When I think about the 4 things You Wish You Knew before having kids, in retrospect, did I wish I knew more about postpartum? Or later on they are older and you are shopping and dealing with a screaming toddler? There are so many different aspects of parenting, it is completely normal to have no idea what to expect.
4 Things You Wish You Knew Before Having Kids
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Defining Parenting in a few words: The process of raising children and providing them with protection and care in order to ensure their healthy development into adulthood.
Seems easy right? Ha! I always keep in mind that we are raising our children to be successful adults not so much raising kids. I always thing about the end game of them being an adult. Lets get in to the 4 Things You Wish You Knew
1. How much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week actually is:
It is obvious that being a parent is 24/7. The basic idea of this is not what I am referring to. The part of 24/7 I am talking about is when you are exhausted. The setting: you have to work early in the morning. you’re 9 months pregnant. Your baby is sick and you have been up all night at a children’s hospital all night.
Your husband has to stay home with the other kids while you take the baby to the hospital at 3:30AM. You have a huge project due at work the next day. You can’t call in to work but your baby needs their mama. When you get home at 5am. Just when you try to shut your eyes 4 year old wakes up and is ready to party.
You can’t neglect the child who has been sleeping peacefully all night. They are ready for breakfast and to start their day. So you get up and start the day. Tending to sick children all day and getting your normal daily tasks done is exhausting. As soon as get the kids to bed its time to go to bed and do it all again.
2. How much has to change in your daily life to accommodate (baby proofing, supplies & preparation):
The second you find out you are pregnant you start ingesting all things mom life, parenting, and baby. Your brain literally is pregnant too. It is all consuming and you don’t see it coming. No matter how much you try to refrain from touching your bump. Or not doing the hold the bump pose it naturally happens. Your sleep patterns change. I never thought I would be able to wake up to feed a baby in the middle of the night. Sleeping in late is a thing of the past. These days I’m thrilled, if I get to lay in bed until 8am. You are able to wake up to the tiniest whisper beside your bed “mommy”. Don’t get me wrong it scares me to death every time. I wake up no problem and tend to the kids.
Your morning and evening routines change. Bath times and bedtimes are literally written in stone and we will not participate if it involves disrupting those plans. Baby proofing your entire house for your first baby is such a task. It doesn’t get real until they start moving around. At that point you realize how many plug ins you have in your house. Friends that told me prior to having kids of their own, I can’t believe how much baby crap (toys, burp cloths and extra supplies) you have everywhere. The day you get to return that favor and ask them the same is the best! You just don’t know how much you will acquire until you have a baby of your own.
3. Postpartum anxiety: how scary night time is.
I remember when my boys were newborns and I would dread the night time. It not only did it scare me because of SIDS. The loneliness of being awake while the whole house, neighborhood, city are asleep. Long nights of cluster feeding and trying to catch Zzzz’s while sitting up in a recliner feeding your sweet babe.
Anxiety comes in many other forms, either being nervous about driving with your baby or the feeling all moms get when they think of returning to work after leave, we are all resilient and will make it through. I always tell myself to this day when I start to spiral down a nervous rabbit hole, “You aren’t the only mom that has done xzy”, “Many moms out there have lived through so much more” and “You are a good mom, you can do this, it can only get better”. These little mantras help me literally daily.
When my anxiety gets really bad I think of Mary, and how hard it must have been to ride on the back of a horse, side saddle and bareback, all the way to Bethlehem, 9+months pregnant. I can’t imagine having a baby in a manger. This too shall pass, Mama!
4. Taking advice from other moms is smart, even when it seems annoying.
So here is my list of advice:
- You will relax with your second child, just breathe.
- Making your own baby food is fun with your first but you don’t have to.
- Allowing help at any point is so helpful, let go a little, mama.
- Fed is best, don’t worry if you have to supplement formula.
- Sleep training is challenging but such a perk when the kid is older.
4 things You Wish You Knew is just a start of the many things I have learned. It is impossible to remember life before kids in many ways. Your life changes forever and in ways you never will imagine. It is so worth every growing pain, sleepiness night and exhausted day. The amount of confidence, pride and determination I have received from becoming a mom is priceless.
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