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How I Underestimated Being a Parent

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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.

Related Post:  5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from my 5-Year-Old

#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.

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#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.

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105 thoughts on “How I Underestimated Being a Parent”

  1. Ithfifi says:

    You always have such a hilarious but relatable way of wording things, I seriously love reading your posts! I don’t have kids, I do get to enjoy my niece and nephew and get to hand them back when I need to but I can totally get this, my sister would laugh if she read this, she knows each point all too well! I get obsessive when I hear there are lice outbreaks at their school that I’ll have an itch frenzy, I have never ever in my life heard about the Hellmans hack, very interesting! I wonder how or why it kills them?!
    Ithfifi recently posted…Neon Glitter Paillette – Beauty Big Bang ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thena says:

      Thank you! I”m assuming it smothers them with delicious fat? 😉 No clue, but I’ll try anything!!! 🙂

  2. Cia Black says:

    Is it sad that this is 100% relatable to me. I had my 1st when I was 20 so Naiveville I was the mayor. I was so unprepared. And shocking when I got to kids 4 at the age of 28 I still felt like the MAyor. Nothing changed, it still impressed me the amount of poop a child can make. They are so creative with it also. My son ( the oldest, #1) never an issue, child #2 my oldest girl she liked to draw with it on her walls. #3 aslo a daughter liked to smear herself with ( that’s when I invested in a baby monitor because we finally moved into a 2 story home and #4 well I threw out a lot of onesies, she was the Queen of explosions.

    1. Thena says:

      Wow, you deal with poop more than me! Cheers to you momma!

  3. Stacey says:

    Ah, I too completely under valued peeing in peace before I had children! And with 2 boys still in nappies, I’m getting my fair share of poo!

    I loved this post 🙂

  4. Haha I love this! Peeing in peace, what even is that? I’ve been a Mum for 13 years, and now have five kids, so peeing in peace never EVER happens!! I miss those days…haha!
    five little doves recently posted…Dribble Bubbs: Review & £100 giveawayMy Profile

  5. What a fun but also very true to life post. I can reflect on my younger life when my kids were not 18, 20 and 22 and see so much reality here.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted…This Vegan Hearty Greens over Soba Noodles Recipe Is DeliciousMy Profile

  6. Jenni says:

    Ahh how amazing it would be to go to the loo on my own! I don’t think I will ever be ready for boyfriends/girlfriends x

  7. Andrea says:

    and even with all of that, you know that in your heart that you wouldn’t change any of this for the world!

  8. Jenny says:

    I love being a mum too but the homework gets me every weekend, right about 6pm on a Sunday evening!
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  9. Holly says:

    What a great post! Love your sense of humor, and it is clear that you love your girls so much! I’m actually the same as you were…want kids by 25 and then pop the rest out shortly after haha! We’ll see about that though…xx

    http://hollyhabeck.com

  10. Holly says:

    I think we all do this! It’s hard but so rewarding, Awesome post!

  11. Awesome post! So real and true.
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  12. Amy says:

    I think people would stop reproducing if they knew the truth about parenting lol

  13. I think you can never be fully prepared for anything that may be coming your way when you are a parent. And seeing my parents raise 5 kids I can only know that!

  14. Bwahahahahahaha Thena, I could so relate to what you said. Darn it being a parent is really hard and so rewarding and confusing and can I please, please go pee without someone staring at me. Loved reading this so much
    Michelle Leslie recently posted…Make Your Own Ridiculously Easy Perpetual CalendarMy Profile

  15. Shubhada Bhide says:

    I feel you! I love reading your article and I can relate to your experienced. I really underestimate being a mom and wife as well. I thought it was very easy, but the reality being a mom is a very hard thing. But despite all the difficulties I have experienced, I have a family that I treasure and will treasure forever!

  16. Haha, number #2 sounds terrifying. I’m sure I’ll have forgotten everything I know by the time i have kids.

  17. Echo says:

    Seriously. Most of this is my life!!! I thought I would totally be the most amazing parent ever, I’d have all my stuff together. But nothing actually prepares you for being a parent and how hard it actually is.
    Echo recently posted…A Gift Guide for Baby’s First ChristmasMy Profile

  18. Tizzy Says says:

    I totally get it. The other thing is they say your second child is easier than the first… so not true. My first was a gem and my second is like she was spawned from the devil himself. She tries my patience every chance she gets and is not even a teenager yet.

  19. I think this one hits in the top ten of best mommy posts ever! I can so agree on so many of these. Hate lice. Miss being able to pee in peace. Candy is more of an incentive in our home. Why is there so much poop from someone so little?! Thank you!

  20. Holly says:

    I can relate with most of these. Every day is a new adventure as a mom!

