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Being a parent is both the hardest and the most rewarding role we will ever fill. No matter how much I read, observed, planned and dreamed, nothing could prepare me for the true roller coaster ride of being a parent. Although I learned a lot from my Mom, there are plenty of things she never told me about having kids. And I’m glad she didn’t.
What My Mom NEVER Told Me About Having Kids
You will doubt yourself every day.
Are you doing the right thing, or are you actually causing your kids some kind of psychological damage? Are they learning an important life lesson, or developing emotional scars you can’t see? The doubts and second-guessing are endless.
That incredible, boundless love you feel also provides the most amazing moments of bliss. Whether it’s just looking at your children in a moment of peace or watching them celebrate their accomplishments and victories, you never realize just how full your heart can be until you’re raising children. Their joys are doubled for you because you’re both happy for them and for their own joy.
Your self-doubt will wash away with the simple words, “You’re the best-est Mom, ever”, or my personal favorite, “Mom, you’re the best maker ever” (talking about cooking). All the “I love yous” and sweet hugs over power any doubt.
The revival of your holiday spirit.
When your children are preparing a Christmas list, planning a Halloween costume, tucking a tooth beneath a pillow, or digging through a basket of Easter goodies, those holidays and occasions become larger than life. You feel their excitement, and these holidays and special moments fill little nooks and crannies in your heart.
You become a kid again in a sense and possibly more excited than they are to see Christmas morning or Easter baskets. Their yelps for excitement followed by “This is the best day ever!” warm your heart.
My role as a jungle gym.
From the moment your child can climb until about 1st or 2nd grade, you will be climbed on, sat on, pulled on, wrestled, and subjected to sharp little elbows and knees. You will be the human equivalent of a jungle gym, complete with soft, squishy parts that bruise. And oh man does this hurt. But, the hurt could never replace those memories and stories they will hold onto for the rest of their life.
Just remember, that bruise on your ribs from an elbow or knee while in a tickle war will be the topic of a conversation started by your child years down the road. This will be followed by the “Hey Mom, remember that?”. It will be an amazing day. Getting creative with slime, or teaching your youngin’ their letters and colors are all memories they will keep. If you can make them extra interesting, they make for great conversations when they start dating.
You know that privacy you value while taking a bath or shower, changing clothes, or using the restroom? That’s gone. Short of locking the door, your young children will follow you everywhere. Kids don’t understand why you want privacy and they want to be with you every minute of every day.
They will interrupt your conversations. They constantly demand your attention and push every button you have, even those you didn’t know you had. You may find yourself hiding to have a sugary snack or drink because you lead by example and want them to eat healthily, but you really need a rush of endorphins to get through your exasperating day. Dove chocolate is my go to, what’s yours?
You will embarrass yourself.
Until you’re having those exasperating moments as a parent, you probably still have periods of self-consciousness in your life. You wouldn’t walk around a store as an adult singing a Disney song, for example. That would be embarrassing. But once you have a baby or child in need of a little distraction to avoid tears or a meltdown, you’ll do pretty much anything. Who cares who sees you. You’ll sing that Disney song, even if your voice makes the glass break for all the wrong reasons.
Sometimes you’ll go out of your way to avoid those tears, other times you know a situation calls for tough love. Either way, you’ll always calculate and second guess and hope you’re doing a decent job. Sometimes you’ll even have to hide your laughter or smiles, because you’re having a teachable moment and can’t just crack that smile you really want to let fly.
I’m Glad She Didn’t Tell Me
Some things would scare away parents-to-be if they really understood the truth. Other things are just better learned through experience. The incredible highs and lows we experience while raising our children are overwhelming, and worth every second. Never forget that.
Once you hold that little baby in your arms, they will forever hold a piece of your heart. It will hurt in ways you never imagined. When they are sick or hurt, teased or bullied, rejected or overlooked, you will feel these pains in the depths of your soul. You may even hurt worse than they do because you want everything to be roses and rainbows for your little ones. You will end up wrapping them in their favorite blanket to try and make it all ok again.
Have you ever sat and watched your child fall asleep? It is the most peaceful moment. Not because they are FINALLY asleep and you can have a few minutes to yourself but the few times I was able to sit and watch my kids fall asleep gave me time to reflect. Reflect on, “Wow, I created this miracle”. If I recall correctly, each time I have watched my kids fall asleep, I shed a tear.
Thank You, Mom
I will be forever grateful that my Mother didn’t tell me about the mentioned above. Finding out all the little quirks and frustrations that make you so mad but in the end, you laugh at them, on my own was a true blessing. However, nothing will beat the look she gives when she did warn me of something and I blew it off. 🙂
Through all of those heartaches and the overwhelming joy, the exasperation, the ‘why me’ moments, and everything else you’ll experience as a parent, your children will constantly provide you with pure, innocent, immense, unconditional love like you’ve never experienced before. The shared love between you will cause all of those incredible lows and immense highs in your emotional roller coaster, and the unparalleled and absolute joy, pride, and happiness make all rest just water under the bridge.
I am positive my Mom will be there for my midnight phone calls to just cry and vent about my day. She will also be the first to call on birthdays or holidays if they can’t be spent together. I am also positive she will laugh and say, “Yup, the kids are just like you when you were little” and it will make me even madder but you can’t help but laugh. Either way, Thank You, Mom.
(now that I’m in tears) Shout out to all the Moms! You are all amazing.