12 things you can’t anticipate before you’re a mom
I’ve had my share of surprises in motherhood. I’m sure all mothers have. But when I was chatting with a pregnant first-time mom the other day, I realized there were about a dozen things I really couldn’t have anticipated, no matter how much I read, quizzed seasoned moms, and needled my own saintly mother.
This isn’t a list that covers what you “should” know, because there are very few “shoulds” about parenting, outside of safety of the child and mental wellness of the parent. I.e., don’t shake a baby no matter how angered you are by screaming and get help and space between you and an incessantly screaming baby so you don’t go crazy and hurt the baby.
It’s simply a few discoveries that I didn’t know would happen, and I’m glad they did.
1) People will ask awfully inappropriate questions and yet mostly don’t mean to be rude. I.e., You look so big! (to moms carrying in their wombs) or You have a kid? I didn’t know you were pregnant (to moms carrying in their hearts) or Your baby doesn’t sleep through the night?!
2) I was overwhelmed. Just simply: overwhelmed.
3) I didn’t magically lose the baby weight but eventually did. It wasn’t night/day after delivery.
4) That annoying sing-song voice people use when talking to children? I unconsciously adopted it.
5) I count a meal as eating slices of cheese and meat and a paw-ful of grapes while standing and watching them eat their carefully curated lunches of the same damn thing.
6) Whenever all three drive away from me, I freak out that they’re going to get into a car wreck and leave me an orphan.
7) Moms universally love talking about their babies sleep, facial expressions, and how quickly they can demolish a roll of toilet paper.
8) I stopped assuming people’s children looked physically like them, and started being more aware of blended families and children who grew in their hearts.
9) My sense of accomplishment went from churning through briefs for 10 hours to managing naps, diapers, feedings, and perhaps a bowl of cereal for dinner (or takeout. Guilty of takeout more often than the budget should bear).
10) “Clean enough” became a real mantra to live by in every realm of my life, e.g., my hair, the kitchen floor, the baby’s onesie, the front of the house, bed sheets with crusty spit up.
11) When they fall asleep, I look at pictures of them on my phone and talk about how cute they are, despite even the grandest monsoon of a day.
12) Other people’s children matter to me. A lot. Suddenly everyone is someone’s child. And everyone’s life has more value than my former cursory glance.
— I’m launching new baby and kiddo leggings for Fall sometime next week–you will know exactly when they drop if you’re a subscriber to my newsletter and will get first dibs & a discount 😉 And the newest caps are here. I’m sure you have experienced way more profound insights in motherhood so share!