  21. I’m not a mom (yet), but I must say that becoming a parent freaks me out a bit, mostly because of the reasons you mention. And there’s no return policy on a kid! But I’m glad to see that there’s still an upside to all of this, even if you have to run to save your candy and deal with more poop than you could have ever imagined…

  22. Jaime says:

    Love your humor! And what makes it so funny is how true it really is! Thank you for making me smile today.

  23. Sarah says:

    Hahaha! I completely agree with everything. I’ve actually tried the mayo thing! Haha
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  24. It seems to me that you are facing motherhood with joy, humor and love. Nothing can be better than that! Though my kids are grown now, your post has me reliving so many moments from their childhood. It certainly is a wild time! Enjoy!

  25. Cassie says:

    Haha geez it sure sounds like quite the journey! I think I’m a little guilty like you of thinking some of it would be a breeze! I don’t have children yet but when I do I’m sure I’m in for a shock!
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  26. Haha it really is funny how life turns out sometimes isn’t it? I can imagine that you must be the master at dealing with poop now after all the poop you have seen LOL.
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  27. Krysti says:

    Haha love your honesty! Very interesting reading this as I don’t have children myself yet. Something I’m not really sure if I’m looking forward to!!
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  28. La Shell says:

    I tell you. One of my greatest fears is becoming a parent. So much can happen and so much sacrifice. I heard that it’s worth it but I’m still having two minds about it!

  29. Lol at the math. Luckily that was my favorite grade school
    Subject but nowadays, the math is no joke. Lol! You have some lucky kids to have you as their moms

  30. Preet says:

    This is so beautiful post. I like the way you have explained it, making it humourous as well . I have experienced each and every point you have mentioned, so true, with two kids and no formal training…and still after five years, it still feels so new. But as they say it, it is all worth it at the end of the day with the most beautiful smiles and hugs they give ♥️

  31. Parenting is like any other relation with lots of learning and up /downs which we learn with every child. It is definitely not as easy it sounds on the baby or motherhood magazines.
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  32. RaNesha says:

    I don’t envy anyone that’s a parent I believe that is a very difficult job. I do commend all of the wonderful moms and dads I enjoyed your post.
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  33. Cherie says:

    I am not a parent but I respect all Mums out there meeting their child’s needs and going through some challenges!! Keep up the amazing work and thank you for sharing this post. I don’t think you would be alone on some of these especially math!!
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  34. Katie says:

    Haha yes, I don’t think I could imagine being a parent until I was one. I encounter new things and stages every week!
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  35. Samantha says:

    I don’t have kids, but have cousins with children ranging from 5-16. They’ve talked about some of the things you mention and my mom tells stories about when I was a child (my sister & I apparently didn’t let her pee in peace). I love how candid and humorous this blog is!
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  36. Maria says:

    such an interesting article to read! but I can imagine… I mean kids do require lots of attention and if it’s exhausting for me to babysit my cousins which are pretty chill kids parenting must be a whole other world!
    After all, parents end up being responsible for another life for 18 years… That’s a lot.

  37. Abbi says:

    This post was wonderfully written! When I was younger I couldn’t WAIT to have children whereas now I’m in my early twenties, I’m not as interested but I really did enjoy reading this post! My mum likes to tell me the same things haha!
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  38. Haha . This is a really good post. I dig your sense of humor. I have no kids of your own but you post allows me to think about how it must really be as a parent and then i think about the people around me that has children and I am like i had no idea.

  39. Jen Temcio says:

    I totally relate to you! My life was NOTHING like I planned but it worked out. My kids are 26, 22 and 15 and I still feel like I am in the trenches of parenting every one of them. Our job never stops but it does help to have posts and books to relate to .
    Jen Temcio recently posted…Four Easy (and Amazing) Chia Pudding RecipesMy Profile

  40. I could totally relate. I’m thankful to be blessed with two lovely children and there are so many things that I’m not prepared for too. I really enjoyed reading this post. I like the humor and parenting life that you shared it here. Agree that being a parent is the best job ever!

  41. I remember the poop that I had to deal with my daughter’s messes. Especially those two weeks at the beginning when this poop had an unnatural tar consistency.
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  42. I always tell people that nothing prepares you for being a parent… Nothing. Nothing prepares you for the mountains of laundry, the diapers, the picky eating, the broken hearts, and scraped knees – and nothing prepares you for how much you can love another little human being.
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  43. I enjoy your posts because they are candid and raw about your experiences and opinions. Parenting is so hard and has its ups and downs. I have realized it is definitely not for me but more power to all the parents out there.

    ❥ tanvii.com
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  44. Carley Clagg says:

    I’m not a mom yet, but according to my friends they relate to this so much!

