This year marks my second “official” Mother’s Day, 3rd if you count the year I was pregnant.
I was so excited to join the “mommy club”! I couldn’t wait to hold a little bundle of joy in my arms.
During my pregnancy, I read up on what was happening each month, how the baby was growing and developing.
I tried to prepare myself for what to expect (I guess it’s the producer in me).
What they really need to offer when you leave the hospital is a manual. Congratulations! You just had a baby! Now here’s what you do with it for the next 18 years.
When you become a parent, there is definitely a learning curve.
Yes, there are thousands of baby books out there with advice on everything from how to change a diaper to ways to soothe a fussy baby.
But let’s be honest, no two people are alike. Therefore, no two babies are alike. What works for one might not work for another. Every parent has to learn what works for their family.
So in honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of things they don’t tell you in all those books, a list of things I wish I knew before becoming a mother.
Tired will have a whole new meaning. Pulled an all-nighter in college? That was nothing. Especially during those first few weeks, sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning. You consider it a victory when you get 2-3 hours of shut eye in a row.
Coffee/Caffeine will be your best friend. Before becoming a mom I was not a coffee drinker. Now, I’m addicted. It’s the extra jolt you need to help start your day and keep you going. Until they figure out how to bottle a child’s energy and put it in pill form, this will have to do.
“Me time” is necessary. You’ll spend just about every waking moment tending to your little one. As a result, you can get lost in the mix. Make sure to take time for yourself. Get a cup of coffee. Go for a run, or get that pedicure. It’ll do you and the baby good.
Your wardrobe will change. Yes some clothes may not fit your new body after baby but that’s not what I’m talking about. Do you have a child that spits up a lot? You’ll think twice about wearing that dry clean only blouse. If it can’t get peed on, pooped on, or spit on, you won’t be wearing it (unless a very special occasion arises).
Some of your favorite things will get put on the back-burner. Before becoming a mom I loved to go on movie dates with my husband. Fast-forward to life with a little one and it was over 2 years before we saw a movie in theaters together.
They change so quickly, pictures and videos are a must. First they’ll, smile at you, then roll over. Before you know it they’ll be walking and talking. It seems every day they are learning new. Try to capture as many of those moments as possible. They’re great memories to look back on.
Multi-tasking skills will be put to the test. You’ll soon be amazed at the stuff you can do one handed while holding a 20 pound toddler in the other.
Leaving home will never be the same. Diapers? Check! Extra clothes? Check! Bottles? Check! Car seat? Check! Pacifiers? Check! Ointment? Check! Did we forget something? Oh yeah, the baby!
Toys will try to overtake your house……and your garage, and your basement. Pretty much every room in your house will be covered with toys. Just make sure to watch out for them when you’re staggering around in the middle of the night.
Talking about bowel movements at the dinner table will be normal. When they’re little you’ll be comparing notes over dinner with your significant other. Did they go? What consistency was it? What color? When they’re older, your kid will be the one doing the talking.
You will worry about them, constantly. Did they eat enough? Are hitting all their milestones? Are they getting sick? You’ll constantly worry. I was talking with a former co-worker about this recently. He says he still worries about his kids, mind you his son is in his 30s and about to get married. I guess some things never change.
You don’t have to be perfect. Moms make mistake, I know I do. I call them “Mom Fails”. It’s good our children see our imperfections. It teaches them how to overcome.
How quickly time goes by. You hear it from parents time and time again and they are right. Time goes by way to quickly when you have kids. Try to enjoy every minute you can.
It’s the best & hardest job in the world. The days I go to work are usually less tiring then the days I’m home with my son. Sure, there are times when you want to rip your hair out (or the baby reaches out and does that for you). There will also be moments of pure joy and happiness. Did I mention all this can happen within the same 10 minutes? Hey, no one ever said being a parent was easy!
You’ll wonder how you could have ever lived without them. Honestly, do you remember what you did before kids? I don’t and I can’t imagine a future without mine.
You’ll never love anything more. From the moment they put that baby in your arms, you know you’ll do anything within your power to protect them and care for them. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.