10 things I wished someone told me about parenthood…
When you’re expecting, people say things like “Your life will never be the same” and “There are things you won’t understand until you’re a parent.” Of course, you think these are exaggerations. But here’s the thing: people are right. You can’t possibly get it before being a parent. Before being a parent, you see a kid crying his lungs out at the supermarket and you look at him horrified, judging the parent, thinking how YOUR child will never do that, because your child will know better.
So here are the things I wished someone had said to me before becoming a parent… and not because I would have chosen to NOT be a parent, just because the shock wouldn’t have been that great (at least– that is what I tell myself!)
1. You will miss your old life. You will miss going to have a drink or dinner with coworkers after work at a moment’s notice. You will miss that freedom that comes with not having to run home to breastfeed (OK I missed that freedom.)
2. Your baby will put a strain on your relationship. Yes, you’re in love with your spouse… but you’re also sleep deprived and cranky and you feel like a zombie. Anything can make you snap– and who will you snap at? Your better half.
3. Your schedule will pretty much revolve around your little mushball, and that is OK– but sometimes it is OK to take a break.
4. Hygiene might become secondary. Sometimes it will be because you have been up all night, sometimes because you’re too tired to even get in the shower, sometimes because you don’t have clean clothes to put on… point is… sometimes you will just be dirty.
5. Your kid will throw a tantrum– and you will be mortified.
6. You will have a breakdown– and it’s OK to cry.
7. Things will probably not go as planned, or as you dreamed of.
8. You might dream of running away… and you’re not a bad mom for dreaming it.
9. Making it past 10 pm will be a big deal… and making it through a whole movie will make you give you a sense of accomplishment. You will love to go out to brunch, because it doesn’t require staying up late.
10. You will have a new found respect for your parents… and for any parents who had more than one kid. “You did this HOW many times?”
Here’s what people DO tell you: that the love you feel for your child(ren) is “a love like no other.” Yes, they are right. No words can fully grasp what that actually feels like. It is indescribable, so if you’re not a parent, you will just have to see for yourself. If you’re a parent, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.