Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Life Changes

Here's the thing...

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Here's the thing no one tells you about being a wife...It's not all lovely dovey like every Nicholas Sparks novel would have you to believe. You aren't canoeing through a swamp filled with swans. You aren't passionately kissing in the pouring rain. You aren't writing love letters and holding hands, and professing your undying love in the way that Hollywood glorifies.

The truth is, you don't always like each other. You fight about the most insignificant things. Those little quirks and nuances you used to adore about each other eventually become nails on a chalkboard. You cannot change someone, so don't ever think that you can work out things you don't like about your spouse on down the line. You can't. You won't. You will end up frustrated and defeated.

Here's the thing no one tells you about being a's not always calming white backgrounds and a beautifully made over mother, craddling a smiling baby in a Pottery Barn glider. It's not baking homemade cookies on the weekends while wearing a floral apron, surrounded by a clean kitchen and pristinely dressed children. You don't find yourself on the back patio sipping iced tea with a mint leaf garnish, while watching your babies sweetly take turns on the swingset.

The truth is, unless you have a full time maid, some part of your house is always messy. Your white walls are scuffed; maybe even colored with Crayola's finest. It's never quiet. Loud bangs, the sounds of things crashing to the floor and little feet pounding the hardwood are the only lullabies you're hearing. Homemade cookies are reserved for grandma's house. Your idea of homemade becomes Pillsbury in the oven, as opposed to just buying whatever is in the bakery section of your local supermarket. Sitting outside isn't an option. You're running, you're chasing, you're breaking up fights. Sharing isn't understood at this stage in their little lives, so it's a battle royale for the slide. You're always tired, and you are never wearing makeup and real clothes.

Here's the thing no one tells you about your friendships...they don't all survive this new phase in your life. You aren't brunching on Saturdays, with sweet little people in tow, who sit quietly and color, while you catch up on gossip. You aren't planning playdates with your gal pals and their overly precious offspring. You aren't at girls nights sharing your problems with like minded friends.

The truth is, you're lucky if your friends even call to check in once in a while. The chances of you and your friends following the same marriage/baby timeline are slim. Nobody is calling you for brunch because if they don't have children, they don't understand why you can't just leave yours with someone at a moments notice to drink mimosas and waste away half the day. If they do have children, they don't like to sit through meals with their own rambunctious children, so they definitely don't want to add your chaos to the mix. Girls nights aren't as fun for you if you do find yourselves in different stages of life. They won't understand why you cannot stay out late, or why you keep excusing yourself to the table to talk your kids through what is normally your bedtime routine.

But here's the other thing...

If you choose the right person for you, your marriage will grow like you wouldn't believe. You will remember to always love, and that while you don't always have to agree, everything is now a partnership, so someone else's happiness goes hand in hand with yours. You will learn which battles are worth fighting, and which are best left unresolved. You will find that there are new ways to express affection. Washing the dishes, picking up the dry cleaning, sending the kids off to the grandparents so you can find the time to reconnect. Your love language develops a deeper meaning, and your marriage becomes that much more solid.

You will have moments of utter failure as a parent. But you will also triumph at every turn. Your children love you for who you are, not for the unrealistic expectations you have been brainwashed into believing they need. One day they will become adults who are so closely bonded, all thanks to the values you have instilled in them. They may fight now, but some day, when one turns to the other in a time of need, that call will be met without hesitation, and you will be proud of the job you have done. No one will remember the messy house. Your children will be the reflection of what you were building through that mess.

You will make new friends. Old friends may even reappear. You will find someone who understands your struggles. You may even find an entire tribe of non judgemental women who understand that you cannot commit to everything. They won't mind that you had to cancel last minute because the sitter fell through, or the baby came down with a fever. You won't be guilted into staying out past your bedtime. No one will bat an eye when you answer the 5th phone call in an hour to explain to your 7 year old why she has to take a bath even though she's not "dirty". Patience is a virtue. You will eventually find your Christina Yang, trust me.

Here's the thing I'll tell you...

Your life is beautiful.

You are blessed.

You are loved.

You are doing an amazing job.

It will all be okay.

Don't worry about what people aren't telling you; worry about what you aren't telling yourself.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.