Being a mom is my greatest joy, but I don’t want to gloss it all over. Sometimes being a mom is hard. Really hard. Before having my babies, I had some ideas of what being a mom would be like and what having kids would look like. If you are a mom reading this then you know where I am headed – I got a lot of it wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom. And, some days I do a pretty good job. But, that doesn’t hide the fact that there have been many (many) surprises. I’m sure we all have our own lists of things we wish we knew before having kids, but I’m sharing mine with you today.
You can function on less sleep.
Hear me out! I said you CAN function – not that you will function well! I thought before kids that I had to have my beauty sleep. Having kids means not only losing your beauty sleep but sleeping a whole lot less than is recommended by doctors. But, you find you can survive on little sleep.
Traveling is much harder with kids.
It is no secret that I love to travel, and I always imagined jaunting off with my family in tow. While we do take vacations with our kids, traveling is much different now. The places we travel are much more kid-friendly, and the trips themselves are more challenging.
Your house will never be as clean as it was before kids.
Gone are the days of spotless anything. I wish I had never complained about the state of my house prior to having kids because I know better now.
Mom brain is real.
People joke about “mom brain,” but it is a real thing! When your brain is focused on taking care of little humans plus work, family, and friends, it is understandable to forget things now and then.
Things do not go according to plan.
Those plans you have? Throw them out the window. With kids, I have learned to lower my expectations. When I plan and expect too much, I am bound to be disappointed.
You will value quiet so much more.
The quiet use to make me a little crazy. I wanted some noise. Now, I crave the quiet. When the house is quiet, it feels like a gift.
You will need mom friends and friend without kids.
You need women with kids to commiserate with, and you need kid-free friends as well. Both are important. Your mom friends will understand when you need to cancel last minute, and your kid-free friends are always up for spontaneous fun.
You do not need all that crap.
It is so easy to shop and shop and shop for adorable baby stuff. While the baby stuff wasn’t as terrible as some people make it out to be, the problem is that it never stops. As your babies grow, so does the crap. At some point, your home will look less like your space and more like a miniature playground.
You will miss carrying a tiny purse.
I love purses, but with babies, you switch to a diaper bag. Diaper bags have come a long way, and now you can find fashionable designer diaper bags. However, after months of lugging around a giant diaper bag full of stuff, you will look forward to the day when you can leave the house with just a wristlet.
You will change.
As much as you say you will not change after having kids, you absolutely will. Between the lack of sleep and the new people who are holding your attention, you will change. Some changes will be bigger than others, and some will be barely noticeable. I’ve known women who go from loving processed foods to being all about all things organic. It happens, and that’s okay.
You are capable of more love than you dreamed possible.
Before having kids, you have no way of knowing how your heart will expand after your little ones enter the world. Even when I am at work or away from my girls, they are always on my mind and in my heart.