10 Things They Never Told You About Being a MomDianna Graveman |17, November 2011
All the baby books and prenatal classes in the world can't prepare you for what it means to be a mom. You just have to experience it for yourself. But sometimes it helps to talk with other mothers about the daily stresses and delights. And if you haven't yet experienced the joy of motherhood first hand, some of the moms' (and one dad's) comments below may warm your heart--or surprise you.
ONE: Your body will never be the same.
Libby, the mother of two almost-grown boys says, "They tell you the brain cells go to the baby. They don't tell you that you will never get them back."
"Your feet are never the same size again, and you never sleep quite as deeply again," says Anne.
TWO: Letting go is one of the hardest things you'll do.
"Once they learn to crawl, walk, or ride a tricycle, they are always learning how to move away," says JoAnn.
"You will get so excited when they hit milestones, until they are older. Then you will want those milestones to slow way down," says Anne.
"Watching your child drive away alone for the first time is the scariest moment ," says Jan, "especially when it took your child three times to pass driver test."
THREE: You don't know what busy means until you're a mom.
Whenever you try to leave the house for an appointment," Linda says, "someone will need their diaper changed at the last minute."
"They can entertain themselves for hours on end...until you sit down at the computer or pick up the phone," says Candace. "And EVERYTHING will take longer than it should."
"I'm a father, but this applies to moms, too," says Sean. "When you have a child in daycare, you HAVE to answer the phone. I spent thirty-five years perfecting the art of ignoring a ringing phone despite society trying to inculcate a Pavlovian response to go rushing for it, and now I really do have to answer the thing."
"When it comes to children, 2+1 equals more than THREE," says JoAnn.
"You will not eat hot meals for years," Donna says.
FOUR: You will experience emotions you never knew you had.
"Once you have a child, your heart is never, ever the same again," says JoAnn. "It's amazing how such a little hand can hold your entire heart."
"I never knew that love was THAT big," says Julia.
"Their tears will induce your own," Linda says.
FIVE: Kids are hilarious.
"You will laugh harder than you ever have before," says Candace.
SIX: Breastfeeding does not come naturally to everybody.
"Breastfeeding can be really REALLY challenging. But it's worth it," says Candace. "There's a lot of bad advice out there. One thing I read over and over was that you were supposed to get this "all's right with the world" feeling when your baby has latched on and started sucking. All was NOT right when she was screaming and NOT latching on and we were both exhausted. I feared she would starve before we got it right. It took us six weeks to find our rhythm. And then, all was right with the world after all.
SEVEN: Your kids will teach you things.
"You will learn so, so much from your child," says JoAnn.
"I am so blessed with now-grown children who are amazing people," says Donna. "They are my teachers still, and now I'm proud to call them friends."
EIGHT: The littlest things will make you crazy.
Says Anne, "It will drive you nuts when their fingernails are dirty, and somehow, they get dirty so often."
"A baby keeping you up at night is not nearly as difficult as a TEEN who does," says JoAnn.
NINE: Your parenting skills will be criticized, no matter how conscientious you are.
"Remember the "five year rule" when people offer criticism masked as advice," says Donna. "By five, they will all be walking, talking, potty trained, sleeping through the night, not using a binky, eating solid food... I find a good question to ask myself is, 'Will this matter a month from now?'"
TEN: There is no greater love. (Okay, maybe they DID tell you this one...)
"Your children will never stop being your little kids," says Julia.
"Much of it will be a blur. Parts will stand out like stars in the winter sky. Like the day my little girl stopped holding just one of my fingers and took my hand," says Candace.
Nancy agrees: "There is no other love that compares to the love of a child and no greater gift!"
"Even though your heart is full of love for your first child, you'll manage to love the second child every bit as much," says Jan. "It's the miracle of love."
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