The Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood.

Everyone knows your life changes after you have a baby.  There’s constantly someone depending on you for every thing.  It’s like having a husband, but miniature.  And sometimes even more smelly.
There are certain things no one warns you about before you have a baby.
But you deserve to know.
So here you go.
The things no one told me about motherhood.

No one knows what the heck they’re doing either.  When you’re pregnant you always hear, “Oh, sleep while you can” (Um, last time I checked you can’t bank up on sleep and just pull out the extra hours you got to re-energize yourself once the baby is here.) .
Or, “Don’t feed your child solids until their 12 years old!”.
Or, “Make sure you vaccinate/don’t vaccinate your children!”.
“If your child doesn’t have at least 14 hours of exercise a day, they’ll be ugly.”
But the truth is, when you become a parent, you can do all the research you want, and you’ll still be screwed.  Because children don’t care about your plans.  You know what I had planned? An epidural.  And I didn’t get one because Little S was impatient.  I also had planned to have Little S be sleeping through the night by 6 months old.  Instead I was waking up every 45 minutes to nurse, even when he was 10 months old. And sobbing. There was a lot of sobbing during those nights.
You can plan all you want, but I can almost garunatee your child is going to come along and be like “Oh, so I heard you’d really like it if I ate some vegetables/liked bathtime/gave you time to shower/slept more than 5 minutes at a time, huh? Too bad.”

You’ll never be able to eat a whole dessert by yourself again.  All I want in life is to enjoy a full cheesecake in the peace and quiet of my own room.  But some how Little S manages to hear me quietly open the fridge and sneak to the table.
“Mama?”
“No. This is Mama’s cheesecake/truffle/icecream/cake.” (Usually not all at the same time.)
Then he attempts to stick his fingers in my food and say “OOOOH! Pwease, Mama? Pwease? Pwease?”
“Fine, one bite.” and then one bite turns into all of my delicious indulgence devoured by a tiny toddler who REALLY doesn’t need any more sugar.
Also, you’ll never sit down to eat a meal again. I can’t remember the last time I sat and ate dinner without getting up to get Little S something at least 76 times during dinner. It’s like he wants me to be skinny or something. Ugh.

Everything is terrifying those first few months. Everything. I didn’t drive ANYWHERE until Little S was 2 months old. Every cough, every sneeze, every diaper rash I was convinced was a brain tumor. And you want to take them to the doctor, but then you have to sit in a waiting room, filled with other children with life threatening illnesses, just waiting to prey on your tiny, innocent child. So instead you google everything, which then in turn makes you even more crazy. So I’ll just tell you a little secret I finally figured out, Google isn’t a doctor. And your child is probably fine.

No matter what you do, you’ll be judged. Stay at home mom? You’re lazy. Working mom? You don’t spend enough time with your kids. Vaccinate? You’re poisoning your child. Breast-feeding? It’s obscene to do in public. Bottle Feeding? You’re not giving your child the best. Cloth diaper? Hippie. Cry it out? That’s neglect.
I could go on forever. Just give up. You won’t please everyone and you shouldn’t even try. No two children are the same and what works for some people won’t work for others.  You can try your hardest to do the “right” thing in parenting, but you’ll never do the right thing unless it works for your kids. Just do what makes you sane. Because if you’re not sane, you’re definately not doing the right thing for your kids.

You had no idea how much your mom loves you until you have your own baby. One night, you’ll be up at 3:43 AM, literally up for the past 428 hours straight, covered in your tiny child’s bodily fluids that you’re not even sure what end they came out of, haven’t showered in 2 days, and just stare at your child and realize that one day your mom had done the same for you.  I’ve literally stared at Little S for over 2 hours at a time when he’s sleeping and just thought about how much joy he brings me and all the things I hope for him in his life.  And your mom did that for you, too. And you’ll think “Man, I should probably call her and thank her for keeping me alive.” But you’ll forget and instead remember it when you’re randomly writing a blog. Sorry, ma. Love you.

Your body will change. I don’t care if you only gained 3 pounds the entire pregnancy and you had an 8 pound baby.  Your body knows what it’s been through, hates you for it, and will never be the same. Your hips will widen. Your stomach will be graced with beautiful stretch marks (If you didn’t get stretch marks, then I hate you. Go away.). Your chest will double in size, but not in a sexy way. Your body will probably never go back to the way it was before you had a baby, and if it did, then once again, go away.

“Clean” is not the same as it once was. I’ve never been a super clean person. I’m not anal about having the dishes in the dishwasher 10 minutes after dinner is over. I don’t care if the laundry is folded the minute it gets out of the dryer. But I could keep a place relatively tidy. But once Little S came along, it got even worse. There’s literally NO SUCH THING as “clean” with a toddler. I can pick up every book, toy, dvd, Goldfish cracker crumb and about .07 seconds after he wakes up from his nap, his entire toy chest looks like it has exploded all over my living room again.
And somehow I find legos in my bed almost every single night.

This was my attempt at getting Little S to help me with laundry. It took about 45 minutes and 3 packs of fruit snacks to get him to take the laundry out of the washing machine and put it into the dryer.

Your child will mortify you. I’m not a super gassy person. Big S is. Thus, Little S is. And he thinks every passing of gas, every burp, every bodily fluid that could possibly be expelled from his tiny little body is HYSTERICAL. And it’s seriously horrifying. There are things and scents that come out of my child that I’ve seriously had to hide from.

The connection you feel with your husband/signficant other will change. For me, it was for the better. Watching the same guy I dated on and off in high school (I’m talking World of Warcraft player, people.) become a father was incredible. To see my best friend go from being all about hockey and computer games to an incredibly hard working man who wants nothing more than to chase around Little S and push him in a laundry basket around our apartment is the best thing in the world. Having a baby changes everything in a relationship. And even when we’re sleep deprived, have changed way too many poopy diapers in the span of 50 minutes, and are just generally irritated with the amount of screeching coming from Little S, there is no one else I’d rather be going through this journey with than Big S.

M

14,326 Responses to “The Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood.”

  1. Kelly | December 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    You’re right about the being judged part. They also didn’t tell you that everyone who has not had kids is an expert on disciplining their children. Perfect parents, those. Just smile and nod, while thinking, “Just you wait, lady…” Sweet post! I enjoy watching you be mom / auntie / wife / writer extraordinaire.