No one can prepare you for the joy and love you feel for your child or the hard realities of what comes along with slobbery kisses, endless questions and sleepless nights. Here is a look at some of the real mommy truths that not many will talk about or admit to.
1. Closed doors are not allowed. It does not matter if you are at the opposite end of the house while the kids are in a room with a television blaring or outside playing and screaming to their hearts content. As soon as you close a door you will hear a stampede of little (and big) feet come rushing to the door. Whether you are in the bathroom trying to wash off baby vomit, that mornings breakfast, or hiding in your closet trying to eat the last half of a cookie that no one wanted, you will hear a million questions from “What are you doing?”, “Can I come in?”, and “What are you eating?”.
2. You will be introduced to the infamous “Notme” child. Almost as soon as your darling toddler is able to talk , learn to climb and explore the house, Notme will take residence. Notme does everything from pouring cat food on the floor, eating a whole plate of brownies, decorating the wall with crayons and markers, to throwing cell phones, keys and other “non-important” items in the toilet. This invisible child will somehow manage to follow your angelic child’s every move and magically un-do all the helpful things your child does. Notme also goes into each child’s room and drags everything out without having the decency to clean up after themselves.
3. Do not waste your time on nice things. Unless you plan on storing them in a bank safety deposit box or a childless relative’s or friend’s house, forget having nice things for the next 20 years. The second you purchase a piece of jewelry or anything else that has value over $5, it will become a huge item of interest and it has to be grabbed, worn, touched and then magically dropped on the floor (Notme probably did that as well).
4. Learn to develop “the look”. “The look” is something you probably saw growing up from your own mother that struck fear to the very depths of your soul. This look is used on toddlers who decide to throw themselves on the floor of the grocery store because they can’t have 7 boxes of cookies or reserved for a pre-teen who decides to mouth off in front of the entire world when they know they would never get away with it at home. This look can mean everything from “You are grounded till you are 30.” to “I’m going to throw every toy you own away and you will be sentenced to bread and water for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of your years at home.”
5. Sleep, relaxation, phone calls and hot meals are just not meant to be. The sooner you learn to accept it, the easier it is. Even as soon as they fall asleep you will likely be so exhausted you will not know what to do with yourself and may just resort to sitting in a chair for a few moments of rare quiet before falling to sleep yourself.
6. Everyone is a better parent than you or that is how it will seem. Some parents will have more money, more interesting activities, cleaner houses, bigger houses, “greener” houses, better cars, better jobs, and even combed hair. Some parents will look at you as though you are feeding your child poison when you tell them you bought your kids a happy meal just so you wouldn’t have to cook or not hesitate to let you know that are endangering their lives, health and minds with your careless, lazy ways.
7. If one person gets sick, you will likely all get sick. At these times all you will do is hope and pray you are the last to get sick so you can take care of everyone else.
8. Everyone will judge you. If you spank, you are a heartless monster. If you take a much-needed night out with friends while leaving dad on daddy-duty, you are neglecting your kids. If you decide to do something outside of the home to better yourself, you are being selfish. It is best to drown these voices out. If you have a screaming toddler, it helps.
9. They have to grow up. One of the hardest lessons to learn is they grow up. They start losing the soft, round baby faces. They go to school. They lose baby teeth. Their voices change. And somehow you find yourself trying to hold onto that baby, that toddler, that kindergartner, that 4th grader and that middle schooler because the world is not good enough for them and you know all too soon they will have to face it by themselves.
10. They will surprise you. Just when you think you are at the end of your rope, they will hug you, tell you you are pretty or that you are their best friend and you will realize it was the best decision you ever made and every hard part, every cold meal and every interrupted bathroom break was worth it.