It’s 12 o’clock, my daughter just went down for her nap… now is the time to prep dinner, wash the floors, and finish a Father’s Day gift for my husband. But today I’m not doing any of that. Instead, I’m sitting here in our big recliner, rocking my son slowly to sleep after the third night in a row of him not sleeping in his crib (or hardly sleeping at all). This morning we found out that he has his second double ear infection within a month. The poor thing can’t lay flat without screaming out in pain. It’s been three very long nights of nursing him all night long, sitting up in bed and holding him tight so he can rest, somewhat comfortably.
Aadelyn had a terrible time with ear infections as an infant and ended up getting tubes placed when she was 14 months old. Kohdy boy is heading down that same road, I guess my kids are just prone to them. But mark my words, I will not wait as long before demanding an ENT referral this time.
Anyway, as I sit here reflecting on life and drinking a 32oz coffee (don’t judge, remember I’ve barely slept in 72 hours) I realize how much I didn’t know before I had children. I was SO naive about what motherhood would be like. I don’t know if I even could have understood if someone had tried to tell me… here are some things that I didn’t know before I was a Mom.
1. The topics of poop, gas or breast-milk can sustain an entire conversation. If it’s with another mom, the conversation could go on for at least an hour. One of my best friends has a daughter the same age as my son and we legitimately do this. I’m not sure why.
2. You can function like a normal member of society with extremely little sleep. I am still amazed by this. Before kids I was a basket case if I didn’t sleep. Now, here we are going on 3 days and I feel tired, but ok.
3. You never, EVER, EVER stop thinking about your kids. I literally can’t go anywhere or do anything without my kids on my mind. It is a little exhausting at times, especially when it’s during one of those ridiculously rare occasions that I am actually without both kids and not at work. When I’m catching up with a friend or when I could do something for myself. I find myself thinking about what they need or talking about them. (See #1)
4. You have a spreadsheet in your head at all times recording and updating your children’s clothing inventory and size needs. Maybe this is just me? I feel a little lost if I don’t know where we’re at with clothing, shoes and diapers.
5. FOMO would be no mo’ 😏. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy getting together with friends and going to parties. I will try very hard to be at important events and I will always be there for a friend in crisis or who legitimately needs me. But I am honestly not bothered by missing other events. Not because I don’t care about the people involved, but because my family’s needs are more important. If it interferes with bed time, I won’t be there.
6. That you would feel a desperate need to drive an minivan. We recently got a Toyota Sienna. I freaking love this thing. Make fun all you want. Minivans are awesome!
7. A toddler’s words can build you up and tear you down. I have pretty thick skin when it comes to toddlers. I have heard it all from the kids I work with. But when your own toddler tells you “mama you’re the best mama in the whole world” there will be tears. And when that same toddler tells you “I don’t want you mama, I just want daddy” there will also be tears.
8. The responsibility of helping a tiny human stay alive is absolutely overwhelming at times. Last night at 2:30 am I had the exhausted mom feeling of Why did I want this? I just want a break from it all. But then rational mom took over as I looked down at the little scrunched up face looking up at me. Counting on me. Wanting no one else to take care of him except me. And I started to cry and hugged him tighter. How could I ever wish to take a break from him when he needs me? It’s a 24/7 job, mentally, physically and emotionally for sure.
9. Let’s piggyback (it’s my list).. You will turn into an emotional wreck. Especially when your children are sad or hurt. I’ve always been, shall we say… in touch with my emotions? But as a Mom they are amplified. The feeling of helplessness is unreal when your child is hurt (and my kids have never been seriously hurt or sick). My son’s cries lately are so sad and pitiful that they make me cry. It’s just part of the connection I guess. My heart breaks into pieces when I know they are hurting. It also makes me extremely grateful that they are not chronically hurt or sick. I cannot imagine what that is like. My heart goes out to those parents.
10. The love makes it all worth it. Cheesy? Yes. True? Also yes. The sleepless nights, messy house, never having more than 20 minutes to myself, if that… it is all so amazingly worth it when I see my children happy.
So those are some of the things that I didn’t know, or couldn’t have truly known before I was a Mom. It’s interesting to look back and try to remember life before my children. It’s almost impossible to do. I can’t really imagine not knowing this love. I feel like they have been in my heart forever. Maybe it’s because of the sleep deprivation or maybe it’s because there is no possible way that my heart could ever unknow them.