35 Truths about motherhood

A friend I’ve known since high school is about to become a mother for the first time.  Any time a friend is about to have a baby now, I have all this advice that wells up inside me that I fight really hard not to share.  I remember when I was pregnant with my first, especially, and got unsolicited advice.  I wasn’t a fan of it, so I try HARD not to be that friend.  However, I can get it all out here on my blog!  I’ve done this before with a more sentimental approach when some other friends had a baby.  This time, though, I have a new baby myself and have been thinking of some of the more humorous truths about motherhood.  And by humorous, I mean some things that make you want to cry but you have to just laugh instead. Or something like that.

So, I’m sharing them.  These are from my perspective as the mom of a 3-1/2-year-old and a nearly 5-month-old.  I’d love to have some of you mom readers add to the list!

Truth about motherhood #1: You’ll have many moments when your husband, your children and your dog all need something from you at the exact same time. This is usually when you’re doing a frivolous activity like making dinner or washing laundry or going to the bathroom.

Truth about motherhood #2: Speaking of going to the bathroom, you’ll wonder if you will ever have privacy again.

Truth about motherhood #3: Knowing that one day you will miss having an entourage follow you throughout the house and adoring fans crying for you from another room doesn’t make it any easier to deal with right now.

Truth about motherhood #4: You will have moments when you’ll wonder why on earth you ever taught your preschooler to talk since she never stops talking.  Ever.  Ever, ever.  (In fact, writing this blog post is making me think of using the television as a babysitter so I can have 15 minutes to think and write in peace!)

Truth about motherhood #5: You will be amazed at how many tasks you can accomplish and have no memory of when you’re sleep deprived.

Truth about motherhood #6: You will sometimes tear up because you have so much love for your little people that your heart overflows and can’t contain it.  This even happens at 2 a.m. when you’ve been up since 7 a.m. the previous day.

Truth about motherhood #7: You will always feel guilty about something.  You will beat yourself up over every single thing you do and every single thing you don’t do.  Mommy guilt is ever-present and sometimes all-consuming.  Watch out for it!

Truth about motherhood #8: You will find yourself saying things you never dreamed you would like: “Your Crocs are in my bedroom with corn in them.”  Or, “If you fall and hurt yourself, I’m not going to help you.”

Truth about motherhood #9: You will have more fun playing with your kids than you did playing when you were a child.

Truth about motherhood #10: You will both be glad to have given birth and yet somehow miss being pregnant at the same time — even when you had a miserable pregnancy.

Truth about motherhood #11: Just like mommy guilt, mommy worries are also always present, especially with the first baby.  You’ll worry if she’s sleeping too much. You’ll worry she’s not sleeping enough.  It won’t make any sense, but it will happen.

Truth about motherhood #12: You will channel your mom.  Enough said.

Truth about motherhood #13: You will lose yourself for a while after the baby is born, but you’ll come back.  Slowly, over time, you become more you again, yet different in a way you’re OK with.

Truth about motherhood #14: You’ll have the super power of being able to touch hot plates without grimacing.  I don’t know how this ties into motherhood, but it’s true.  My hands can stand much more heat now than ever before.  Maybe I’m just too tired to care about getting burnt.

Truth about motherhood #15: You won’t remember a darn thing.  Mommy brain is real.  I keep multiple lists and set multiple calendar items and reminders on my phone to pretend like I’m organized.  You won’t remember a darn thing.

Truth about motherhood #16: You will need an extra half hour to get out of the house — at least.  Because there is always a diaper that needs to be changed as soon as everyone is ready or a sippy cup that needs to be filled or a doll that needs to be found.

Truth about motherhood #17: You will sing children’s songs in your head all the time whether it’s in the middle of the night when you’re up for the bathroom or to feed the baby or whether you’re on a date with your husband (and if your husband is like mine, he’ll sing right along with you!).

Truth about motherhood #18: Speaking of husbands, you’ll be overwhelmed at how much more you can love him when you see him holding your baby.  And you’ll also be overwhelmed at how irritated you can get at him, but remember hormones and sleep deprivation make even the best husband seem annoying.  This applies to all relatives and even random strangers, too.

Truth about motherhood #19: You have an inner mama bear that will come out when riled.  I have stood up to folks I never speak up to when my child’s happiness was at stake.  I would take on anyone who tried to mess with either of my babies and I mean anyone!