  45. This made me laugh – I can totally relate to all of it! Crazy how they let us parent these little people with no training!

  46. OMG your comment about name brand, that’s hilarious. I think very very few people are prepared for parenthood, but those who do it are very brave

  47. YES.. YES and YES! To all these things lol! I totally thought I would have this motherhood thing down right… I mean they are just tiny humans right? WRONG lol! I swear sometimes the small people are the rulers in our house and me and hubby just go along with it, anything for an easier life lol! x
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  48. It’s definitely different than you expected when you were just in the process of planning for a baby. I cant totally relate to you with everything that you said from the poop to the being an adult part!
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  49. I am not sure you can ever fully prepare for being a parent. I’m sure it’s a lot more than anyone can expect.
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  50. Joline says:

    My sister is a new-ish mom. Let me forward her this and freak her out LOL. I always enjoy your posts!

  51. Stephanie says:

    I vastly underestimated what it takes to be a parent, that’s for sure! I have two boys, ages 2 and 4, and they are crazy! They definitely keep us on our toes and learning new things about them and ourselves every day.
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  52. I hear you being a mom can be challenging but by no means you are a bad mom. Motherhood does not have to be perfect all that you describe is part of a mom’s life. And we learn this when we become moms since our own mothers had to gro through the same as us now.

  53. Yes to all of this … especially the lice. I have 4 girls, and we got lice a couple years ago. So many tears, and cleaning, and just … I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

  54. Vee says:

    This is so hilarious but so very true. Trust me, all moms can relate to your post. The numbering my vary though. 🙂

  55. Victoria says:

    Congratulations on being a mom. I’m sure the good part far outweighs the bad. So happy for you as so many of us have had to give up on ever having ours. Let me live vicariously through you, if you don’t mind….lol!

  56. This was such a fun read! I am nowhere near ready for children, especially after reading this but it did make me laugh.

  57. I don’t have children but I’ve heard these from my friends who do. There will always be plenty of things that you never expected when you have children.
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  58. Oh I feel your pain about nits – they’re going around my daughters nursery again and it is grim!

  59. Mary says:

    I loved this. You take on parenting with great humor which is one of the most tools in the parenting toolbox. You’re doing great.

  60. This is a great post, I think we all underestimate how hard parenting is. I had to laugh at yoru maths issues, I’m the same but thankfully now my 14 year old son is a maths genius so he helps his younger sisters. Mich x
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  61. Candy Rachelle says:

    This is true to life post. Lol!! Before I underestimate being a parent. I thought it was so easy to have a child, to carry a child and to have a big family. But when our first and second baby came out all my thought is wrong. But it is all worth it. My husband helps me with everything. That’s why, our big and happy family, I will treasure forever.

  62. Jake Ferrer says:

    Haha! This is so funny to think that i am like this. But still, being a mom is the best thing happened to me.
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  63. Julie Syl says:

    What a great post to read! All parents should read this! This is also made me laugh so hard!

  64. While I have no kids of my own yet, I can tell you’re doing such a great job being that hip mom you always wanted to be 🙂 Your points here made me smile especially when you said about how being a parent means that there very few things in life you are left to enjoy alone… I can’t wait to be a parent myself 🙂

  65. Marie says:

    Laughed so much at your list, especially no.1! I’m not a parent yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to be one. Kids are a joy to have.

  66. Jagriti Roy says:

    Every point of being a mom you have talked over here has much similarity with my mom.. And I am wondering to think that after few years I am going to face this phase of life .

  67. This post is really relaxing, I enjoyed reading it. My favorite line is “Mom hair don’t care”, lol so true.
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  68. Nikki says:

    Its so funny what you said about bringing a newborn home! Isn’t it crazy how we can have these innocent babies and just take them home with no experience but sometimes you have to jump through hoops to adopt a pet! I think everyone should go through some kind of baby training because not everyone has family there to help them. Luckily I babysat a lot before having kids, but it was still terrifying at first.

  69. Liz says:

    Haha what a fun post! No kids for me, but all my friends are having kids and they definitely have the same gripes that they groan and laugh about – especially not being able to pee in private and all the food things they hide from their kids and eat after they go to bed, ha!

  70. Oh with four children, I hear you!! I LOVE the lice one – BLT – that is hilarious! Kaz
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  71. I was laughing so hard on this post!! Hahahahaha i loved it, especially one about the poop, i think no one understands that, especially mens 😀 and for the candies as well, I aint gonna share em 😀
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  72. Linda Hobbis says:

    Oh yes – the joy of nits. We discovered our first visitation last new year’s eve and spent New Year’s Day running round trying to find a pharmacy for nit shampoo!
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  73. Ana Ojha says:

    I’m not a mom but I still enjoyed your post! I liked your humor! I think that no one can teach you parenting apart from your own kids! And most important is parents learn from their experiences!
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  74. I would love to get together with you for a one-on-one! Oh, my gosh – I feel exactly the same way you do! Your post is so refreshing and suddenly I don’t feel so alone anymore! LOL!

