There are so many things people tell you about what it’s like to become a parent. There are so many cliches:
“Enjoy your sleep now, because when the baby comes, you won’t sleep again! Haha!” or “Life is going to change forever! Haha!”
But there are so many things that nobody tells you. Things that are probably best to remain a secret until after you have kids.
However, as you know, I like to be honest and talk about how things really are. I’m going to share the things I had no idea about until we had O. The things that really put your patience and resolve to the test. The moments you don’t usually see on Facebook and Instagram.
The sleep deprivation is no joke. There are some mornings you wake up (if you actually got any sleep at all) and you literally cannot think straight. You’re not even sure what your name is. The sleep deprivation is debilitating. There are moments where everything feels like a catastrophe. You wonder if you’re ever going to survive. Coffee/tea becomes your very best friend.
Sometimes, you look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person staring back at you. There are bags under your eyes, stretch marks on your stomach, greasy hair, stains on your clothes. And you don’t even care.
Some things don’t come naturally. I remember about a month after O was born, someone said to me “Don’t you just LOVE being a Mom?” and I wanted to cry because no, I did NOT love being a mom. I loved my son, but I frequently fantisized about life before kids. As time went on, I started to like being a mom, then enjoy being a mom and now, I love being a Mom (most days, anyway). There are just some things that you THINK should come naturally but don’t…and that’s ok.
Your relationship/marriage WILL be impacted. You will fight. You will resent your partner. There are some days you wonder if you’ll make it as a couple. You’ll argue about who does more and whose “work” is harder. At some point, you may even wonder what you two have in common. You can’t even remember what it means to be a couple. However, you will also look at your partner with your child and your heart will explode. You will feel a whole other level of love for them while you watch them care for the tiny human you made together.
Google is your best friend and worst enemy. One search pulls up pulls up both the information you’re looking for and the information you’re dreading.
As a mom, you make sacrifices you could never imagine. Not only do you carry a baby for 9 months, you are responsible from bringing them into the world either through your vagina or through a hole in your stomach (neither of which are easy). Then you are responsible for making sure this human stays alive. If you are able, you are solely responsible for nourishing this baby with milk produced by your body. You put the needs of your child/ren before all else. You sacrifice your sleep, your sanity, your emotions, your time, your patience.
You may loose who you are. One of my biggest challenges after I had O was getting back to who I was aside from being a Mom. Especially when you’re on Mat Leave, your whole world revolves around your child. Your whole persona becomes “Mom” instead of “Mom” just being one of many facets of your personality.
You live in a state of worry. Worry that you’re screwing everything up. Worry that there is something wrong with your child. Worry that they’re not eating enough or eating too much. Worry that the cough your kid has is more than just a cold (see “Google is your best friend/worst enemy”).
You realize how much you take for granted pre-kids. Sleeping in. Long, leisurely showers. Quiet, lazy Sundays. Reading a book, uninterrupted. All a thing of the past…at least until the kids grow up.
To that note, you will want time to speed up and slow down all at the same time. The early days are a blur of exhaustion, meltdowns, panic, unrelenting love, and marathon breastfeeding sessions (or bottle feeding). You look forward to the next stage but also look back and feel nostalgia. The days feel so very long, but the time passes so quickly.
Some days, you feel like there is no possible way you can carry on. And then you dig a bit deeper and keep going. There are days you wonder why you did this and then here are days you can’t imagine doing anything else.
Ultimately, being a parent and having kids is pretty freaking awesome. You get to watching these tiny humans go from helpless meatloafs to grown adults. You get to watch them learn, explore, change, develop. You see their personalities come out. It is truly a gift and something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world…but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Anything you would add?