October 08, 2014

What You Should Know about Motherhood

There was a time when I wasn’t sure if I’d become a mother.

Not that I didn’t want to become one – it’s just that I had long set my sights on furthering my career, which, truthfully, was my first priority.

I had a corner office with a big oak table in my cross hairs.

Not a 4moms Origami stroller.

After graduating from college, I spent my twenties cooped up in an office, hypnotized by the steady drone of fluorescent lighting while trying to make a deadline; and dinner – if I had one – was carryout from the local Coney Island where they knew me by name.

That is a far cry from the life I live today as a stay-at-home mom of a toddler and a preschooler.  And like many mothers, to say that it has been a transition is an understatement.

To be clear, I don’t have any regrets. I’m happy.  But it would have been nice to have been clued in on some things. Hence, my inspiration for this list.

You already know that, after having kids, alone time with your husband or significant other will be scant.

You already know that you will go days without showering and will smell like a beast.

You already know that you can kiss goodbye the likelihood of a quality night’s sleep for the foreseeable future.

But here is what all those mothering books – and even your friends – probably haven’t told you:

1.       Cheerios multiply. If you give a handful to your two-year-old and a handful to your 10-month-old, you will be cleaning up Cheerios All. Damn. Day.

2.       You will have to change your underwear after you sneeze. And furthermore, this is likely to happen at the most inopportune times. Like when you and the kids are bundled up like Eskimos and on your way out the door.

3.       You will not use half the crap on your baby registry: You will cast aside that shiny new whale tub in favor of bathing your infant in the bathroom sink because it will be immensely easier; after springing for a designer baby carrier – think Bjorn or ERGO – you will realize that the $25 one you bought from a WAHM off Etsy is your favorite; and forget those frozen plastic rings filled with liquid, a large rubber spatula makes the perfect teething toy.

4.       There will be times when you cry. There will be times when you’ll want nothing more than to hurl every single glass in your cupboard against the wall. There will be times when you will want to scream I can’t do this $h!#! And here’s the kicker: You don’t even have to have postpartum depression to feel this way.

5.       “Get your hand out of your pants” and “Get your feet out of your sister’s face” will become common, everyday verbiage.

6.       While the prospect of scoring designer clothing for yourself at a fraction of retail has always made you downright giddy, you will literally drop to your knees and rejoice to the heavens above when you find a pair of XX-wide Stride Rite shoes in your son’s size on markdown. (And speaking of designer shoes, the heels you once wore every day to the office will be placed in the back of your closet and will likely never see the light of day again.)

7.       Television and tablets are tantamount to the second coming of Christ, particularly when you need to occupy your oldest child while putting your younger child down for a nap. Without these electronic devices, you're playing a game of Whack-A-Mole.

8.       If you had a dime for every time you said Stop it or Be quiet, you would be living mortgage-free.

9.       Few things in life are as frustrating as the early stages of potty training a boy. For a split second, you will contemplate saying to hell with it all and may consider lobbying Huggies for a size 3XL pull-up.

10.   At times, the idea of slaving over a hot stove to make dinner will be more attractive than going through the rigmarole of making your kids presentable, packing a diaper bag for two, and schlepping the kids to a restaurant – where you will need an extra set of hands in order to feed them and yourself.

11.   Be wary of those stolen bites of boxed mac 'n cheese you make for the children. They aren't freebies and will serve as yet another roadblock to losing the dreaded pooch that childbirth has left behind.

12.    Virtually daily, your children will say something that will surprise you. Still, you will be moved to tears when, while bathing your preschooler in the bathtub, he says, “Mommy’s amazing” out of nowhere.

And that makes every single thing on this list worth it.

Want another reality check?
Click here to read how both of my deliveries compare to each other.
But, then, if you're squeamish, you probably shouldn't.

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  1. We are living identical lives.... I HAVE yelled I can't do this shit! 😬

    1. Girl, I am amazed -- do you hear me? AMAZED -- at how often I STILL say it...and I have the benefit of experience now! This motherhood stuff ain't no joke. I love it. Wouldn't trade it. But it ain't no joke...

      Thank you for your empathy. And your comment.


  2. Omg, post gold. :) Yes, this week I have wanted to throw every single glass I own out a window - preferably with the window closed - and it's only Wednesday!

    And to Number 5, I add "Quit bopping your brother on the head," and "If you take one more thing from the baby, I'll.... " Oiy.

    1. First, and foremost, Dakota, I will love you forever and ever Amen for calling this list post gold. Do you hear me? You have a friend for life...

      Secondly, dang it!!!! I should have included this: "If you take one more thing from the baby, I'll.... " Yes...yes...YES!

      Thank you for your comment, really.

      Hang in there, girlfriend. I hear you about the glass hurling. After all: Where do you think I got the inspiration for this post? ;-)

      Seriously, though, I hope your week -- our week -- gets better.

      It HAS to...right?


  3. I remember those days! But it gets better once they get older. Now the fighting each other part it gets worst unfortunately.

    1. Hi, Louida! Thank you for your comment!

      I'm going to respectfully disagree with you about things getting better once they get older.True, I don't have older kids. But let me explain my theory: I don't think motherhood necessarily gets easier; I think we trade one set of nuisances and worries for another: (i.e. making sure they're running with the right crowd; making sure they don't get behind the wheel of car with a drinker at the helm; etc.)

      I mean, really? Does it ever get easier? I'm not sure about that...

      I concede to being a worry wart, though. ;-)

      Again, thank you for commenting, my friend.


  4. Hi Courtney -

    While I "inherited" mine at the age of 5 and missed all of these moments... I must add one of my favorite from the days with the little/r man.... learning physics. As in... "how did you get your pee all over and/or up THERE? Were you standing on the sink and doing a jig?" The projectile on that thing needs to be patented for NASA.

    I've enjoyed every year that much more than the last.

    Hugs, Holly

    1. That's awesome, Holly, that you are experiencing the gift of motherhood -- no matter if it was "inherited." You received it nonetheless, which makes you a part of the club...

      With regard to issues involving male -- ahem, urination -- yes, that leaves me stumped every single time...

      Thank you for commenting!


  5. It's so True! And I forgot most of it by number three so had a lot of stuff I didn't need on my must buy list anyway...

    1. Exactly! I could hold one of those "Mom 2 Mom" sales with all of the *unused* swag I received at my shower...but then, the moms who buy the stuff probably wouldn't end up using it either! lol (smh)

      There's a baby product graveyard in the bottom of our bathroom closet...

      Thank you for commenting!