When I was pregnant I did all the research I could about motherhood. I read all the articles. All the blogs. I people watched mothers with bags under their eyes chase their children in the mall, all while pushing a stroller. I saw mothers with screaming babies wander aimlessly around target, at if they couldn’t even hear them. I stepped into extremely messy houses of friends with children who just “didn’t have time to clean.” Every time I saw this, I thought the same thing:
That won’t be me.
Ha! Times infinity forever.
Why was I so naive to think I would be able to handle the craziness of motherhood better than everyone else? Because I’m so awesome? So experienced? So much better?
I am none of those things.
Just a few weeks ago, Kurtis, Sawyer, and I were in Target and he was not a happy camper. We had been out running errands for a few hours and he just needed a nap. We were rushing through the aisles of Target, grabbing what we needed as quickly as possible while he cried and cried. We passed another mom with one kid in the cart, and another strapped to her chest. She looked at us with sympathy in her eyes, “hang in there!” she said with a smile.
If it had been acceptable to stop and hug her, I would have. This little bit of encouragement from one mother to another meant so much to me. Those without children tend to unfairly judge those in situations such as that. Why would they go out in public with a fussy baby? Don’t they know they’re disturbing everyone else? And pre-baby me was just as guilty of thinking such as this. Those who understand have to stick together.
One of the things I had to learn after I had a baby was that some things just have to come in second place to my family. Actually, almost everything comes in second to my family. It has to. What’s more important?
I laugh when I think about the things I promised myself I wouldn’t do as a parent. I probably do all of them! You just never know how the transition is going to hit you, and you also don’t know what your baby is going to need or what his preferences are going to be!
I Said We Wouldn’t Co-Sleep
I wouldn’t quite call us co-sleepers. Sawyer sleeps pretty well on his own but he typically wakes up around 6am, which is too early for this Mama who stayed up until midnight so she could pump extra milk for him. 9/10 times I just scoop him up and bring him into bed with us and he falls right back asleep. And hey, if he wants to sleep a few more hours, no way am I going to risk waking him up by moving him! 1/10 times he decides it’s time to eat and in that case, everybody gets up for the day.
I Said I Would Still Always Look Presentable When My Husband Came Home
If there was one thing I didn’t want to be, it was that Mom who stayed in her pajamas all day and didn’t bother with her hair and make up. Well, guilty. If it’s a stay at home day, why should I bother? Yes, if I’m going to work, or out to run errands, or anything else, I make myself presentable. I hope I always do. But if it’s just me and the baby all day, well, then the neighbors get the treat of seeing me walk the dog in my yoga pants and slippers. And Kurtis might come home to see me still wearing what I wore to bed the night before. But he’s a guy, to be completely honest, he doesn’t even notice.
I Said I Wouldn’t Let Sawyer Watch too Much TV
Sorry I’m not sorry, it keeps him quiet and occupied while I get things done around the house. He’s too young to play with toys on his own, and he just loves to stare at colors and shapes, which is all TV is to him right now anyways,
I Said it Wouldn’t Affect our Marriage
What was I thinking? Having a baby didn’t affect our marriage in a negative way. But it changed everything. Our dynamic is different. Our priorities are different. Now, splitting a piece of cheesecake while watching a movie and cuddling on the pull-out couch is a pretty hot date (I mean, we have a fireplace, so it’s pretty romantic…right?)
I Said I Would Never Leave Him Unattended
How was I planning on going to the bathroom?
I Said We Would Only Use All-Natural Products
Oops. We try to keep things as natural as possible, but it turns out organic diapers are, like, way more expensive than Pampers.
We all have this perfect idea of the type of parent we’re going to be. But there’s just no way to know until you’re handed your baby and from then on, expected to keep it alive. You do what you have to do. You want to do what’s best for them. You are the parent, and that means you decide how to raise your children, however that may be. If you want to get up at the crack of dawn to make sure you hair and make up are perfectly done and breakfast is on the table, more power to you. If you want to never shower again and sleep instead, good for you. As long as your children are happy and healthy, do motherhood to the best of your ability. We’re all in this together.