Truth about motherhood #20: You won’t be grossed out very easily.  In fact, you’ll do gross things and not even give them a second thought.  Leaving the house with spit-up on your shirt is the least of them.  When my son was a newborn, I literally caught a bowel movement in my hand as he started to go while I was changing him.  My reasoning was that it was much easier to clean my hands off than have to clean it off the changing table pad.  Only later did I even think, “Hey, that was probably gross.”

Truth about motherhood #21: It’s a journey you’re on.  There will be good days and bad.  And sometimes they happen all in the same day.  Don’t get bogged down by the bad moments.  Know that it really is worth it and whatever phase you’re in really does end and get better.

Truth about motherhood #22: Life really won’t ever be the same again. Having a child changes you forever.  Life is no longer about you but all about the little people you gave birth to.  It’s OK to mourn the loss of life as you knew it.  Just don’t get stuck there and miss enjoying the life you have now — or at least the really good parts of it!

Truth about motherhood #23: You must have a sense of humor.  I mentioned this in my last post and I say it again.  Keep a sense of humor about the trials and challenges of motherhood and the trails and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth.  Own it.  Sometimes it sucks.  Sometimes you will cry.  But, sometimes you can laugh instead.

Truth about motherhood #24: Keeping a sense of humor is also important because there is never enough energy or time for a good cry.

Truth about motherhood #25: You will develop a keen radar and be able to find your child’s favorite toy in a pile of a million toys strewn all around your house.  At all times I know where my daughter’s favorite doll is and my son’s favorite ball is.  Seriously.

Truth about motherhood #26: You will hone ninja-like abilities to move silently out of your baby’s room after a 30-minute battle to get him to sleep.

Truth about motherhood #27: You will apologize to your parents for fighting sleep, talking back or simply just being alive after dealing with your children.  Just this week I texted my mother to apologize for fighting sleep.  She’s told me my son reminds her of me as a baby.  I’m so sorry for that for her.  I’m even more sorry for that for me sometimes!

Truth about motherhood #28: You will wonder how you ever thought you were busy before.  I remember before having kids I felt like I was so busy all the time.  I laugh at that idea now.  Heck, I thought I was so busy with one baby.  Now when I have only the baby to deal with, it feels like free time.  And he’s a much needier baby than my daughter was.

Truth about motherhood #29: If you breastfeed, you’ll be surprised at all the places milk can end up.  You’ll be equally surprised at all the places spit-up can end up as well.  This is probably true for bottle feeding as well!

Truth about motherhood #30: You will be surprised at how much you praise bodily functions.  Sometimes that will carry over to others.  I have literally said to my husband before, “That was a good burp-y.”  Yeah.  It happens.

Truth about motherhood #31: You will share “looks” with other moms at Target when their child is whining.  While before you might have looked on with judgment, now you look on with empathy and, internally, are just plain relieved your child isn’t the offender at the moment.

Truth about motherhood #32: You will want to beat anyone who does anything to wake up your baby.  You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’ve had to refrain from putting the smackdown on the pizza delivery guy who returned unannounced for us to sign a receipt right after we got the baby to sleep and were about to indulge in pizza and a movie on a date night.  Or the family friend who insisted on stroking the baby’s arm when she saw us at a restaurant and our food had just arrived and he was happily asleep for once.  Or the dog who stands outside the baby’s door and barks for no apparent reason.  I could go on.

Truth about motherhood #33: You will refer to yourself in the third person.  Worst of all for someone like me, you will intermix third and first person.  For example, “Mommy needs to take a shower.  When I get out, we’ll make sure you didn’t burn down the house.”  OK, I haven’t actually said that, but you get my point.

Truth about motherhood #34: You will feel as if you should get awards for various things that no one would ever think of giving awards for.  Like an award for having taken a shower, bathing the children, making dinner, doing laundry, paying bills or refraining from telling your child to shut up.  Small tasks become so very monumental.

Truth about motherhood #35: You will survive.  Well, I’m pretty sure you will.  So far I have survived and it’s been just over 3 and 1/2 years.  I also know plenty of moms who have grown children, so I like to think that survival of motherhood is possible.  Good luck!

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