Motherhood is so scary. Being a mother for the first time is the most exciting, nerve wracking thing you can be getting yourself into. The thousands of parenting books and earful of advice you receive will never fully prepare you for what parenthood really is.
First there's pregnancy and childbirth. The most glorious, miserable thing you will probably ever experience. There are so many choices... breast or bottle feed, cloth or disposable diapers, to or not to circumcise, carrier or convertible car seat, co sleep or crib, vax or not vax.
Feeling life form and grow inside you is a phenomenal experience that's unexplainable. The feeling of holding your baby in your arms for the very first time. They don't warn you about the what if's... the unknowns... the tragedies. They don't warn you that you may or may not come home with your baby.
There's that sweet newborn stage that passes way to quickly – the new baby smell that you could sit and sniff for hours on end. There's the milestones you don't want to miss. And if you're a working mom, you hope and pray that even though their first "____" happens with their caregiver, they don't tell you so you get to think you saw it first.
There's stages of a newborn... umbilical stump falling off, peeling baby acne, cradle cap, hair falling out. Watching your little baby go from newborn to size 3 diapers in 4 months will make you cry. There's late night blowouts and you know if you breast feed it's usually because of something you ate. There's colic. Late night steam showers to help congestion. The respiratory infections... gosh... hearing your baby gasping for air is the worst. Viruses. Rashes. Daycare. The carousel of sickness. By the first year, your babies immune system is strong as an ox.
There's terrible twos, trying threes and frightening fours. Because no, it does not start and end at 2. You will soon learn that.
Trying to find the right school for your child to attend. Public, private or homeschool? Teaching your child to stand up to bullies but not be a bully. But then there's the serious stuff. Chronic illness. Genetic diseases. The "C" word. No life book you ever read can prepare you for these circumstances. The feeling of your soul leaving your body when the doctor tells you the diagnosis. The endless hospital stays and doctor appointments. Specialists. Medications. Surgeries. The struggle of doing it on your own because you're a single parent or the strain it puts on your marriage. Trying to help the other siblings understand why they don't get as much attention.
There's school projects, field trips, awards, sports, driving, graduation. You blink and it's there. Time goes so fast. In the moment, it gets frustrating but when it's gone you'll wish you had it all back.