photos by RaeTay Photography
It's hard to believe that I've been a parent for almost four and a half years now, and I know I still have a lot of learning left to do. Some days are pretty smooth sailing, other days are a total and complete three-ring circus. I make my fair share of mistakes, that's for sure, but one thing never falters: I love my little boy more than anything and being his Mommy is my life's greatest joy.
That said, there are many things I wish someone had told (er, warned) me about prior to becoming a parent. Like just how many trips to the Emergency Room we'd be making and the never-ending nightmare that is potty training. I thought we'd get a raise after diapers but it turns out we've spent just as much on whitie-tighties and flushable wipes. No matter how crazy it may get around here, I try and take a deep breath an remember these 10 things...
1. Kids are messy. I knew this little bit of information after being a nanny and with a little brother of my own growing up, but trying to keep a house somewhat presentable with a child is no easy task. And no matter how clean the house may look? It's not. There are Goldfish & animal crackers living under every piece of furniture we own. I tell Zach they're just rations for Hammy, our pet hamster, when he finally makes his great escape.
2. Asking for help doesn't mean you're weak. It actually means you're still thinking straight.
3. The eating never stops. Unless of course it's mealtime, then your kids will want absolutely nothing to do with food. But the rest of the day? It's nothing but snacks on snacks. On snacks.
4. Sleep is a beautiful thing. I've always treasured sleep but motherhood has only grown this appreciation into somewhat of a cult following. Sleep, I love you. And I miss you.
5. You'll do all the things you thought you'd never do. Motherhood gives meaning to the phrase "never say never", as all those judgy eyes you gave parents on the plane and times you swore you'd never let your future child touch an iPad are out the freakin' window. Think your newborn will never watch Spongebob Squarepants or play Angry Birds? Go ahead and eat those words, along with a few packages of fruit snacks (you'll be living off them for the next ten years).
6. It's better to laugh than cry (or scream). Being a parent is the ultimate test of patience and some days, I really start to wonder how much of my sanity will actually survive. No matter how aggravating or frustrating the situation may be, laughter is always the best medicine (unless there's Xanax readily available- then take that).
7. Going to the bathroom alone is a privilege, not a right. To all my girlfriends without children- it's weird, I know. Just enjoy the silence, and privacy, while you can.
8. Today is not forever. Some days are tougher than others, and I have to remind myself that "this too shall pass". The struggles I experience as a Mom will be different with each season and I know that some days won't be easy. On the flip side, watching my little boy grow all too quickly has taught me to stop and savor the special moments for the exact same reason: today is not forever.
9. There will be daily doses of humble pie. Whether it's getting pulled over in pajamas for speeding on the way to MDO, explaining to my four year old son that the very nice gentleman I'm speaking with is most definitely not pregnant, or apologizing to the waitress for the third drink spill in a row, I get my fair share of humble pie on the daily. And as a result of being "there" time and time again over the past several years, I have developed great empathy for other mothers in the same spot.
10. It's worth it. All of the tears, breastfeeding in public restrooms, sick days, poop on the floor, tantrums, torturous grocery store trips- they're all worth it for the one time your child looks at you and says, "I love you, Mommy".