03 Mar Dear Pre-kiddie Self
Dear Pre-kiddie Self,
I’m sure that having a family someday has probably crossed your mind on occasion. After all, it’s kind of what most people do, and you think…no, you know, you’d be a good Mom someday. It must be hard not to comment or form an opinion about how “other” people parent their kids, and quite frankly, you’ve convinced yourself that you would make different (ahem….better) parenting decisions when you have your own kids. I mean seriously, you don’t need to have kids to know how to raise them, right.
You may be super “busy” now with not enough time to do everything you can possibly conceive of with your kid-free schedule, not to mention all the corporate climbing your trying to do. I’m sure it’s difficult getting 5-8 hours of sleep a night-uninterrupted. I can only imagine how painful your weekend hangovers are, waking up after noon on Saturday, taking a shower and driving your dehydrated-self to meet the peeps at the local morning-after-the-night-before restaurant. I bet you actually get to sit down the entire time and eat your food without having to share it. Being kid-free is pretty intense!
But, what I really want to say to you is, enjoy it! Having kids changes almost everything. The simplest of things, take triple the time to accomplish. Things like going to the food store and travelling will become chaos if not properly planned and thought out. Yes, you have to plan food store trips! And, where you sit on a plane! Do you cringe when you see a Mom and infant walking to sit next to you on a plane? Yea, I get it.
The truth is, when you have kids, there are a few things, actually many things, you should know.
- Giving birth sucks either which way. You can’t wait until its over when you get to hear your baby cry while taking their first breath. It’s the best sound ever.
- You will never sleep properly again. Things in the beginning are really hard because you’re so tired. That feeling of exhaustion will linger for a few weeks if not more. But, you never really sleep the same again. You’ll wake up in the middle of the night to check on your baby long after they start sleeping through the night. And when your over that obsessive stage, they’ll be sneaking a cuddle with you in the middle of the night, maybe even more than once on certain days. Feel free to take them back to their room….or not.
- Your kid is the boss. Oh yea, I can just feel the judgement here. You’ll never cater to another human being the same way that you do your kid. Every hiccup, snotty sneeze, poopy diaper and boo boo, they’re coming to you, and you’ll drop everything in an instant to take care of it.
- They’ll use your words against you. Everything is fair game with kids. All the bad words, the not-so-nice words like, stupid, hate, crap need to also be dumped from your vocabulary ’cause when you say them, they will correct you- just like you do them.
- You’ll WORRY about every thing. You’ll worry about things when they’re babies, and you’ll worry about things 20 years ahead because your thought process has changed. Now, you actually give a crap about things like, mosquito born illnesses and listeria outbreaks. You’ll pay attention to things that are “recalled” because now you have a little tiny human to take care of and it’s your mission to make sure they reach puberty and go to college.
- Your girlfriends may change. Not that you don’t love your kid-free friends anymore, but they’re just in a different space from you now. They can’t relate to sleepless nights and spit up. You’ll find yourself talking non-stop about your kids, while they talk about planning their next trip to Maui. No love lost, it’s just different now, and you’ll find that you start hanging out with your friends with kids instead, because talking about diaper blow-outs is hilarious.
- Your space is no longer your space. You wont do anything alone anymore, including showering and using the toilet. And you’ll get used to getting dressed in front of an audience. Kids just don’t understand the word, PRIVACY.
- Your life will become simpler and you’re totally fine with that. Awesome weekends will include an early dinner, glass of wine and a little Netflix if you’re even able to keep your eyes open after 9:30 pm.
- Preggie-Brain doesn’t go away after birth. I used to think my mom was on a different planet, but now I understand that she was suffering with a severe case of preggie brain-post-pregnancy, which lasted well after she had her four kids. And now, I suffer with it to. Its just one of those things you need to get used to ’cause you’ll forget your phone, your deodorant, to eat, your keys, where you parked your car and even sometimes, your kid’s name.
- The chaos won’t last forever. Your child will grow up and become independent and you’ll be asking for things like, kisses, hugs and snuggles. It will get easier to leave the house and go to the food store because they won’t try to run all over the place, they’ll actually walk beside you, and talk.
- One day, you wont be able to hold them anymore. People will tell you this, but like many things when you were pregnant, you wont really understand or appreciate it until it happens to you. One day you’ll put your child down, and never pick them back up because they’ve gotten too big. They’ve stopped reaching out for you to pick them up. It’s a bittersweet day when you realize that your little baby is growing up and doesn’t need you in the same way they did before. So the last thing that I’ll tell you is hold them all the time, snuggle, wipe their tears and snotty noses, kiss their boo boos, sing to them, and rock them in your arms for as long as you can, because one day you won’t have to do it anymore, and it will come even sooner than you think.
Love & Hugs,