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Originally written on July 14, 2014 – 10 Things No One Told Me About Kids – I came across this post today and these words hit me like a ton of bricks. This was written 5 years ago. My babies are now all in school. I have 2 teenagers and no longer even have a toddler! Our kids sleep thru the night (most of the time) and buckle themselves up – not even requiring a seat belt. Oh how life changes.
My hope is that a mama who needs to hear this reads these words and understands that being a mom is nothing you could ever plan for. It’s life changing, mind altering, heart-opening, and amazing. Enough with the sap. Onto the story. Let’s talk about 10 things that no one told me about being a mom.
I Love Being a Mom
bI love being a mom. No seriously, I love it. I know there are the “no kids for me” people, and that’s great for you, just like having lots of kids is great for me. Sure, there are the moments I think what it would be like to not have kids – but that’s not my life and I try to live with no regrets.
Before I had kids, I imagined life as a mom as well – definitely not what it really is. I just dreamed of cute squishy babies that I could play dress-up with and push around in strollers and love. Yeah… about that. It’s all that – but oh SO much more.
10 Things No One Told Me About Being a Mom
Sure people told me to expect this or that, but then there are other things that no one ever told me about. Let’s look at those things.. Just in case no one has ever told you, please know this isn’t meant to scare you. I just like preparing people for reality.
1. You will look at the world differently.
I can’t watch a child birth without crying my eyes out. Like seriously, on TV – when it’s the fakest labor ever – still a baby being born gets me all teary.
I can’t watch stories on the news where children are in danger, injured, sick, in trouble, etc. NOPE, not watching.
Anytime there is a child crying in public, my heart goes out to the mom. These are things that would of never happened pre-kids.
2. Sleep deprivation will make you a very un-nice person.
“Babies stay up all night” is what they said. Well… I STAY up all night. Just because you can function on 3 hours of sleep, doesn’t make you ready for a baby that stays up all night. Sleep deprivation creeps in slow. It always hit me on week 3 and week
It’s like the baby high slowly wore off and BAM – I could fall asleep anywhere from weeks of not sleeping. And when I was awake, I was not a nice person.
Sleep deprivation always got better for me around week 15 when my babies started sleeping more than 3 hours at a time. Yes, typically you go back to work at 12 weeks here in the U.S. It’s HARD but before you know it, that baby is driving a car. I’m not even kidding with this cliche bit of advice.
Thankfully God makes babies extra cute, so even when you are living on no sleep, you have something cute to look at.
3. Your faith will take on a new meaning.
Since my late teens, I always thought I knew what I believed. My faith took on a whole new meaning with kids. It’s helped guide me thru the tough times. It’s given me hope when I was hopeless. I’ve learned GRACE, which helps me be a better mom. It gives me a guidance for raising my children.
I always thought faith was about religion and reading the bible. Boy, was I wrong. For me – it’s not about religion, it’s about living and learning from God’s word and understanding unconditional love without judgement. WOAH.
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. MERCY. GRACE and more LOVE.
Speaking of love.
4. You will love each child differently.
I felt so guilty after my second child arrived. My first boy was a dream. He came out with a faux hawk, side burns and the sweetest temperament. I loved my daughter (our first) dearly, but she was a colicky child and was so hard to bond with.
How could I bond so easily with one and not the other? I learned again with child 3 and child 4 that while I love each equally, I love each differently.
5. HUMOR IS A MUST
If you aren’t someone who can laugh at things, I am not necessarily saying you won’t survive motherhood – I’m just saying you just need to learn to laugh.
Being a mom has brought on so many WTH situations. You MUST laugh. Laughter will be what gets you thru the hard days. When your child decides to throw a poop party – you have to laugh. That 2 week period where ALL KIDS and you and your husband are sick – you have to laugh. When you spend $500 on family photos and your kid is throwing a fit – laugh.
I don’t know how I would have made it past my first labor and delivery if I didn’t find the fun and funny in all of the crazy situations motherhood has presented me!
6. Kids can ruin a marriage – IF you let them.
Make your marriage a priority. SO many times our marriage has hit rough spots and when I look back, it’s because we let the kids take priority.
