I remember being pregnant with my daughter at the ripe age of 21, reading up on parenting via “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and scanning the forums of the Babybump app to absorb every morsel of maternal material my pre-motherhood brain could manage. Once that beautiful baby girl was born I used maybe 1/18th of the knowledge I had obsessed over for the long nine months of gestation. Now as a mother of four there are a few things that those blog posts and baby books never could have prepared me for.
1. Hallucinogenic Sleep Deprivation Is A Thing
Most parents know having a newborn can cause you to pull all nighters on the regular, but I could have never prepared myself for the insane effect it can have on your body.
Days upon days I spent floating around not even feeling my feet hit the floor, hearing cries that weren’t there, and truly thinking I’d gone insane! When you’re running on 8 hours of sleep in a week you can find yourself in a limbo between dream and reality for most of the day. Also, sleep when the baby sleeps is well intended advice, but can be an impossibility once you’ve grown your family like I have to four kids!
Mom Tip: If there are capable adults (or responsible teens) in your vicinity take advantage and NAP!
Nap once your spouse gets home, who cares if its 8 at night you know you’ll be up all night anyways. Nap at the dinner table, nap at your great Aunts house when you visit with the baby, nap in the car on the way to doctors appointments. Hell! Nap at the doctors’ appointment if your spouse is there! Believe me they will understand. DO IT. Your sleep health is more important to that baby then your need to be awake and aware of every breath and sound they make.
2. Kids Can Be Real Assholes
I mean like, real assholes. I know you’ve probably scanned through Facebook and seen those posts where the kid gets mad at the mom and passive aggressively opens up all the bananas in the home. That happens. A LOT. Also, they have no filter! My five-year-old says to me just yesterday after I picked her up from kinder,
“Maybe you shouldn’t wear that shirt anymore, you look like your having another baby.”
Um… burning this shirt as soon as I get home thanks for the tip.
They are assholes from the age of 3 to… well my oldest is 14 and its still going I’ll let you know the age limit if/when I reach it. The scariest part about it is, all the asshole-ish things they do, make you look back at yourself and realize, yeah you’re kind of an asshole too.
That being said, their pros outweigh their cons, just not evenly every day. And on those bad days I just repeat “I love my children, they are my world,” over and over in my head until I start to believe it.
3. They Make You See Danger, Everywhere.
If you ever told me that I would be terrified of a bottle cap or a strand of hair I would laugh in your fool face!
Did you know that a strand of hair could get wrapped around a finger, or toe or god forbid your boys bits and pieces and cut off the circulation with the chance of it needing to be amputated! Yeah me neither. Now I’m anxious every time I see one of my girls brushing their hair.
The world is a dangerous place and with access to the internet moms are way more hyper aware of all of the potential risks. The chances of your baby getting exposed to H1N1 or one of the other millions of diseases out there are slim, but it doesn’t change my need to constantly sanitize everything their hands could possible graze.
Mom tip: Don’t listen to me in this point, I am the worlds most anxious person and your baby will be fine, just let me project my anxieties ok! 😉
4. You Will Be Obsessed With Them
Ok, so I know we have all seen parents posting thousands upon thousands of pictures of their children doing the most mundane things like holding a cup in one hand with the caption
“Look at that grip strength! #Futureninjawarrior #childprodigy”
I’m telling you right now, we actually think that.
Our children are the cutest, most adorable, good-looking, smartest, most advanced creatures to ever roam this earth. Did I mention they are the cutest?
Most of your days as a parent are spent sitting on your couch, yelling at your spouse to come and see the cute new expression your toddler has learned. Omg he could be a model!
Fun fact: My family made a drinking game out of how obsessed I am with my kids!
No joke! When we were in Mexico every time I called my daughter the cutest, or said she was the best at something, they drank. Lets just say the trip was a blur for them by the end of it.
5. You Will Never Know A Love Like This Until You’re A Parent
Whether you are a natural parent, an adoptive parent, a step parent, or any of type of parent you can’t comprehend the unbelievable amount of love and joy that children bring into your lives. I am a proud step parent of two daughters and a proud natural parent of a daughter and a son. They have all impacted my life in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined possible. As much as I bitch about, well, pretty much all aspects of parenting, I would never in a million years trade this incredible experience for anything. I have so much pride watching the little people I helped raise morph into these beautiful, strong willed, amazing human beings. There is no greater love. Period.