No matter how much you think you know about becoming a mom—no matter how many books you’ve read on the subject, no matter how many conversations you’ve had with friends, no matter how many summers you spent babysitting as a teenager—until your baby is placed in your arms, you don’t know a thing, really.
I was clueless when I became a mom for the first time. I never really spent a lot of time with babies except to ooh and aah over them. When I became a mom for the first time, I didn't have any friends who already had children (except for my best friend who had also just given birth) so it was a brand new world for me. No one really told me what to expect.
By the time I had my second baby, I felt like an expert. I worried less. I slept more. And as time went by, life got a whole lot easier. Still, everyday is an adventure...
Here are a few things you can expect when you become a mom:
You will walk around topless the first week after bringing your baby home because your boobs are constantly in use.
You will learn the words to and sing every children's song ever invented. Even in public. Embarrassing yourself takes some getting used to, but you'll adapt. Sometimes, you will sing along with these songs even when your children aren’t in the car with you. You might even catch yourself watching Sesame Street when the children have long since left the room.
You will roll your eyes at every childless person who complains they are tired. They have NO IDEA. You manage to do it all with only four hours of broken sleep a night. (For five years!)
You'll cry out in pain when you step on LEGO. Stepping on LEGO is not something you can avoid.
You will chase your children around with food begging them to eat, while your blood pressure reaches dangerous levels.
You will never go to the bathroom in peace again.
You will give your children tampons to play with so you can enjoy just two more minutes in the shower.
You will lose five pounds in sweat as you watch your toddler touch every part of a public bathroom.
You will have a nervous breakdown when your child uses the bathroom at a dirty truck stop in the middle of nowhere.
You will have nightmares about this incident for years to come.
You will invest heavily in hand sanitizer.
You will become an expert at negotiating with small terrorists who have vocal chords that can shatter glass.
You will discover why grocery shopping should be done alone.
You will learn to change a diaper in the dark while warming up a bottle of milk at the same time.
You will sit through a business meeting in a crisp white shirt, looking professional, only to realize later that you have leaked a little from your left breast.
You will have your eyeballs poked, your skin scratched, and your hair pulled every day.
You will become emotional over every little thing. I get teary-eyed looking at doodles my children draw for me, I still melt with each hug I receive, and I love sleeping beside my children.
All sorts of commercials will make you cry.
You will become your child's most important teacher; not only will you teach your children how to write, how to read, and how to count, you'll also teach them to share, to give back, and to never give up.
You will also be your child's biggest supporter. Goal or no goal, I never stop cheering for my son from the sidelines.
Your dinner will sometimes consist of what you've picked up from the floor.
You'll get to play in the sand again, and swing high on the swings along with your children.
What words of wisdom would you give to a new mom? What do you wish you had known? What have you learned since you became a parent?