There's so much we're unprepared for when we become parents. Life changes in ways you knew it would. (Yay for functioning on 3 hours of sleep!) But it also changes in ways you had no idea. (Thanks for the heads up that teething lasts for literally 2 years.)
The face of motherhood
When you become a parent, gone are the days of....
- Happy hour without confirming with your significant other that he's good with the kids
- A full night of sleep without waking up to a cry, or to make sure your child is breathing
- Taking a trip without considering if there are kid-friendly activities
- Feeling like you are doing everything right
- Date nights on a whim
- Standing in place without swaying
- Unexpected Sunday Fundays
- Putting yourself first
- Buying groceries without contemplating organic or pre-cut vs not...or if you're a bad mom for buying processed muffins
- Partying without consequence
- Getting ready alone, leisurely, or...at all
- Looking at a coffee table without seeing sharp edges to poke your child's eye out, or seeing the sidewalk as a death-trap waiting to make your child bleed and cry
- Sleeping in
- Going to the bathroom alone
- Basking in silence, because now it means your child is up to no good
These are the days of:
- Constantly asking, "Is that a good choice?"
- Ear infections
- Stomach viruses
- Sleep battles
- Questioning your every decision
- Endless debates:
- To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
- Public school or private school?
- Breastfeeding or formula?
- Planning around naps
- A constant mind f**k where one day, parenting seems easy and you're ready for 10 more kids. And the next minute, you wonder why you even had the one
- Counting down to bedtime
- Feeling overwhelmed - with feelings, thoughts, to-dos, and things
- Counting to three
- Parenting hungover
- Going out to dinner at 5:30pm
- Feeling guilty when you do something for yourself
- Constantly picking up toys
- Endless worry about your children's health, future and character
These are the days. We're in them. Living them. Right now.
But these days you're in now? They will be gone, too.
Someday, your kids will be calling you for money instead of calling you 1,000 times on their fake cell phones.
Someday, they will recoil at your touch instead of being able to fit their whole body in your lap.
Someday, your kids are going to have bigger problems than teething and infections.
Someday, your kids are going to hate you. They won't remember that TODAY, they loved you more than anything.
Someday, your kids are going to grow up. They will never need you again the way they do now.
Someday, your home will be void of children and it will just be and your significant other. You will be able to go to dinner together every night of the week, and get drunk at your leisure, and sleep in when it suits you.
And when you think back on the chaos of what it means to have children of all ages running amok in your home, saying "Mom" no less than 1,000,000 times in a day, asking you hundreds of questions and mostly just driving you crazy (and then driving you to drink), you'll think, "Man. Those were the days."
These are the days to remember.
Rachel (Zupek) Farrell is a digital content professional and freelance writer. She's written for Huffington Post and Scary Mommy. She is the voice behind Raves & Revelations, a mommy & lifestyle blog, where she writes honestly about navigating the overwhelming yet amazing waters of parenthood. She is mama to Liam and loves to travel, drink wine and explore Chicago with her husband.