When I was pregnant with our first child, there were days that I felt like my head would explode if someone tried to give me one more piece of unsolicited parenting advice. “You’ll be tired..sleep when baby sleeps!” “Don’t drink coffee while you’re breastfeeding!” (HA!) “Don’t let them watch TV until they’re 15!”
While people meant well, they started to sound like the same annoying song stuck on repeat. Their so-called words of wisdom were truly going in one ear and out the other. Now that I have a 3 year old and a baby, I TOTALLY understand what these do-gooders were ACTUALLY trying to say. For anyone that’s curious, allow me to put some weight behind some of those coined phrases that you hear so often while awaiting your first little nugget..
1. “You won’t get much sleep.”
Do you enjoy being hungover? How about the feeling you get the day after pulling an all-nighter? Now imagine doing that for 3 months straight. Or maybe 6 months, even 12 or 18 months! (Or in our case, long enough to have another baby and start the process of sleepless nights all over again!) My husband recently brushed his teeth with topical Benadryl. I put the milk away in the cupboard last week. We are that kind of tired.
2. “You’ll have to learn to multitask.”
Somehow, multitasking almost sounds glamorous before you have kids. “I’m going to write a book and talk on the phone to my colleagues and prepare a delicious home cooked meal..all at the same time!” Umm, NO. Here are some actual examples of my recent personal multitasking: Sitting on the toilet, rocking a baby in a carseat, and putting goggles on a 3 year old, all at the same time. (Don’t ask me why the goggles, because I don’t know.) Or how about propping baby on the kitchen counter while he breastfeeds so I can make a hideous looking PB&J with one hand, while talking to a Comcast representative on speaker phone? You get the idea.
3. “Kids are dirty.”
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You don’t know dirty until your baby has a major blow out while you’re carrying them in the front pack. That was the last time I left the house without a change of clothes for ME. Your kids will blow their nose on your shoulder, barf in their own hair, spit their food between your couch cushions while you aren’t looking, and squirt their fruit and veggie pouch into the buckle apparatus of their car seat. All of these things might happen before 10 am.
4. “You have to do gross things as a parent.”
I’m one of those moms that can’t handle it when my kids have a snotty nose or something gross stuck to their face. Recently, I noticed a booger in our toddlers nose, so of course I reached in there and got it out. (We aren’t to the gross part yet..) I picked this booger from her nose without realizing first that I had NOWHERE to put it at the time. And since I couldn’t put it back into her nose, I put that booger in my pocket. There, I said it.
5. “Having children is time consuming.”
Someone recently asked me if I had read any good books lately. I’d have to say my favorite is The Little Red Hen. But Brown Bear, Brown Bear is pretty good, too. Oh, and I’ve been trying to make time to clean out my car for 3 weeks now and have yet to find the time. THREE. WEEKS. No wonder it kinda smells in there. And don’t even get me started on laundry. For every pair of pants I fold, two articles of clothing get thrown over the baby gate and down the stairs by a tiny person.
6. “Your social life will change.”
Welp, it’s official. I have completely forgotten how to communicate with other adults. I am used to talking in choppy sentences that sound like, “honey, don’t touch that,” and “I hear you but mommy is talking right now,” and “you had your turn already!” When I get together with my other mom friends, I can only remember snippets of what they said. Mostly because they were only able to speak in snippets. Normal eye contact has become super awkward because I am now accustomed to constant toddler distractions.
7. “You won’t have much “me” time.”
My “special alone time” equates to a frantic attempt at personal hygiene. Forget shaving your legs except on special occasions. And that’s only from the knee down.
8. “A mother’s work is never done.”
Your responsibility for your little humans starts first thing in the morning and doesn’t end until bedtime. And by morning, I mean the second that baby comes out of your body, and by bedtime I mean…the end of time. There is always something that needs to be done. Lunch needs to be made, the baby just put a (surprisingly large) dust bunny in his mouth, ALL of my toddlers pajamas are in the wash and it’s almost time for bed, etc. You get the idea.
9. “You’ll experience love like you never have before.”
This one, there is no sufficient explanation for. I’m telling you, there isn’t a word in the English language to describe the love you will feel for your children. Think of a person who you love in a deep and genuine way. Your parents? Your siblings? Your dog? Now multiply that by like, a billion. It’s the feeling that your whole life and every experience you’ve ever had has culminated into creating this precious, one-of-a-kind human being. It makes it ALL worth it. I desperately hope that my children have kids of their own, because I think that looking into their own babies eyes may be the only way for them to truly understand the kind of love I have for them.
No wonder parents want to show you 4,000 pictures of their little nuggets.
Experienced parents tried to warn you, but you just. didn’t. listen..
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