What I Wish I'd Known

We're exactly 13 days into having 3 kids... so I'm basically an expert now and will share my genius thoughts and what I've learned, and re-learned, with each child that I wish I would have known and understood sooner.

  1. Newborns sleep A LOT. Yes, they wake you in the night, but cherish the peaceful quiet days and either take the time to rest yourself, or enjoy the hands free moments to make yourself a hot cup of coffee, or eat a delicious lunch.
  2. Your body will be out of whack for a little after labor but not forever. Your hair might get weird or you might be sore. If you are nursing your boobs will be all over the place... but it's temporary and you will one day feel more like yourself. [**of course check in with your doctor is something is concerning...]
  3. Take the time to get yourself feeling good each day. I used to rush to get myself ready and often would cut out simple routines to lessen the amount of time for myself (i.e. no more lotioning my body, or flossing, or blow drying my hair). I still don't always have the time for all of the things because somebody needs Mommy or I hear something downstairs going on that could use an extra set of hands (spilled cereal and milk that is about to be walked in by toddlers with dogs about to fight over it and a crying baby) but overall, I take my good ole time getting myself clean, comfortable and ready for the day. It makes me a better Mom- and I can say I'm lucky Dan has the flexibility he does with work but if he had to be out of the house early... I think I would have to set an alarm early to allow myself the proper "set up myself" time.
  4. Sometimes you might yell and feel like you say no constantly. This took a loooong time for me to accept. I am (was...) not a "yeller"- like ever. I don't get road rage, annoying people didn't piss me off, Dan and I don't yell or "fight". I honestly do not ever feel anger. However, when my 2.5 year old used to continually hit/smack/push the 8 month old, again and again and again. I had to put an end to it. Unfortunately for everyone, yelling is the outcome sometimes. It's a sudden "No!" or "ABSOLUTELY NOT" that will stop an aggressive hand in it's track. We follow it up with conversation, but I still never thought I'd yell the way I do sometimes. I am aware they are little minds with big emotions, but struggle after struggle leads to some frustrating feelings for Mama too!
  5. Laugh at your "before kids" understanding and parenting plans. You didn't know, and neither will your childless friends. So just do what is best for you, your spouse and your kids and ignore comments or "tips" from your past self or from those watching you raise your kids. And let them do it their own way one day too. No need to think there is only one way to do this whole parenting thing.
  6. Screen time is okay- especially if it allows for a shower, or a phone call or to allow yourself the peace and quiet to sip some tea and reset. A happy Mom is better than a "perfect" Mom and if screen time allows you those 25 minutes to do something, don't let pressures of being screen free stress you out.
  7. Do not compare yourself to other moms, or your kids to other kids. It's pointless. One person's struggle is another person's strong suit. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days.
  8. Take unnecessary pressures away... a spotless house, gourmet dinners, home made baby food, nursing, cute matching outfits, or whatever the expectation you've set for yourself that actually just stresses you out and is not fun... erase it from your to-do list and move on.
  9. The best kind of expectation is no expectation. I try to practice this as much as possible (it's really hard some days!) Expect to get a bad nights sleep, expect to only get to the dishes in the sink once hubby comes home, expect to be behind on laundry and expect to be late to things. That way, anything more than that is a happy surprise!
  10. Even after the hardest days... where you missed your shower, the dogs barked a ton, the kids wouldn't eat anything you prepared, the weather was bad, there was countless fights, yelling felt like your normal voice, you had to do everything one handed because someone needed held, not one house chore got done- or started, moods were awful on everyone's part, and you feel exhausted to the bone mentally, emotionally and physically.... once the house is quiet and you had a moment to breathe or vent to your spouse, you will pull up your pictures, or tell a funny story and just miss their little faces so much. And you will be so confused how such an awful day is completely forgotten because of the intense love for these little people you've created and are nurturing everyday.