I remember a conversation I had with someone before I. I said the entered the ranks of motherhood. I knew I’d be tired, I knew I’d be busy, and I knew life would be different when I became a mother.
Wasn’t I cute? Thinking motherhood would be that simple. Thinking I knew what motherhood would be like!
Before I had kids, I thought I knew it all about parenting. And what I didn’t know about parenting, people were more than willing to teach me. I even dutifully took a labor and delivery class while I was pregnant with my first child. But I can safely say there are things no one told me about motherhood and things I never even considered. There was barely any mention of the time I’d spend worrying about car seat safety or the money I’d spend trying to get my children to sleep more. No one mentioned the extreme highs and lows that often come with parenting. The realization of how much I had not anticipated about motherhood got me wondering about what other moms on the Burlington Vermont Moms Blog team thought about this topic.
There are a lot of things you don’t think about when caring for littles and taking care of their day to day needs.
“No one ever told me that you had to teach kids to vomit IN something. I vividly recall realizing “that rug’s never gonna be the same.”
“Or that you should always bring the puke bucket TO the child! Don’t try and move the puking kiddo… I never thought about this until I moved the puking kid, and ended up covered in vomit…”
“No one told me that getting your children to brush their teeth would be like asking them to do the worst thing ever. Or that my kiddo might flat out refuse to do basic self-care and I’d pull out all the stops trying to convince him otherwise.”
“There will be poop, lots of poop, and blowouts that require a bath multiple times a day sometimes… and you will sometimes throw away clothes instead of dealing with the poop.”
“That I would have to suck snot from my kid’s nose!”
“Yes! With a tube! In all honesty, though, it’s probably one of the most gratifying things ever!! Ha ha ha!”
As for me, I had no clue about the emotional changes that would happen within me after having kids. I didn’t know that I would think about my children constantly and fight for them fiercely. I couldn’t have possibly imagined all the things they’d get into and all the funny scenarios we’d find ourselves in.
“Also, no one told me that every kid everywhere is a proxy for your kid. So, if you see movies/ads/read books/hear stories about kids being hurt, you end up feeling it way more deeply than I could’ve imagined. I was really sensitive and emotional before, but it’s ramped up now for sure!” (This is why I can no longer watch most crime dramas!)
“No one ever told me I could both fiercely love and be so mad at someone at the same time!”
“No one ever told me I could feel ALL THE EMOTIONS in one day!!!”
“My oldest daughter is quite interested in tampons. Curious about what they do, wanting to unwrap them, giving them to her baby sister… didn’t really envision that…”
“No one ever told me my kid would refuse to eat dinner I made like I was offering her poison, but would eat unknown, old food off the dirty kitchen floor without thinking twice about it.”
When I think about how much motherhood has changed me, I have to recognize the fact that my own needs are no longer my top priority. I will put my children’s needs first time and time again. I had no idea that the things that used to embarrass me would be no big deal anymore, and often become part of casual conversation.
“No one told me how little sleep human beings really need to operate.”
“That your modesty will go out the window right after you have your baby (but will come back later on). No one told me breastfeeding could be so challenging.”
“Likewise, once you’ve experienced the 12 people peering at your birthing vagina in the delivery room, suddenly it’s no big deal later in life when the gynecologist asks you if a med. student can observe your annual exam. Sure, why not? The rest of the Burlington medical community has!”
“So I recently met Amy- the midwife from Maitri. The funny one- at a mutual friend’s party, and I was like- do you recognize me? And she said no. Then I laid down with my legs up and said ‘how ’bout now?’”
“ I never thought I’d be force-fed blueberries while on the toilet. Or, that I would never be able to go to the bathroom ALONE again!”
Finally, I didn’t know how much I would push myself to be a better parent every day. That I would devour parenting blogs searching for those golden nuggets of useful parenting advice. That I would hope to teach my children kindness above all else and hope and pray daily that they show kindness towards other.
“They never told me how much my heart would swell with pride when I see my children doing kind things for others. It seems so small but honestly, after my son has given me a hard time all week at home, but I pick him up from school and he’s doing something kind for another kid, or if he comes home and gives his sister a hug, the negative feelings disappear and I know I’m doing something right.”