Grocery Shopping Actually Gets Worse
I use to spend two hours to prepare for a grocery shopping trip pre-baby. I would cut coupons online, use Pinterest to develop my weekly meal plan and then make a list, before eventually making my way to the store. I would justify the experience by treating myself to a cup of coffee from a cafe that I would sip as I walked the aisles. Even then grocery shopping was time consuming, expensive and overwhelming. Now, I laugh those feelings in the face. Grocery shopping with children in tow (unless they are 16+) is all of those things magnified times ten. I have literally left the store, drenched in sweat, and swiped my credit card not knowing the total because all can I think is, “Get me the hell of here!” As my precious daughter has a full fledged meltdown in the check-out aisle, frantically reaching for every chocolate bar and package of candy in arms reach.
Kisses Actually Heal Boo-Boos
Cuts and scrapes they happen, a lot. Frozen Band-Aids will do, but kisses, hugs and cuddles are even better. The magic of a kiss in a child’s mind and through their eyes, well I do believe that mentally, the act of kindness we parents present, is realized and felt during their time of need.
You Realize Pizza Can Be a ‘Breakfast Food’
Yep! Sometimes we try to control so much and it is not only overwhelming for us but for our children. No more bottle; time to give up the binkie; why are you not using the potty?; bedtime is made for your own bed; eat this, not that. See, the list goes on and on. We stress ourselves out keeping up with the ‘Jones’ and what society deems as acceptable. I have learned to pick and choose my battles. And, sometimes that includes food. Lo will go days eating like a bird and then make up for it in a sitting. Sometimes, I just need her to eat, something, anything! That includes chicken soup or pizza for breakfast! If it means she will eat, sometimes I turn my eye on the clock and the designated menu that exist in our minds and just feed her!
The Bathroom Is No Longer a Private Space
I use to pretend, even with the door closed that I wasn’t actually in, yet, using the bathroom, when it was just Nathan and I. Eventually, we got over that initial stage of pretending we don’t go to the bathroom, and instead the bathroom became a mutual understanding that time in there, alone, was reserved for privacy with no interruption. Yeah, not so much with a toddler in the home. I think we are lucky if the door is even closed any more. Lo hunts me down when I find myself in the bathroom alone. Heck, last night at 4:30 am, I went to pee, and she literally climbed out of our bed and followed me!
Cleaning Someone Else’s Body Fluids Becomes Second Nature (Except Vomit)
Let’s just keep this bathroom talk going, I mean, why not? You will change so many dirty diapers that you will become numb to the fact that every single day you are cleaning someone else’s body fluids. Poop, pee, blowouts – who is counting? There will be runny noses and blood from scraped knees. You will touch poop. No avoiding it. And, eventually your child will get the flu and there will be vomit and then you will be like, “Why am I here? What the heck am I doing?” And, if you have a weak, weak stomach, this is where you will draw the line in the sand, but then realize there is no one else there, and stomach all the woozies and pray it doesn’t happen again. Psst, it will.
I Should Have Installed Hardwood Instead of Carpet
A few years ago, Nathan and I replaced much of the flooring that was part of the original home we purchased. We decided then what we thought we would need now. “Carpet will be the best for children.” We anticipated that carpet flooring would allow for a chunky baby to learn to crawl and walk with ease. We did not anticipate how grimy kids are and how grimy carpets become! Spilled bottles of milk, cheese squished into the fibers, and jelly toast dragged across the floor. It is gross. If I could do it all over, I would have laid hardwood down and called it a day. P.S. – Children can crawl and walk on those just fine!
Installing a Car Seat May Be The Most Frustrating Thing You Ever Do
I literally cannot recall the last time I gritted my teeth and screamed in complete frustration as I did a few weeks ago when I had to re-install the car seat. Oh yeah, I do! I reacted the same way, the first time I installed that unforgiving biotcha. It is like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. Pull the seat belt strap, while dragging across the seat base, while snapping it in before the strap gives and locks, while closing the seat and locking it in. I wanted to pick it up and throw it into the woods. But being a Mom is all about perseverance and I pulled up my big girl pants and buckled down (literally) for my little one’s safety.
I Am Still Tired
I lost sleep when I was pregnant. Leg cramps and back pain had me tossing and turning for hours on end. After my emergency c-section, I was groggily and deep in sleep. Two nurses turned on the light above my bed, nudge me to wake up and placed a baby against my chest and said, “We need you to feed her.” In my blurry state I felt as if I could not keep my eyes open and I recall not even being able to feel anything from the stomach down from the surgery, but they held her safely against me and I realized then, sleep is for the weary. My REM schedule now answers to my daughter. And, two years later, the Boss still interrupts snoozing a lot. Yes, it gets better, but you are always, always tired!
Life Becomes More Complicated
Scheduling can be a nightmare!! Gone are the days of going with the flow, on the go. Pop-up dinners and meetings, require a call to the spouse or a call with the sitter. Invites from friends for a night out, leaves you pondering on where and what to do with children, or even questioning their invite, “Is it child friendly or child free?” Sometimes I feel like I spend the majority of my time planning our family’s movements. It can be chaotic and stressful.
Love is Powerful
Who knew this kind of love could exist? I know I did not. This kind of love is full of grace. No day easy. No day the same. You win some and you lose some. Give yourself the grace to know when to call it a day. Go to bed and start over. Give yourself some slack. Guilt can and will eat you alive. Parenting is hard work, but rewarding. This kind of love is powerful, because you never knew it existed before your children. It is a love that even they won’t know until one day too, they are a parent. It is unconditional and full of strength. It is the most challenging work I have done in my life, yet filled with so much fulfillment that even through all the struggles mentioned above, I get back up and do it all over again in the name of love.