Before I was a mom, I had all the answers (don’t we all?). Once I was pregnant I was so thrilled to be bringing a baby into our family and all I could think about was all the sunshine and rainbows and lollipops that our life was soon going to be filled with.
Motherhood has turned out to be quite the adventure and one that I am so grateful to be on, but my thoughts going into motherhood were a little….um…skewed, shall we say? I was talking with a friend the other day about how “off” we were in our thinking and I’m sharing some of those thoughts today.
1. My kids will be the best sleepers and bed time is a strict rule: I totally remember judging parents on their kids sleeping habits/routines before I had kids. I would tell my husband all the time that our kids will sleep through the night, never be allowed in our room, and we would rock at bedtime.
Fast forward 3.5 years and my preschooler son hasn’t slept through the night or in his own bed for the past 3 years. We’ve tried ever trick in the book, this kid is a sleep mystery. It has however given me greater sympathy for other parents and taught me not to judge.
2. My kids will NOT throw tantrums in public: Oh how I wish I could take back all the stares/glares at moms who “would not control their kids in public.”
How foolish was I?
Tantrums in public are soooo humiliating, but we cannot give in to our irrational kids just because Mrs. Grumpy pants over there is getting annoyed. So to that mom with the screaming kid in being dragged away from the toy aisle at Target: You go, Mama!
3. “I’m tired.” : Seriously? There is nothing like the exhaustion that comes from being a parent. I want to slap my past self for ever thinking I was tired, and for thinking that 9:00 AM is early. That is sleeping in, folks. I am however seriously amazed at how little amount of sleep a human can actually function on. I might forget a lot, and not make a lot of sense….but I’m still alive.
4. What am I going to do all day? : I remember when I was pregnant and looking forward to maternity leave and becoming a stay at home mom that I was really concerned with what in the world I was going to do all day.
Oh goodness. I can safely say that I have never been bored since I’ve been a SAHM. There is always something to be done, some errand to run, chore to finish, dinner to cook, owie to kiss better, toy to fix, picture to color, bad guys to fight, throw up to clean, kids to bathe, poop to clean up, pets to walk, shoes to find, bills to pay, sword fights to win, dragons to slay, books to read, songs to sing………….oh and somewhere in there I am supposed to work out, shower, dry my hair, put on my makeup, and eat. So, the question is more like: What did I not do today?
5. My kids will always be dressed SOOO cute! : Okay, so the majority of the time I try to have my kids dressed and looking presentable but I also firmly believe in “picking my battles.” So if that means that my kids are running around the front yard in underwear and socks, with dirty faces, and Cheeto’s stained fingers, then that’s okay by me. I also have discovered that ‘play clothes’ are awesome. I cannot stand when I buy a cute outfit only to have it stained in 3 minutes flat. So while I do love to get my kids dressed up, I also have to have my realistic expectations.
6. Stay at Home Mom’s houses must be clean all the time: Okay, now I could really slap my former self. I swear there are days where I do nothing but laundry, dishes, and walk all over picking up toys, clothes, shoes, food, and legos…..yet at the end of the day it would appear as though I sat and watched Ellen all day. Kids are messy, and when everyone is home: LIFE happens. Of course I try to stay on top of cleaning, and keeping my home healthy and germ free. But on those days where it looks like a hurricane hit, I just try to embrace it and think about all the fun we had that day.
7. I’ll make all my own baby food and raise healthy kids who love Kale: Before I had my son I really wanted to make all my own baby food. I wanted to know exactly what he was eating and I knew it would save me money. I actually did pretty well with making my own fruit and veggie puree’s for him but I also gave him goldfish, fruit snacks, and m&m’s to keep him content. When my second came along I had good intentions again for making baby food, but two kids kinda of rocked my world and it was just easier to buy it. As long as my kids were getting fed mostly healthy food, then that’s a win in my book.
Also, no one in this house likes kale.
8. Having a kid will totally get me out of boring church meetings! One Sunday before we had kids, my husband and I were sitting behind a family with four adorable kids. The meeting house was hot, and the speaker was a tad bit on the boring side (hey, it happens…) and the kids were so entertaining. We kept joking about how fun church will be once we have kids.
It’s been almost 4 years and I don’t think we’ve made it all the way through church yet. This year has been especially trying since our church time is right during nap time. Oy vey!
9. Breastfeeding will get me my dream bod!: So a few of my friends have had the best weight loss success with breastfeeding and it got me so excited to have such an easy way to get my body back after having a baby. Well, I hate to be the Debbie Downer, but breastfeeding benefits are not created equal. I do not lose weight while I am nursing, and once I am done I definitely have to put in the work to lose the pounds. So if you are one of the lucky ones who has the weight just fall off, I am suuu-per jealous!
10. Oh, I’m totally having a natural birth: During my first pregnancy I was totally intrigued by the thought of giving birth with no medication. I read all the books, listened to tapes, and got my mind set right. And then I was induced. And Pitocin contractions are from the devil. I lasted a few hours and finally asked for the epidural.
Plot twist: mine didn’t freaking work! Good thing I prepared. Turns out labor really hurts!
11. I will NOT drive a mini van: To a young and hip 20-something mini van’s are seen as the ultimate sign of waving the white flag. I would never drive a van and of course always be seen in some top of the line SUV. Then I figured out how awesome/practical vans are and I am currently in debates with the hubster about getting one. ( I will win.)
12. I can’t wait to quit working.: Quit working? Actually I’ve never worked harder in my life. Being a mom is a tough gig. The hours are insane, the pay sucks, the clients are demanding and unreasonable. (My co-worker is hot though, so that helps).
I’m now paid in hugs and kisses and I wuv you’s and it’s awesome. The benefits far out weigh the negative’s and though I sometimes feel completely overworked, I’ve also never felt so needed, and un-replaceable.
13. Being a mom will be awesome: Turns out I was right about one thing. Being a mom is awesome. But in a much different way than I ever could have imagined. Yes, my kids are adorable and silly, and make me laugh every day. But it’s so much more than that. In one day I can feel so many different emotions. I feel pride, joy, excitement, fear, anxiety, love, frustration, sadness, happiness, and so much more. Motherhood is awesome and crazy hard and I love it.
I’m curious…….what were some of your thoughts on motherhood before you had kids? What were some things that you were dead wrong about or how have your views changed?