Throwback Thursday: The Life I Thought I’d Have

by Heather Campbell, Princess Mommy

Princess Daddy and Mommy circa 2004

Nearly a decade ago, I had a school assignment for an honor’s English class to explain in detail what life looked like in twenty years. At the time, writing the essay, which I did creatively as a diary excerpt, seemed silly. Sure I had hopes and dreams for what life would be like but I really had no clue. I didn’t know what I wanted or who I’d become. I didn’t know what career path I wanted or how many kids or if the love of my life would even become my husband. I was just barely out of my teens and looking down the road 20 years seemed an impossible task.

Being the obsessive, organized, not crazy but just slightly over acceptable hoarder that I am, I kept the piece. I’m glad I kept it. I never thought aboutwhyI was keeping it, it just seemed like the right thing to do. And now, it was the perfect eye opener to help me focus on life and happiness in this new (ish) year.

The essay is LONG (think 1,200 words) but I’ll share some excerpts and what I’ve learned from my past self. Enjoy!

The diary entry was dated in 2025: the day before my fortieth birthday. I wrote about a hectic morning getting my kids ready for picture day. I described my family: three daughters all with auburn red hair and fair skin like my own. They were 16, 13, and 11 years old. One was feisty with the perfect body but still dealt with feeling beautiful, one was a very active tomboy type, very into sports despite having more a pear shape than the stick figures of her sisters. We were planning a middle daughter-mommy date, letting her skip school because her period arrived for the first time. The third daughter was boy crazy, giggly, fashionable and popular.

Comparing my “future” to my now really brings things in perspective. It’s funny to me that prior to marriage and really living, I wanted three kids. When we bought our house, we settled on wanting just two kids. And now life has brought us three kids anyway! There were plenty of times during my pregnancy and even during the newborn-twin stage that I was really, really down that things didn’t go “my way.” But now? I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I also giggle that I predicted three girls for myself. Post college and into my first pregnancy I wanted boys. I didn’t even remember writing this essay and talking about having girls. I remembered being a teenager myself and the thought of having daughters scared the living daylights out of me. Age wise, I was dead on. My first was born when I was 23 and the twins when I was 26. Amazing how some dreams stick with you like that.

My home now is gorgeous.  We live in a rural area right outside of a big city.  We have about a half an acre of land.  Our house is almost mansion like with everything we could ever imagine inside… It is two stories plus a basement.  The entire house is made of red brick.  The roof is a slate gray.  We have huge bay windows.

And here’s the reality: no half acre, no mansion, no two stories, no bay windows and well, not quite gorgeous. BUT it’s our home. We still dream of upgrading it but reality trumps dreams these days. And by upgrading, my “dreamhome” is nothing like what I described ten years ago. Its amazing how over ambitious I was way back when. I’m humbled reading what I wanted. I appreciate everything we have. I’m not envious or jealous of what we don’t have. It’s a peaceful place to be. And I didn’t realize I was in this place until just now.

I never say my husband’s name in my writing. It’s possible that I was holding back for fear of scaring him away? Maybe I didn’t want to jinx it? For whatever reason, I left his name out. But let me make it very clear, I married the man I’ve been in love with for the last decade. I described his ambitions and interests. The husband in my prediction was my boyfriend all those years ago. He was the best part about my past and is the thing I look forward to the most in my future. He is my present and my every day.

It probably wasn’t great, but I was happy.  Any mother would tell you the same.  Holding a newborn, sitting next to the man you love, equals pure happiness.

I was definitely right about one thing. I looked back on my past and described those first moments with my first born: scared, anxious, but suddenly prepared for everything life has to offer.

I predicted I’d be happy. And even though all of my predictions didn’t come true, that one did. I am absolutely happy.

This post is the first of a biweekly-ish feature at Amateur Parenting: Throwback Thursday, wherein we talk about life before kids or life at earlier stages of parenthood. This feature will share more or less with Throwdown Thursday, wherein we discuss controversial parenting topics. Have a request for a topic? Contact us with your idea!

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Heather Campbell, Princess Mommy

Blogger at Amateur Parenting
Heather Campbell (aka, Princess Mommy) is a red-headed work-at-home mom of three under 4 who lives in the St. Louis metro area. She also blogs at Magical Chaos and Mumbling Mommy. Meet the whole AmateurParenting.com team on our About page.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Leanne March 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I loved reading this, Heather. :) It’s so interesting the similarities/differences in your “two lives”. I have saved a lot of my writing pieces from high school. I’ve just recently started going back through my parents’ computer and deleting some of those things as the computer is really old now and on its way out. Lol.

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