As the kids have grown, one rule that we have stood firm on is that if one parent says no – that means NO. This eliminates the kids going to one parent getting a no and then seeking approval from the other parent.
Early on, this was a BIG issue for our marriage. We nipped that in the bud – formed an alliance against the kids (but FOR the kids!)
My husband and I have been happily and uncomfortably married for 21 years now. Marriage is hard. Kids throw a whole new element into your relationship. The things that have help us are prioritizing date nights, loving unconditionally, forgiving quickly and remembering that we are on the same TEAM.
7. Don’t lose yourself in being a mom.
I’ve done this too many times. I get so wrapped up in being a mom that things slide, like my hair. I am 6 weeks past due for a dye job and hair cut. I can’t get it on my schedule and I know my hair dresser would just scream if I posted a selfie with these roots.
Don’t lose your identity, moms!
When I went back to work after my first few kids, I had the hardest time juggling titles. Everyone labels you this or that, and at work – I didn’t want to be “MOM” – I wanted to be the person who ran digital marketing and did it well. It can be hard maintaining who you are pre-kids – now that you are a mom. Find what works best for you and own it.
Should I even go into body image and hormones? HOLY MOTHER. I never have been a fan of my body, even pre-baby. But after baby, you just have no idea. And top that with the hormones, I know it took me forever to find who I was and accept this new me.
8. Don’t let yourself spend unGODLY amounts of money on baby stuff (or kid stuff!)
I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on things we DO NOT NEED. When the fourth kid rolled around, reality hit. WHY THE HELL was I spending so much money on non-sense. Was it really THAT important that the baby has a special Thanksgiving outfit? Nope.
Sometimes I think, poor kid – but then I realize what an IDIOT I was for spending money stupid style on things that don’t matter.
9. The word “VACATION” after having a child has a totally different meaning than pre-kids.
No matter how you slice it, vacations are never the same after kids. Whether your kids are with you or not, there is always the stress of where they are, who are they with, what are they doing.
This is our kids at one of our favorite beaches off the coast of Oregon. All of the beauty. I just want a freaking picture of my darling children at our favorite beach, is that TOO much to ask? YES. THE ANSWER IS YES. It was too much too ask.
10. Being a mom gets harder as your children age.
As much as I would love to say that after those baby years, the kids get easier – well yes, physically they do. You no longer have to carry them, stay up with them every night, watch over every meal – but then comes the hard part – the EMOTIONAL end of parenting that isn’t talked about so much those early years.
As soon as your child can start making decisions on their own, life gets interesting. The older they get, the bigger the decisions get. And at the end of the day, your job is just to help prepare them for life.
We can’t make all the decisions. Watching your kids fail, when you know you could help them – but you just need for them to have that life experience, OUCH – it’s way harder than the few months of sleep deprivation caused by a screaming baby.
Not all of these may apply to you, but these definitely hit home for me.
I LOVE BEING A MOM
I sure hope this post doesn’t come off an snarky or snide. We struggled with infertility for years (and with thru treatment to conceive with our first.) I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything. It’s a job I always wanted, but there are things y’all. Things that I never knew were apart of the job description!
Being a mom is hard work. It’s so much more than wiping butts and noses. It’s a job that maybe unpaid with money, but the fulfillment I have in my life by being a mother is worth all the crazy.
5 years more of motherhood experience points earned since I initially wrote this post. Wow, what a 5 years it has been.
My kids are now 16-years old, 14-years old, 9-years old and 8-years old. It’s all so different now. We don’t have to worry about finding a baby sitter for date nights. The kids can shower and dress themselves. It’s just so weird. Talking to our oldest about college and having 2 kids in high school – wow.
While motherhood changes, love for my kids continues to grow. Being their mom is just different now compared to the mom I was 5 years ago.
My job as their mother still requires me to give endless amounts unconditional love, grace, teaching and patience. But it’s kind of like when you work at a corporation for years in the same department and are promoted thru the ranks. As you are promoted, you still have an underlying job to do but your responsibilities shift.
What Do You Wish You Knew Before Being a Mom?