Here are the top 10 things I wish I knew before I was a Mom.
(Some of which may or may not be a little sarcastic. Please don’t take me too seriously. A Mom needs a laugh, too.)
10. Invest in Band-Aids.
Invest for your financial investments, invest in your supply at home, invest in using the term band-aid in your vernacular. Band-Aid is synonymous with all sorts of magic that I did not know existed prior to motherhood. Well, I guess I might have known as a child, but I had long since forgotten. Trust me. You will want lots, and lots, and LOTS, and LOTS of Band-Aids around. (P.S. Your kid will know if you go the cheap route before the age of 2. They want cute pictures and colors and all the feels.) Prepare to have band-aids used as stickers at least at some point. Just mentally flush $10 down the drain a few times, and have a bottle of Goo-Gone on hand; it will help when you discover the sticky mess. Remember the cheap band-aids I told you to avoid? THIS IS WHY.
9. You will spend more time in the kitchen than you ever thought possible.
No one tells you this. No matter if you are a “stay at home,” “work at home,” “work from there,” woman, you might as well just make peace that the kitchen will be your 2nd home within your home. Sometimes the fridge is all you need for 2 seconds of peace and a cool breeze. But someone is always hungry (or hangry), something needs to be cooked, cleaned, reheated, put away, made, picked up, organized, etc., and someone is always thirsty. If none of those are true, a little someone will be systematically pulling out every piece of tupperware from your cabinets and throwing it all over the kitchen. Try not to slip on a tupperware lid. The aftermath of that is NOT pretty.
8. You will FINALLY get everything figured out, only for something to change the next second, and throw off everything you just figured out.
Having sleep issues with your newborn? Get it “figured out,” and suddenly they think they need a tooth?! Got your toddler’s eating “figured out,” suddenly they decide to go on strike and you worry like CRAZY and go “figure it out” all over again. Finally get that nap schedule down? Goodness, they want to drop a nap!?! FINALLY get your workout back into the rhythm? Don’t worry, your child will finally figure out how to interrupt that valiant effort, too. But goodness, they are CUTE when they do.
7. There is no pause button in parenting.
Seriously, I’ve looked and I just can’t find it anywhere. Sometimes, my husband and I will just stare at each other; all we want is just to pause, even just 30 seconds, take a deep breath and start again. But. it. does. not. exist. Once you start this whole parenting journey, there’s no going back. So, when you are sweetly wishing for a baby to hold and dreaming of bathing a newborn and getting them into jammies and how sweet that will be, just remember that once it starts, it just can’t stop.
6. You become ‘old’ instantaneously. (at least in regards to sleep)
Suddenly bedtime for kids = bedtime for adults. Why did I ever make fun of my parents for going to bed early? 7:30 PM is a delightful bedtime. Yes, I know it is still light outside, and you can hear your friends playing basketball, and the sun is showing through the cracks in your blinds. (When do the black out shades get here?) But it is BEDTIME IN THIS HOUSE! How I wish I took all the naps I had been offered as a child. It’s not strange to lecture your 4 year old about the regrets of not napping, right?
5. The pressure of the responsibility for over 60 fingernails and toenails can be quite overwhelming.
Why do they not cover this in school? Or birth class? Or provide a nail trimming certification like CPR? Seriously, the amount of mom guilt I have for basically clipping the tip off of my newborns’ finger, forever will haunt me. Please, for the love of nail hygiene, revolt and petition your local municipalities to provide training for this. It affects us all.
4. Never (and I mean never!) ever will you look at wearing a seatbelt the same way.
The simple ease of getting in the car and pulling on that nice thick piece of fabric and hugging it around you with a delightful click at the end…will change. Now, you will have to endure multiple people all having multiple ways of handling this everyday thrill. Some despise it and will use a full frontal assault to escape the dire situation. Did I mention, said person will be only a few MONTHS old? Others will demand full and complete autonomy which may or may not last the entire amount of time you had planned to be gone in the car in the first place. Still others will enjoy this simple accomplishment so much, they want to repeat the experience multiple times in one sitting, which means you get to do the same thing, too. I think we could sell a workout series entitled “Seatbelt Mania With Toddlers.” Anyone interested?
3. The administrative effort to handle a simple preschool or mother’s day out program will make you think twice before enrolling.
Maybe with one child you will get this down with only minor hiccups, but with any additional children, you are likely to fall prey to one of the following phenomenon. 1) Have child all dolled up for the wrong picture day or have them still in their pjs with breakfast still on their face on the correct picture day. 2) Go to the wrong school to pick your child up. 3) Forget your child’s ______ (insert anything you like: lovey, sippy cup, folder, lunchbox, jacket, toy, etc) and your child will make you feel like you lost your mom card. But seriously, 5 hours twice a week is worth it’s weight in GOLD. So suck it up sistas. Just remember to register what feels like a YEAR in advance.
2. Cooking now looks like “playing kitchen” with little ones.
Gone are the days of dreaming up a gourmet meal that you peacefully enjoy making and no one whines or complains about it. I’m told they will be back, but I have not yet arrived. Oh the joys of teaching little ones to “help” in the kitchen. ‘Dump, Dump, Stir’ works great. Just be careful of what you are dumping and tall sides on the bowls do help tremendously. The amount of effort, guilt, time, thought, energy, dishes, mess, cleanup involved, will make you wonder why we have to eat every. single. day. Can’t we just be satisfied with dinner once a week? It would make life so much more simple.
1. I’m perfect for this.
Yes, this is probably the most important thing I wish I knew before I was a Mom. Not just good, or okay, but perfect. It’s easy to believe, hear, feel, think and know, that you have no idea what you are doing, you are not cut out for this, you will never make it, and you are a horrible mom. And you know what? That’s pretty normal, as there are many moments those all really feel true. Why wouldn’t it? What you do is so important that it is easy to feel responsible, and pressured and overwhelmed. But the reality is, you were made to do this. And you are perfect for your little family. Flaws and all. Sure, we have some growing up to do, and we will make lots and lots of mistakes. But God knows that. And whatever journey He has you and your child on, you can rest assured that He’s paired the two or three or four or ten of you together for a very good reason.
Cheers to motherhood!
Join The Conversation: What is something you wish you knew before you were a mom? If you are not a mom, what is something you wish mom’s knew? We can all learn from each other! You can leave a comment by clicking here.