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First, let me start by saying I LOVE being a mommy. The snuggles, the giggles, the innocence of love. I absolutely, without a doubt, love it and love our girls. In saying that, I 100% underestimated how hard it is to actually be a parent. Shocking, right?
Growing up, I envisioned myself being a young, hip mom. (Mean Girls movie, anyone??) I wanted to have my first child by the time I was 25 and then the rest of my litter within 2 years of each other. Funny how life works, right? I hit the goal of having our daughter at the age of 25…but didn’t have our 2nd until 4 years later….and our litter stopped there. Some days, it makes me sad to think there are no more babies coming. Other days, I’m already apartment shopping for them to flourish in society as adults. 😉
I knew that there would be ups and downs with parenting. Curveballs, peaks and valleys, and all that good stuff. But man, there were, and still are, so many things that I was unprepared for in becoming a mom.
I could probably have an infinite list of things I’m truly unprepared for, but for times sake, I’ll break it down to my top 10.
#1 – Poop. Seriously, the amount of poop that I have seen over the past 10 years is mind-boggling. I wasn’t prepared. Not for the diaper blow outs, not for the spotty underwear, not for the smells…How can THAT come out in such volume from such small bodies???? Is that color normal? Is that smell normal? Its. Never. Ending.
#2 – Math. Yes, math. Simple, school math. I consider myself educated. Hell, I have my MBA- that has to mean something, right? Wrong. My 4th grader is completing math problems in a way I can’t even begin to comprehend, and I hand to heart promise, I actually emailed her teacher in 3rd grade to verify that I got one of her math problems correct so I can be certain I was explaining the right answer to her correctly. 3rd grade????!!!!! UGH.
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#3 – Boys. My oldest is a little boy crazy. I’m not ready for that. Period. How do I even think about talking to her about boys? HELP! Boys are icky? Nah, she isn’t going to buy that. Boys have cooties? She knows better. Maybe I’ll take the route of telling her that she has her whole like to find “the one”, and to enjoy her time now….
#4 – Lice. Seriously. This is the worst. No one talks about it, but everyone deals with it. Running frantically to the store to get anything off the shelf. Googling home remedies….did you know that you can supposedly kill lice with mayonnaise? But not just any mayonnaise, it has to be Hellman’s. True story. Those lice are stuck up snobs only giving in to death by a name brand, right? 😉 We call that the BLT treatment: Beat Lice Today with a touch of Mayo.
#5 – Candy. I hate sharing. Like, hate it. As in…I’ll grab a piece of candy and run to the other room to eat it. Am I proud of this? No. Do I do it anyway? You betcha. Why? Well, the way I see it…once one becomes a parent, very few things in life are left to enjoy alone…so, if there are times that I want to eat my Gobstoppers in piece, dang-it, I’m doing it.
#6 – Peeing in peace. I haven’t went to the restroom alone in 10 years. I have no privacy, nothing is sacred to me anymore. I either have a child staring at me, or magically, like clockwork, every time I go to the bathroom one of them has to go and come in and rush me, or they suddenly become starving and have to have me give them all their food options in the house during mid-potty. Does this mean I’m good at multi-tasking? If so, I’m at expert level.
#7 – Back seat drivers. I’m a good driver. I’ve NEVER had a wreck, a speeding ticket…nada. But to my girls, I’m the worst driver that they have ever seen. They critique me 24/7. Don’t they know I’m their taxi???? Without me, they wouldn’t get from point A to point B? Doesn’t matter. They tell me I hit every bump, they ask my speed constantly, they tell me I need to slow down/speed up. Maybe they have a lucrative career being driver’s ed teachers?
#8 – Babies First Words. My mother-in-law says this all the time, and it’s the truth. The meaning behind the saying? “Thena, clean up your mouth.” Now, I AM a lady, but there are times I could make a pirate blush with the amount of curse words I can spout off. When I was younger, I was free with my speech as I didn’t have young ears listening to me and mimicking me….now, well, I have to be very aware of the things that just seem to pop out of my mouth.
#9 – Mom hair, don’t care. My appearance is frumpy at best. I see myself in the mirror, and I feel like in the summer I look like a hippie and in the winter I look like a lumberjack. My hair is a mess, there isn’t a drop of make up on my face and the circles under my eyes make me look like a raccoon. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t have energy left over to not care about my appearance. It still shocks me that I’m okay leaving the house to run a quick errand in pajama pants and a flannel shirt. Even more shocking? I haven’t seem my picture on any of the “People of Wal-Mart” posts, so I feel like I’m still winning and ahead of the game!
#10 – Being an adult. The day our first child was born, I was like, “Holy cow, we have a baby.” Two days later, when we got to leave the hospital with our newborn, I was thinking, “Really, we just get to leave and take this brand new fragile baby with no formal training??” Were we ready? Who knows…is one ever ready? We had our car seat installed which is more than I can say for some…so, we were ready in that sense. But, what it did do, was force us to grow up. No more staying out late, or eating junk. (ha, yeah right! at least not in front of the kids, right?) I’m still unprepared in all things “adulting”. Saying no. Keeping up with the laundry. Preparing breakfast. Understanding how shoe sizes work for kids. (Seriously, that is confusing!) But, I do my best. We do our best. Every day, we move forward and try to be a positive force in our daughters lives.
My top 10 ways I was unprepared to be a parent are true, I was, and still am, unprepared in all these ways. BUT, I’m also happy in ways that I was unprepared for as well.
I was unprepared in knowing how full my heart could truly be of love for our children. I was unprepared in how my life would change in a way for the better, a life of meaning. I was unprepared to fully understand how our girls give me purpose on a daily basis.
While being a parent is the hardest job I have ever truly had in my entire life, I also know it is the best job I have ever been blessed with as well. My attendance record is 100%, my attitude is good and improving, my productivity is high and my ability to mentor and train two beautiful girls to replace me as a wonderful mommy to others someday is working out quite well. We are a great team.
Life is good. If I spend the rest of my life being unprepared for all things parenting, then I’m buckled in and ready to enjoy the ride. Bring on the mystery of life, love and happiness.