My toddler is 21 months old which means I have been a parent for almost 2 years now. I thought I was prepared for parenthood for many reasons. I listened to my doctor, researched the heck out of parenting books, read all the mom blogs and listened carefully as random people would throw out their nuggets of advice. Granted, I still have a long way to go as a parent and I am not a seasoned mom toting around a caravan of children, but I have learned a few things that you ought to know about becoming a mom. This is my parenting truth I would like to share with you.
Here is what I know about becoming a parent:
- Nothing and no one can truly prepare you for parenthood. Change is tough and if you don’t deal well with change, I got news for you – Becoming a parent profoundly brings change to everyone. I can’t confidently tell you that becoming a parent will change your life for the best. I hope it does. It surely has for mine. Some people transform into their best selves while sadly, others seem do the opposite. The choice is yours. What does your child deserve? Just know that change is inevitable and it’s how you deal with such that will make a world of difference.
- Parenthood opens your eyes and gives you a clearer perspective on life. At least for me it did. Things I used to worry about faded away once I held my baby in my arms. She was all that mattered and the petty day-to-day drama was a worry of the past. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep and being too tired to give a crap what others thought or felt about my decisions. I love how it washed away the insecurities I once had about pleasing other people. My newly transformed family was all that really mattered.
- Motherhood turns you into a big baby. Like you need another baby in the house! I cry at the drop of the hat at anything that toys with my emotions. I started crying when I saw a recent picture of my daughter kicking a soccer ball. She looked older. Way older. Where did my baby go?
- Watching the news as a mom will never be the same. Speaking of crying… there are too many tragic stories about children that I can’t handle. The news makes me want to keep my child inside the house for the rest of her life like Rapunzel.
- Parenting is an adventurous ride with highs and lows. Enjoy the good times, learn from the bad moments, and remember that “This too Shall Pass.” Just when you think you can’t take anymore stress, it passes and you are stronger for it.
- Guilt Happens. No matter if you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. Nursing vs. breastfeeding. Vaccinations vs. Non-Vaccinations. The list goes on and on. You will feel guilty about numerous topics and your decisions when you see moms doing things differently. Guilt happens. Move on and don’t worry, because you are doing the best you can for your family! Don’t beat yourself up!
- Becoming a mother makes you feel like you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Okay, maybe I am not that motivated, but I will tell you that my confidence as a person has increased. I survived 9 months of morning sickness. I survived labor. I survived breastfeeding, pumping and sleep deprivation. I survived going back to work full time and the dreaded daycare drop off. Now that we are embarking on potty training, my confidence may be blown, but I digress. My point is that with each successful parenting milestone passed, you feel like Super Woman ready to conquer the world and deserve to give yourself a pedicure or at least a pat on the back!
- You can have it all, but not all at once. I heard another mom blogger say this and it makes perfect sense. Patience is key. You can’t juggle it all at once. Ultimately, one area will always suffer while others thrive. Working an all nighter at the job equals not being able to tuck your child in for bed. Staying home with your sick kid during the week equals missing that board presentation you were ready to rock. Kicking butt at parenting equals messy house and dirty dishes. Don’t let the guilt come back either.
- Time speeds up. I don’t know how or why. That is one piece of parenting advice I have known to be true so far.
- Your husband and dog will fall second. This happens at first, but it doesn’t have to stay that way long term. Unfortunately, it happens as much as I said it wouldn’t. It’s natural for the baby too always come first in the beginning. Time does pass. Things get easier and you can go on date nights again and solo walks with your dog! As much I wanted to stay home and not hire a sitter, I decided to make an effort to go on at least one date night a month with my husband so we can remember how we used to be and why we fell in love in the first place. It’s worth the money and effort to put your marriage first because, let’s face it, divorce isn’t cheap (both mentally and financially). Happy parents = Happy home.
- Friendships Change. It’s hard for them not to change. With different interests and lack of time to commit to anything, keeping strong friendships can be challenging as a parent. Try to make time for those quality friends that lift you up and who embrace your new role as a mom. Quality over quantity.
- Becoming a Mom has driven me to be the best person I can be. I want to be the best for her, for myself and for my family!
What do you know about becoming a parent? What are your parenting truths and words of wisdom?