As moms, we all know that feeling of euphoria. The one you can only get when you see your new baby for the first time and fall head over heels. For some, this may happen later, but the feeling is still the same. A heady sense of happiness, content, being in love, and surrealism all rolled into one.
Yes, you could gaze into those little eyes for hours. If your kids have dark little marbles like mine, it can get creepy. Waking to a baby staring at you (yes, we co-sleep…more on that later) is super sweet. But, waking in the middle of the night to dark, bottomless eyes staring at you, is the stuff nightmares are made of. I’ve been startled more than once.
You’ll also have to hone your bargaining skills. If you want a shower or 10 minutes alone, bribery is not an unacceptable course. With 7 people and a dog, using the restroom turns into a circus. Who really needs an audience?? And all kids have the urgent need to talk to you ONCE you lock the door. My kids learned how to unlock ours, soo privacy is virtually non-existent.
Nothing evokes unsolicited advice much like a new baby or parenting. Most of it is well-intended, if not ill-informed. A lot of parents feel they had a great way of doing things and simply want to share their expertise. Others feel it is their job to inform you of what you’re doing wrong. Which brings me to the next point…mom boards.
When I was pregnant, the mom boards were great! You’d bet to share pictures of your family unashamedly. We’d swap tips, favorite products, and for those crafty-minded, patterns. But once baby comes, the honeymoon’s over. These once supportive and encouraging forums now turn to holier than though mothers (granted, not all moms are like this) bashing others for their choices.
You bottle-feed?! Well, they say breast is best. You co-sleep??? It puts your baby at risk of S.I.D.S. <—FALSE!! This article spells it out. Co-sleeping can increase the likelihood of suffocation, which is not S.I.D.S. We always co-sleep responsibly. We’re not smokers and we rarely drink. I’ve removed all fluffy pillows and heavy bedding. Plus, we’re not near any hanging cords. I also do not sleep with the baby if I’ve taken andy heavy medication or anything that could potentially make me sleep too soundly. While I won’t recommend it OR speak against it, this is what works for us.
Then, there’s discipline. This one has the potential to get UGLY!! And when people hear that word, their thoughts tend to migrate toward the extreme. Discipline comes in many forms though, and there’s no one size fits all for any family. I tend to avoid discussing this topic because people are so passionate one way or another. In the end, it’s not one’s place to tell you how to raise your children. As long as you “discipline” out of love, you’re on the right track! Kids appreciate and NEED correction and guidance.
Lastly, you will become a pro at diagnosing your family. I have never spent more time researching coughs, vague symptoms, (we all have that one kid who knows nothing of how they feel) and when to worry. Why does every symptom on WebMD point to death as a likely outcome?
I’ve never been more preoccupied with the color, smell or texture of poop…I’ve walked up to my husband, dirty diaper in hand, and persuaded him to analyze the contents with me. Does this smell weird? Does it look slimy to you? Oily? Would you say this is yellow or more of a day glo green?? Yeah, it can get crazy. I never thought I’d be interested and NOT grossed out in the least by that knowledge. Not to mention, actively seeking it out and willingly looking at pictures.
You will have to learn to determine what’s real and what “pain” is from fear. We have a son who’s a hypochondriac. One morning, he’s watching a show about scorpions. The next thing I know, he’s flailing around saying one stung him (heavy eye rolling and exasperation on my part). I go into the whole “boy who cried wolf” story and explain why he shouldn’t be dramatic. Long story short, my husband found a tiny scorpion in his shirt… Mother of the year goes to this girl! I apologized and we all laughed about it.
My point is, we can’t all be super mom. Trying to is just going to lead to discouragement and exhaustion. Just be happy to be a mother and spend your time loving and nurturing your kids. They only want your time. Kids care nothing about how pretty your cake is or whether the floor was swept last night. They’ll love you, flaws and all. Then, when you’re older, they’ll rub it in your face.
When was the last time you goofed as a parent?