be a grandma. It goes like this:
"My daughter is a mom now, and I know she will approach the experience with fervent love and good intentions. I must tell her she is bound to make mistakes, and when she does she should repeat two times to herself that she was a bad mom, it will never happen again, and to let the feelings go. Tell her my grandchild comes from a mom who rolls with the slipups and bounces back. Oh, and remind her not to put the baby in the carrier on the toilet seat."