With mother’s day approaching, I can’t help but reflect on the last (almost) two years as a mom and think about some of the things I’ve learned. Some are serious and some are seriously funny, but all are true.
1. You just signed up for this job.
2. A quiet toddler is a suspicious toddler. Sure, there have been times (or was it just one time?) that it didn’t happen. But usually a quiet bathroom break by myself means I left my purse within reach and everything is now hidden sporadically around a house that a certain toddler remembers the whereabouts of yet when asked just taps her index finger to her nose saying “where go?” as she points to 567 places that don’t contain the missing contents.
3. Don’t buy the white blanket. It looks so clean and perfect for your new baby, but no matter how many times you oxy clean that thing it won’t stay white.
4. Go on more dates. The nasty mom guilt combined with the fact that it now costs money for the sitter too (that you’re also going to drive home so you know you shouldn’t drink that second glass of wine), date nights become too easy to push off.
5. Trust your instincts. My mom filtered so many phone calls because how was I supposed to know if my baby was crying from an ear infection, teething or just because she wanted to cuddle?! Whenever it really came down to it she told me to trust my instincts, and whenever I did my gut feeling was spot on.
6. Don’t let other people’s judgments affect you. The second you become a mom people think since you’ve never done it before you’re dying for their advice. Nursing? Formula? Daycare? Diapers? Let me save you some time: the best brand of diapers for you is the one that keeps your child’s waste contained the best. Not all children’s urine streams are created equal.
7 (a) Eat proudly in front of people. Because once your child realizes she wants what you’re eating, you’ll be crouching behind the kitchen island shoving a piece of leftover pizza in your mouth because you’re starving and you know she’ll refuse to eat the lunch in front of her if she notices you chewing something different.
7 (b) ENJOY EACH BITE. Every meal will likely become a crapshoot between relaxed/enjoyable or scarfed down/rushed because you can only hear “All done, down peese” on repeat so many times before losing your cool…and your sanity.
8. Embrace the tantrums. A friend posted a picture on Facebook of her two-year-old having a meltdown and captioned it “I’m thankful for every tantrum because it means I have a healthy little girl who is able to throw them.”
9. A matching toddler is overrated. And sometimes impossible. As someone who will tuck her fitbit into the bottom of her skinny jeans to avoid it clashing with her outfit, this is a tough one for me. But sometimes a tutu over leggings with boots is a better option than a meltdown because the outfit I picked out wasn’t “princess” enough.
10. Remember your spouse. Some days I’m just.so.tired. But so is he, and not only does he need my attention, he wants it. So even though giving him my attention to discuss guitar riffs (that I’ll likely never understand) after being on the go the last 16 hours seems draining, it’s important to our marriage, his pride and to our then restored ability to connect and co-parent successfully.
11. Breastfeeding is really hard. And you’ll have to do it every 2-3 hours for the first several weeks. Breastfeeding and pumping because you work fulltime is even harder (helpful tricks HERE). This means making plans that first year is challenging and some people won’t understand. No matter what I can promise that you’ll be so proud you tried and even more proud you stuck with it.
12. Sleep, and then sleep more. And when you’re done sleeping, take advantage of lying around ALL DAY watching reruns of your favorite TV show.
13. You’re not as independent as you think you are. Coming from Miss Independence herself, get ready to be humbled. From tears on the phone to my mom over a clogged tear duct (seriously, I should be embarrassed to admit that) to asking Husby to change a light bulb, I’ve learned it’s so important to rely on the people who are willingly there to help you.
14. Sweatpants and yoga pants will feel like heaven. But they still need to come off regularly.
15. Learn to apologize. Not an “I’m sorry, it’s just that…” or an “I’m sorry, but you…”(both of which I am notorious for). Those are justifications, not apologies, and not only will you be teaching your child that it’s an acceptable way to pass blame, but you’ll kill your relationship one justification apology at a time. Apologizing is humbling, not humiliating like perhaps I once thought. When you become a parent it’s an eye opener to everything you suck at, and it’s easy to point fingers instead of apologizing where it’s due. Once apologies start flowing without hesitation and with sentiment, good things happen in a marriage. And when good things happen in marriage, great things happen in kids.
By: Heather Anders of richmondandstyle.com
Photos: Alliance/Shutterstock | Heather Anders