Entire books are devoted to expectant moms, new moms and experienced moms about what life is like with a child (or children). Here are the few things that I didn’t see in any book but sure wish I had!
10. The smallest packages make the biggest messes Whether it’s entering a room after taking 3 minutes to pee to find someone has gotten their hands on the baby powder and decided to redecorate (I’m still trying to get it all out of the piano!) or trying to keep up with the sheer volume of stinky poop that an infant can produce there will always be a mess somewhere in the house. Get used to it.
9. Once kids learn to talk you’ve got no secrets left Toddlers will invariable call you out on every little thing! “Mommy said a bad word!” (Rat!) “Mommy let us have chips for breakfast!” (Fink!) “Mommy you smell funny!” (Get out of the bathroom then you monster!)
8. Get your kids to love musicals It’s a whole lot easier to watch “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” repeatedly rather than Barney or Dora. (Phineas & Ferb is pretty good though, my husband had me record every episode and he watches them even without the kids!)
7. Nap when the kids nap When you’re so exhausted that you just have to close your eyes for a minute on the couch while the kids are playing it’s guaranteed that one of them will come over and jump on you the minute they sense you actually resting.
6. Everything you want to do will take 8 times longer than normal Whether it’s trying to run to the grocery store for the forgotten milk or just trying to get laundry done you will be bombarded with “Me too!” “Me help!” While it’s important to teach your kids to help out and they need to learn these things, it’ll make the smallest little errand seem like a whole day expedition.
5. Buy cloth diapers instead of receiving blankets People will always gift a new mom with receiving blankets. Buy plain old-fashioned cloth diapers instead, they are designed to soak up fluids! Whether it’s infant spit-up, toddler juice spills or potty training accidents, kicked over cups of coffee or runny noses, they have a million uses. I bought two dozen when my first baby was born and still have most of them in use every day four years later!
4. Plan to spend $5 per kid per shopping trip Trust me, it makes the shopping experience so much nicer for everyone involved if you can find a cheap toy as soon as you get to the store for the kids to play with in the cart. They’ll stay quiet while you get your shopping done and there won’t be any tantrums at the checkout if you don’t have to leave the toy in the store.
3. Learn to love a mess Your house will be a mess, your car will be a mess, your hair will be a mess, your kid will be a mess. It’s a fact of life, if you can make peace with it you’ll be a whole lot happier. (Also, make your husband accept that the house will not look perfect for at least ten years. Go for twenty if you can, just to avoid disappointment!)
2. Don’t worry about showering Once your kids reach a certain age you will get thoroughly clean just trying to get them clean. The water will be everywhere, including all over you, and chances are good that some soap bubbles will float your way too. (Plus, it’s hard to hold down a 50lb kid while trying to wash his hair, it’s much easier just to get in with him)
1. Learn to drink straight from the bottle Wine bottle that is. Chances are there will be precious few times to enjoy an entire glass of wine so learn to chug straight from the bottle in the 10 second intervals of peace that are all a mother will ever get!