My sister-in-law sent me a link to this article she saw on MSNBC last week discussing the deepest darkest secrets from mothers who were confessing the thoughts they have had either about being a mother or about their children. She thought I would enjoy it because of my blog and because she knows I’ve admitted to having similar feelings in the past. Then she said, “must admit, makes me a bit more scared to have children”.
Nooo! I want more than anything for my siblings to join the ranks of those of us with kids and selfishly provide my kids with cousins to play with. My husband has a lot of cousins and I just think it is the coolest thing when they all get together, which unfortunately, is way too infrequently. So to hear my sister-in-law get possibly turned off by some honest moms sharing their feelings makes me just want to shake her and say, “Dude! Yeah! It’s rough! But suck it up and have a kid already!” Either that or it makes me want to say, “Oh, yeah? That’s nothing, here’s this thought I had today…”.
But what moms really think pales in comparison to what we find ourselves actually doing. I’m not sure if this book exists or not, but just for my sweet sister-in-law I thought I’d start her out with some of my thoughts on What to Really Expect When You’re Expecting/Parenting:
You will have to deal with poo, pee, spit up and vomit. Sometimes you will deal with these elements all at once, which if it happens is an especially lucky day for you. Side note: one friend of mine wrote on Facebook a few weeks ago that she didn’t know what she was thinking but it was her first gut reaction to try and catch her child’s throw-up with her bare hands. Yep, I’ve been there and done that.
You will want to go through your wardrobe and pair down the “Dry Clean Only” items. Wearing silk, anything with lace or the ability to tear should be eliminated as well. You will have earrings ripped out of your ear hole, necklaces torn from your neck, and you will lose handfuls of hair (not only naturally in the postpartum phase, but to the kung-fu ninja grip of your infant baby).
You will learn about hemorrhoids and the joy of Preparation H possibly before, during, and after childbirth. You may even experience incontinence after birth and might just pee yourself out of nowhere one day as you sit on the couch watching TV. Do not be alarmed. Kegels baby, kegels.
You will wash and wash and wash clothes and be sad when your favorite shirt does not rinse clean. You will go ape s*#t when your toddler takes black marker all over her overpriced Pottery Barn bedding. You will invest a ton of money on stain remover and eventually find the perfect concoction that for safety reasons should probably not be concocted but works to remove those stubborn spit-up stains.
Your spouse will never understand what you actually deal with on a daily basis and will completely piss you off by inadvertently inferring that you sit on the couch eating bon-bons watching Oprah all day. You will find it completely unfair that the moment he walks in the door it is as if the three hours of screaming and fighting your kids were doing prior to his arrival never even happened. It was just for your pleasure only.
You will wake up before 5 am on many occasions. You will have children in your bed because they wet their own and you were too tired to get up and change their bedding.
You will come to know and love drive thru windows, car DVD players, and car rides into the country just to kill time until your husband comes home.
You will have deep dark thoughts and feel bad about them and wonder if you are the only one who ever thought this way. You may even think about calling CPS on yourself, not because you did anything but simply because you thought about it. You will wonder how someone so little can make you so angry. You will have moments of hating them and feeling as though the naughty things they do are to personally spite you even though logically you know they aren’t psychologically developed enough to be that crafty.
You will say all of the things you swore you never were going to say when you became a parent: “Because I said so that’s why”, “You are going to school and you are going to like it”, “If you don’t stop crying I’ll really give you something to cry about”, etc. etc.
Your children will emit sounds that you thought only dogs could hear resulting in momentary deafness in one or both of your ears. Your ears make actually bleed or ring for days as if you were at a concert the night before (without the fun part).
Your wood floors will get scratched, paint will get chipped off the walls, glasses will get broken, and split milk will be the least of your concerns.
Your car will smell like milk gone bad (sometimes) and you will spend lots of quarters vacuuming the goldfish/cheerios explosion that is your car’s interior. Either that or you will realize the value in breaking down and buying your own Shop Vac.
You will feel guilty, tired, emotional, and you will constantly wish you were better at parenting than you are. You will no longer read for pleasure as 1, 2, 3 Magic, Raising Your Spirited Child, and other parenting classics will be stacked in a pile on your nightstand.
And the list goes on and on. But what my sister-in-law should know is that moms love to commiserate with one another. It definitely makes us feel better and we know we are not alone. It is highly recommended to get involved with mom’s clubs or hang with friends who have kids, even before the baby is born, to talk with other mothers about your thoughts and feelings. Because only then do we get to see that our kids aren’t so special, we aren’t so terrible, and it is all very manageable.
When my sister-in-law sent me that link, although I did want to fire back with that snarky “get over it and have a kid already” comment, what I really wanted to do was send her a picture from earlier in the day. It was of my two older girls playing in the backyard mini pool and the joy and smiles on their faces. I felt as though that one image would have quickly blasted any doubt about having children for her.
Having children is one of life’s greatest joys. It is something I strive to remember no matter how bad my day has been or how deep and dark my thoughts might have gotten that day. For me, there is absolutely nothing greater than being a mother and I thank God daily for giving me this opportunity. I wish nothing more for my siblings and and friends hoping to have their first baby that they get the opportunity as well. Because it is only then will they really understand, see what I mean, and come up with a few more additions for my list.