  75. You summarized it so well. I have 2 kids and thought after the first one I would be atlease little bit prepared. But they are 180 degrees opposite. We can prepare as much but there are so many other things for which we have no clue. But it is always fun to deal with it.

  76. I’m not a parent yet, but I truly believe that parents are super heroes… they do so many impossible things and make it all work for the whole family

  77. Claire says:

    Hahah I feel like this would be me, but just the thought of being a mom sounds difficult. I am still learning about myself and getting my stuff together soooo probably maybe after a few years. But I love these tips – so realistic!

  78. Shell says:

    Hahaha I love this so much and totally relate!!!! …. and peeing in peace lol I have absolutely forgot what that is like 🙂

  79. Tiffany Yong says:

    Being a parent is a permanent commitment which I have no idea if I will ever be ready. But what comes will come and being a parent is definitely a very sacred job, to bring up and nurture a budding life~

  80. Travel Tips says:

    I’m still not mother but I would love to have one soon. Will going to need it soon I hope
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  81. Jack bransson says:

    Being a parent is really hard and require a lot of work and effort, i can tell by seeing my parents struggle with little brothers and sisters.

  82. I’m not a mom but I know your post is so relatable! I’ve seen some poops from babies and wonder how they can possibly poop that much???
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  83. Agnes says:

    Lol! This is so true. I am not a mum yet but totally get it. I like the mum hair don’t care line too!
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  84. Amy Dong says:

    LOL, this is fantastic!! I loved all of the points, every single one! Totally, yeah, nobody tells you what it’s REALLY gonna be like as a mama… the baby showers are all cutesy, as they should be… but then, LIFE. Right?! My oldest is now 13, and somehow I suddenly need driving lessons as well 😉 And candy?! Of course. I absolutely hide my chocolates because should the kiddos EVER find my stash, they’d immediately invade it. Parenting is way more than we ever thought it would be, yes? Good and not-as-good news: All my older mom friends tell me… it never ends. It changes, but parenting never truly ends 🙂
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  85. I don’t have kids. But peeing in peace, and having something you don’t have to share – I get that! These are all good ones. I know they’re totally worth it, but talk about adulting. Kudos to you!

  86. Jaleby says:

    Hahah Very nice post !! I think i can see most of this scenario with my sisters kid Lol 🙂
    Thanks for sharing

  87. Marci Smith says:

    Haha, I think many parents go through a lot of these thoughts. Especially the poop!

  88. I don’t have kids yet but i love how you make things so great !! I’ll def save this post for when I get my own kids

  89. magen says:

    I feel like we all have this sense of what it takes to be a parent, but really we have no idea until the baby comes. Every day I learn something new about myself through parenting my son.

  90. Louise says:

    Lice are the worst, aren’t they?! I spent two years constantly trying to get them out of my daughters hair. She would get them, I’d treat it, she’d go lice-free for a fortnight at most and then the little bleeders would come right back! I thought we were never going to be rid of them. Urgh.

    Louise x

  91. This is so relatable! I am still rubbish at “adulting” too!

  92. Even the word headlice makes my head itch and I don’t even have children x

  93. Nothing can ever prepare you for parenthood. Even second time round, when you think you know it all, you discover that two is actually way more than twice the work!

  94. Oyinkan says:

    Omg apartment shopping for the kids already?! Lol! You’re so funny!
    Oyinkan recently posted…Breakfast With Intelligent Nutrients | Brighten FallMy Profile

  95. Amanda says:

    I love that #1 is poop! Lol I don’t think any parent to be would ever be prepared for that haha. Great read and I look forward to learning these lessons myself one day when I finally start my own family x
    Amanda recently posted…The Best Destinations for Winter SunMy Profile

  96. This is lovely. I’m with you on this- ready to enjoy the ride of being a parent! Let’s do this!

  97. Haha! Epic post and gosh, doing ANYTHING when your parent can be a struggle, right? lol
    Super Busy Mum recently posted…Staying active & shaking off those Autumn/Winter blues!My Profile

  98. Fana says:

    This is so true for me too – not having a moment alone EVER haha, and having to really grow up and do some serious adulting 🙂
    Fana recently posted…Simple Ideas to Embrace Hygge LifestyleMy Profile

  99. Carmela says:

    This is such a fun, honest, relatable post that made me laugh! Love it!

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