What to expect when you become a mom

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?
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Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Amen! Especially the parts about the rest stop bathrooms. Last week Asher licked a part of a cart at the store. DUDE- HE IS FOUR!?!? Does he not know better!?

Lady Mama said...

Yes! To all of those things - the sweating, the nervous breakdowns, the crazy emotions. And the lego (and small action heros) - that has to be one of THE most painful things.

My advice to an expectant parent would be to get out for dinner and away for the weekend as much as possible before the baby comes!

Great post. :)

Anonymous said...

ahhhh yes I chase my child around with food every night begging her to eat...LOL.....hmmm I've learned that .....the whole idea of "my child will never act like that" is complete BS because your child WILL act like that at some point.....and sometimes more often than not :)

Danielle C said...

I would tell a new mom to leave the housework and sleep when baby sleeps!
This is a great post. :)

Chantal said...

All of that is soooooo true! I remember being a new mom and saying "I wish someone had told me it would be like this!" But then they did tell me, I was just so blissfully happy being pregnant I didn't absorb what they were saying. Full immersion is the only way to learn how to be a parent. Poor first born children :) They are our practice kids.

Bobbi Janay said...

I especially agree with the terrorist one.

Julie Harrison said...

Love this post! It's all true ... every word! Now you need to write one for "What to expect when you deliver a baby" ;)

Alicia xoxxo said...

LOVE this post!!! I am expecting our first baby (after a challenging couple of years, we are finally expecting!) This post brought tears to my eyes because I WANT to hear what other moms have to say. No one really tells you the truth about pregnancy and what happens after. Thank you so much for writing this! Any other words of wisdom would be much appreciated! Now, just let me know what to expect in my last trimester and delivery!!!

A Mommy in the City said...

These are all so true! You will never eat a warm meal ever again either! I wish someone would write a book on things people don't tell you about having a child. Especially how the first couple weeks aren't glamourous AT ALL!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

This is all so true :)

Tonya said...

Amazing post!!!

Marinka said...

Oh, perfect. I remember being topless for the first month.

Anonymous said...

I weaned my youngest 8 years ago and sometimes I still think my boobs will leak at inconvenient times.

Elaine A. said...

I honestly think the sleep thing is the biggest deal. You do it and get through it but MAN, is it hard some days/nights. And you're right, the child-less folks have NO idea.

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures said...

All SO true! It is amazing how much your life changes!

Suzanne said...

OMG, I laughed out LOUD to this post! Loved it! Oh, I remember our very first conversations after having our first babies. How far we have come!

The advice I'd give expectant moms is do what YOU feel is right. Don't read too many books or do what everyone else is doing. Do what you think is right for you and your child. They don't call it "mother's intuition" for nothing!

I agree with the other comments - you need to write a post on labour and delivery. Lol!!!!

Loukia said...

I love you so much Suzanne. I remember our phone call so well. You were like, 'Lou you don't sound like yourself at all!' You were so worried about me. I was a disaster. That first week was the biggest shock of my entire life. I wish I was more relaxed, damn it! I miss you tons. xo

Alex and Ashley said...

I laughed so hard reading this post! Everything you said is so true!

CaraBee said...

My words of wisdom:

No matter how much you love them or think they are, NO pet is preparation for having a kid.

Boobs are for food. Get used to it.

No sound is more annoying than your kid whining.

Hot food? What's that?

Germs happen. All the time. I like to think its immune system building.

Throw out everything you thought, because it's pretty much all wrong.

Jessica Heights said...

Oh my...I lose five pounds in sweat at the thought of public bathrooms and little ones!

diarydays said...

Awesome blog!! I do not have any children, however I have two beautiful nephews, one of which is my godson!

I look forward to getting to know you better, drop by my blog!

Talk soon,


Ali said...

Tampons make the best toys. FOR REAL.

Love this post!

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Although you have crushed my dreams of being able to use the bathroom in peace.

I know you'll appreciate this - my 3yo daughter lay down on the restroom floor the other day to look under the stall! I wanted to douse her in hand sanitizer and burn her clothes

I never had the leaky boobs, but on a related note I found myself in meetings with snot/food smeared over my shoulder or down my arm.

And one to add - you will catch poop or puke with your bare hands

From Tracie said...

Public bathrooms are absolutely the worst thing ever when you have small children. Hand sanitizer is a must.

Jill said...


And when you have the third kid ... you realize that no matter what you do, you can't really screw it up any more than you did for the first two.

So you throw caution to the wind and you let them eat BBQ chips for breakfast and cats cookies for dinner.

And you just don't f'ing care!

Jana A said...

Haha! You did the "give your kid a tampon" thing, too? I thought surely I was the only one in the history of the world!!!!! (#9 on Project 20 today)

Nenette AM said...

Oh, hon, I love this post! And oh yeah, crying over commercials and lost kids in the news, and OMG, the nightmares and worry! I don't know how much sleep I've lost over that!

I'm well-read and I've always done my research, but you are so spot on -- nothing can prepare you for parenthood. NOTHING.


Issas Crazy World said...

Never say: I will never do that with my kids, out loud. Karma is a bitch man.

Know that everything is a phase. They all eventually sleep. They all give up the Binky. I've never seen a non-potty trained college student. Elmo one day gets replaced by some Disney thing, which gets replaced by tween crap.

Pick your battles.

Mommyfriend Lori said...

LOVE this post, sharing it with the world now.

Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

This is awesome! And I agree when people {without kids} tell me they are so tired and dont have time to hang out, its a joke to me. Until they have kids you dont know what tired is!

Anonymous said...

I have learned I have no patience with the annoyance kids bring & have become worse than my parents, yet still love my kids to bits! Love to watch them play together, or sometimes giggle for no reason.

Anyone know a great place to learn how not to throw a tantrum when your kids act up, or you are on your last nerveÉ

pmills said...

Love that list- so true! Thanks for the giggle.