After the Little Butt came into my life, I told my friend Erin I was going to write a book about all the things no one tells women about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. I’ve since lost the list, but the idea still rolls around in my mind. But what if I actually wrote the book and then someone ended up mad at me for omitting their big parenting surprise? I’m not ready for that kind of responsibility.
Rather than try to write a tell-all book, today I’m sharing a few things I’ve learned in the past 4 ½ years. Enjoy!
- Mommies need time-outs, too.
We all joke about the mom who hides in the bathroom when she needs a break, but it’s not a laughing matter. Yes, I have always planned to be a stay-at-home mom, but it’s definitely not as easy as I anticipated. Sometimes I look at My Guy and tell him I need to go to Starbucks and sit in an easy chair and stare into the fire. And that’s normal. Don’t try to tell me it isn’t.
- Parenting well is a learned skill.
Well, duh. The thing here is that you don’t get to learn much ahead of time—it’s a crash course. Even if I read every parenting book out there, no one can predict the chemistry of each of our distinct personalities thrown together. Plus, you don’t get graded until waaaaay down the road.
- Your kids will embarrass you.
It’s not fun when your kid is the one throwing the temper tantrum or whining through Target. But hey—their day is coming, right? 😉
- Everyone has an opinion.
And they all feel compelled to share it with you. This one makes sense. I mean, aren’t you like that? Please tell me I’m not alone in this. It just surprised me how quickly those opinions poured in after we posted our first ultrasound picture.
- Everyone lies.
I kind of feel like Hugh Laurie’s character House when I say this, but it’s true. Everyone lies—including you and me. It might not be with words, but the expectations we and others place on ourselves are so dang high that we can’t measure up, so we end up painting/implying/posting this false image of what life looks like in our tiny corner of the world. The awful thing is, we think that everyone else’s “reality” is what it appears to be, as well. Why are we so easily fooled?
- It’s worth it.
There is nothing quite as magical as hearing your child tell you of their own volition that they love you. It makes the memory of all those other words melt away.
- I’m doing better than I think.
And you probably are, too. Sure, my kids might need therapy one day. Doesn’t everyone? I will not perfectly parent these kids, but for some inexplicable reason God chose me as their mother and I’ve got to trust that He knows what He’s doing.