14 Things No One Ever Told Me About Motherhood
1. You’ll always feel worried.
All throughout my pregnancy, I tried my best to “enjoy” the process and be kind to my body – but I always felt that sense of worry about all the unknown’s, whether it was because it was my first pregnancy or simply my first TWIN pregnancy. I worried about whether or not it was “normal” that I didn’t feel kicks yet, or if it was ok to eat a salami sandwich, or about how the whole delivery thing would actually play out. Turns out that the sense of worrying never ends – the worries just change into other things like being worried one of your kids isn’t getting enough attention or worrying that they haven’t eaten enough. Ultimately, worrying is just that universal mom emotion that means we love our kids and want the best for them.
2. Eating right will take work.
After being pregnant and kind of “forgiving” yourself for splurging on your cravings or eating late or snacking more often than usual because I mean, hey, you are growing a human – getting back to eating healthy, balanced meals or even one actual meal a day after you have kids takes some serious effort, planning and even commitment. Sometimes it’s tough just finding time to cook a meal, and then even tougher to find time to sit down and eat it when you are caring for young ones.
3. There is room in your heart for more than 1.
After becoming a mom for the first time, I just couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to love another baby – much less knowing that I was expecting 2 babies during my second pregnancy. My son and I had spent almost 4 years together, just him and I, on our adventures and I was not sure how I’d ever be able to love someone else like him – but motherhood really proved to me that there is room in my heart for all 3 of my sons, whom I adore and love endlessly.
4. Knowing You’re Not Perfect.
Before I became a mom, I had a vision about the kind of mom I would be, the way I would speak to my child, the shows I vowed I would never let them watch…and then, I became a mom and realized that vision of the perfect mom I wanted to be was not realistic or possible. Being a mother is the world’s most important job; raising individuals comes with great responsibility – and those little people are so demanding and tough to figure out at best – mistakes are inevitable, and that’s ok.
5. You’ll Lose a Few, but Gain Many Friends.
Simply put, motherhood and being a working parent really shifted many of my priorities, and time became a scarce commodity because I always want to spend it with my children – even now that I have been working part-time, I constantly feel like there’s never enough time – time to be mom, time to be me, time to be the educator, time to be the wife, or any of those other roles. Having friends is necessary, but motherhood may change all that. Some of my friends are people I may not see as often or even interact with much anymore, but I have to admit that motherhood has also lent itself to me opening up and making so many more, new friends who are also mothers, and whom I value on this journey of motherhood because I know they will respond immediately to my text when I’m telling them I feel like a failure or to the one where I ask them what to do because baby isn’t feeling well.
6. Your relationship with your Partner Will Change.
As relationships with friends change, so did my relationship with my husband after we became parents. In many ways it brought us closer to each other – my husband knows now just by looking at me when I am feeling frazzled and need a hand or just some reassurance because one of our kids has spiked a fever and I’m feeling helpless. And on some days, motherhood has brought out the worst, most impatient version of me that I never meant to give my husband, but we get passed it. Those little people are always watching and listening, and at the end of the day, we want them to know we love them and we love each other – that’s why they’re here.
7. You’ll have a newfound sense of empathy for other moms.
I thought I knew and could sympathize with other moms, having been raised by my own mother and having my grandmothers and aunts prevalent in my life, and especially feeling like a mother to the students who I taught. But, honestly, once you’re a mom and sitting in the park in clothes full of baby loving stains, hair in a bun, and not sure how you’re going to muster up the energy to get through the rest of your day, you’ll learn to truly empathize with the mom you meet who tells you she’s struggling with something.
8. You will look different.
I guess we all expect to look different while we’re pregnant, but after birthing my twins vaginally, I can safely say my wide hips grew even wider and they’ll never be the same again – I think that’s ok now. Motherhood just changes you – inside and out. Appreciating new curves and accepting some stretch marks is all worth it when I think about the 3 little treasures I have in my life.
11. You can sing, dance, mime, and everything else.
I’d like to think that as an English middle school teacher I was the master of reading with expression, pitch and tone in my voice and could make any 12 year old fall in love with what I was asking them to read and focus on. But, heck, motherhood is where I discovered my real skills and talents: I can make ANY animal sound, I’ve got dance moves for nearly every song and book we read, and I can even mime if I have to!
12. Your Baby Will Amaze You.
Kids are truly remarkable – and I’ve always known that because I really enjoy and feel inspired by working with youth as an educator. Once you’re a mom yourself though, you start to realize how amazing your baby really is – everything from those little things like when they first wave hello to someone or respond to you calling their name, to times when your 5-year old asks you why they have to go sleep if it’s still light outside and you’ve got to rationalize with them. Your child will truly amaze you, and as a mother, you get to witness all that learning and you’ll feel so proud to know you’ve had a part in creating that.
13. You Can Actually Do ANYthing.
Mom skills are a real gift that only motherhood can teach you. Motherhood has made me realize I can do just about anything, and everything my kid needs. I can make a flying rainbow dinosaur with one piece of play-dough. I can change a diaper in seconds, while my baby is standing in the trunk of our car. I can make and warm a bottle in less than a minute. I can install the car seat and fold and unfold ANY stroller. And, I can find your one yellow mini-lego wheel in the huge toy basket while I untie the knot in your shoe laces.
14. It never ends.
Motherhood is a journey that truly never ends – a mother’s love is boundless. I know that because my mom is the first person I want to speak to when I don’t know what to do or when I’m feeling lost about something and even when I’m ready to celebrate something. My grandmothers’ recipes and patience are still things I try to aspire to now. Whether I’m at work or at home, no matter who else is around, I know I am always going to be mom to my 3 boys – some days it’s going to feel like the most awful, life-sucking role in the world (especially when you’re a zombie and haven’t slept in months), and other days you’ll know being a mom is the best thing you’ve ever had the opportunity to be and you’ll always be there for your child.