Everybody is quick to tell you that you’ll get no sleep during the first year of motherhood or that you’ll think your kids are the most amazing children in the world. But, there are some things that nobody told me…
- You will find something smeared on you by your toddler anytime you are on your way to an important meeting or any place that you need to look put together. You might think you have made it out clean, but you’ll be wrong. You’ll think, “But I didn’t even touch the kid before I left!” and somehow you will still find the remnants of mushy animal cracker or smeared peanut butter somewhere on your person.
- You will be puked on. And it’s just as gross as you think. I don’t mean baby spit up. That stuff is no big deal and you may come to find smelling like baby puke almost like your natural state during your child’s first six months of life. I mean when your bigger, but still little, kid has some horrible stomach virus and says, “Mommy, will you hold me?” and you just can’t say no. And then you are covered in virus laden vomit and you know that you are doomed to get the horrible stomach virus, too. But, you just can’t say no when your little one is so miserable and needs you so much.
- You will find that watching your kid struggle with something is actually harder than struggling with it yourself. The first time I watched my son at basketball practice and saw that he had a long way to go in the skills department was actually worse for me than the many, many times that I was picked last in gym class. Likewise, watching him practice, get better at it, and build his confidence may have been better than if I had done it myself.
- You will discover exactly how your own mother had eyes in the back of her head. It’s not the eyes, it’s the ears. You can hear exactly what they’re doing and know what they’re up to. And it’s kind of awesome, like having a mommy super power.
- You will not be able to watch movies or read books where something bad happens to a kid. You will imagine every situation as if it was happening to your child and it gets way too creepy and too close to home.
- You will feel slightly guilty about all the noisy toys that you bought for your friends’ and family’s kids before you had children and knew better. But don’t worry, they’ll get you back by buying your kids a drum set. (Thanks, big brother of mine. I deserved that.)
- You will cry more. And not at sad stuff. It starts when they are brand new. You’ll find yourself gazing at your little one and crying at the sheer amazingness of this precious little person. Even after the hormones wear off, it’ll still happen. Sometimes they’ll wow you with how hard they are trying at something, or how thoughtful they were for someone else, and you’ll get a little choked up because you’re so proud of them.
- You will become an expert in at least 10 things that you care absolutely nothing about or wish that you didn’t have to know about. Thanks to my kids’ obsessions, I know way more about dinosaurs and clouds than I ever wanted to know. Through necessity, I also now know the best ways to remove melted crayon from car upholstery, get marker off my walls, and even how to administer an epinephrine auto-injector. Yay?
- You will become a detective. Maybe you’re figuring out what random food allergy or weird illness your kid has. Maybe you’re figuring out where your kiddo hides the crayons that they use to color all over the walls during naptime. Whatever your mystery, you’ll be better at this stuff than Nancy Drew.
- You’ll love your kids more than you realized was even possible. You know that scene in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” where the Grinch’s heart grows 3 sizes and turns into a giant heart? That’s what happens every single time you welcome a new child to your family. Your heart and your capacity for loving just keep getting bigger and bigger.
What things would you add to this list? Please share!