There is no way to fully prepare for motherhood.
I was told that I would always be tired. That’s an understatement. The lack of sleep is brutal.
I was told that my heart would swell with love. That is also an understatement. As soon as I gave birth, the love overflowed from every pore of my body. As did every other emotion that comes with motherhood… awe, responsibility, worry, loyalty, pride. Every emotion was intense.
I was also told that my life would change. An understatement as well. Little did I know how drastically it would change. I sometimes refer to periods of my life as “pre-babies” and “post-babies”.
I had anticipated some of the changes, others were completely surprising discoveries….
1. I discovered I don’t mind the smell of someone else’s poop.
Let me clarify… “Someone else” means my kids’ poop, not strangers’ poop!
Before I had kids, I changed plenty of diapers. Between babysitting and niece and nephews’ diapers, I had a good amount of experience. I admit I gagged my way through every single one of those diaper changes.
Miraculously though, my own kids’ poop doesn’t smell awful to me. I honestly don’t mind it. I know I’m not alone. Something happens to a mom’s sense of smell when it comes to her own babies. I think it may be the true definition of “unconditional love”… to not mind the poop smell!
2. I discovered I could actually forget to brush my teeth.
In my pre-baby days, I loved the snooze button on my alarm clock. I was one of those people who hit the snooze at least 5-10 times before I actually rolled out of bed. When I became a mom, I realized the luxury of a snooze button was gone, for good. Instead, I was woken up most mornings by a crying, sometimes screaming baby. It’s kind of like having a bucket of ice-cold water dumped on my head.
So the routine I used to follow when I’d first wake up, like brushing my teeth, or washing my face, were ignored so I could tend to my baby. Then I’d be off and running for the day.
I am embarrassed to admit there were many, many days when lunchtime came, okay, maybe even dinner time, and I realized I had never made it back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Or my hair for that matter!
3. I discovered a trip to the mall could be the highlight of my social calendar.
When my kids were babies, I went days without leaving the house. Sometimes a trip to the mall, was the most exciting place I went all week.
I was living in a bubble during those early days. I had a baby glued to me 24 hours a day. I smelled like sour milk and baby spit-up. I often forgot to brush my teeth and comb my hair. I was sleeping about 4 hours a night. I guess it makes sense I didn’t have any other social outings — no one wanted to be near me! So the mall was a big excursion. Freedom. I was out of the house. Other moms were there, like me, aimlessly pushing strollers. Sad as it sounds, it was actually a fun outing for me.
4. I discovered I needed to hide my own stash of candy.
I have a sweet tooth. But I also try to eat well. So it’s been important for me to teach my kids about nutrition and healthy eating. I am happy they love fruits & veggies and eat really well. But the minute they discovered sweets, they were as hooked as me. So I try to limit their candy consumption to special occasions. If they see a bag of candy in the house, I get “please, please, please, just one Swedish fish, PLEEEEASSSE!”
So if I have candy, I have to hide it! Then I sneak one Swedish fish at a time so they don’t see me. Crazy, but yes I do it!
5. I discovered moms have a uniform – yoga pants and a hoodie.
One of the first things I discovered after becoming a mom was how important comfort is, and yoga pants are ridiculously comfortable.
Long length ones in the winter, and capris in spring and fall. Never featured on the pages of Vogue Magazine, yoga pants may not be stylish but they are great and definitely better than pajamas (which I would probably wear every day if yoga pants had never been invented).
Having loved fashion and trends, I didn’t see that one coming! But now that I am a mom, comfort wins over style.
6. I discovered I would want to punch any kid who is mean to my kid.
I thought I liked all kids. I discovered though that I don’t like the ones who do anything to hurt my child’s feelings. The first time I heard a little boy say something mean to my daughter, I wanted to punch him. It’s the mama-lion-protecting-her-cubs instinct.
Of course, I never would punch a child, but the thought has definitely crossed my mind!
7. I discovered that my heart would melt every time one of my kids made me a handwritten love note.
When your own child presents you with a love note. Painstakingly written with love, just for you… oh, it’s amazing. Melt your heart, tears-in-your-eyes kind of amazing.
I’m sure these are only the beginning of many amazing (and maybe some scary) discoveries I will make as I navigate the path of motherhood.
But because motherhood has made me a much better person than I was pre-babies, I say bring on more new discoveries!
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