My husband and I are blessed with two vibrant little boys ages 2 and 3. In my short time as a parent I have come across a multitude of situations and experiences that “they” never told me about back when I was blissfully imagining baby toes. I feel like maybe it would have been nice to consider a few things in advance. Here are a few things I would have wanted on that list:
- Your social life is going to change, a lot!
Babies poop a lot, messy up their back, poop.
- If you have boys, open their diaper quickly then re-close momentarily before you change it. The cold air will make them pee. Re-closing the diaper will mean they pee into the soiled diaper instead of you.
- Children are amazingly resilient. Babies are kind of like Gumbi or Stretch Armstrong if you are a younger Mom. 🙂
- Children will teach you A LOT!
- Sleep comes and goes depending on the life stage. Newborns eat every 2-3 hours so there is almost no sleep at that stage. Then there’s teething and later there’s fear of the dark and nightmares.
- You are always “on call”
- Whenever you change a diaper KEEP YOUR MOUTH CLOSED. Please trust me on this. The smell is bad at times and tasting it is worse.
- Parenting books are full of contradictory information.
- Go with your gut. Seriously!
- There will be a lot of times when you think you have no idea what to do. Its ok, most people cannot remember the first three years of their lives. It seems to me that this reveals the intentional nature of God.
- You will Never have it “figured out”.
- Just about the time you have a routine, everything will change.
- Children don’t have a return policy and by the time they are born you wouldn’t want them put back anyway!
- Ever heard the term “sanctification process”? Having children is a major step in that.
- Parenting is the most humbling thing you will ever do.
- Parenting is NOT about you.
- Comparison starts early whether you want to participate or not. It’s a pit.
- Babies don’t read the milestone charts. There is a RANGE of normal.
- Life after child/children will NOT be the same as it was before.
- Having children is not Us plus Kids, it’s a whole new family unit.
- Well meaning people will say unhelpful things.
- Jesus is your rock, your child cannot fill this need.
- They just might get your bad traits too.
- There’s no time like the present to go before the Lord asking Him to help you.
- Parenting is not for sissy’s.
- Children get about 6-10 colds a year on average. That works out to very few healthy days.
- Buy a humidifier and a mini carpet cleaning machine.
- You don’t need Many of the things they sell at Babies-R-Us. And, Babies-R-Us is the most expensive way to buy the things you do need.
- Skip cloth bibs and go for the laminated ones with the pouch at the bottom to catch crumbs and spit-up.
- Time will go into warp speed while simultaneously slowing waaaaaaay down when you have children.
- Being a stay-at-home-mom is lonely.
- Parenting is a lot of repetition.
- You will find yourself thanking your Mom for the sacrifices she made raising you.
- You cannot lead your children where you yourself won’t go. Pray through that.
- You will give of yourself in every way with little to no immediate gratification.
- The way you will feel about your own children is an intense love for which there are no words.
- When you have toddlers, aim for balanced weeks instead of balanced meals.
- Learn to accept “good enough”.
- Children like to eat off the floor and touch each others mouths.
- You and your spouse will have parenting “differences”. Be prepared to be gracious and allow these differences to grow you both.
- Small children can vomit from swallowing snot, it’s not always the stomach flu.
- Your family will likely have the stomach flu every year for a while.
- Homemade baby food is a great way to save money. But buy the carrot baby food.
- Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be expensive: http://www.sunbabydiapers.com
- Nursing Pads don’t have to be embarrassing (warning shameless plug): http://www.washablebreastpads.com
- I was formula fed and vaccinated and lived to tell about it. And, gasp, I watched tv. 😉
- Forget what they taught you in college. Boys and Girls are different and not just anatomically.
- Childbearing will change your body.
- Once you have a baby you should plan to do kegels for the rest of your life.
- Baby can wait while you go pee.
- If you get overwhelmed, put him/her in their crib safely and walk away for a minute. Take deep breaths. (They did tell you that one but it bears repeating)
- It is good to accept help!
- You are not alone.
- You cannot even use the bathroom alone.
- Communication becomes harder when you have children.
- You will be tired, emotionally and physically.
- You never “clock out”
- You won’t get a pay raise or performance review. Work toward kingdom goals instead.
I am sure there are so many more things “they” could have told me but this is a start.
I will leave you with this:
The things in life that are REALLY worth a lot take the greatest investment.
Thank you so much for our boys. Thank you also for always being with me and that I can trust you and fully rely on you. I pray that Hank and Gideon will grow up loving you and that this post will be helpful to others. Amen.