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I’ve seen the future and I know what’s in store for you. I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase “the days are long but the years are short”. That is a great phrase isn’t it. But, it’s not that helpful when you are floundering in the little years. I am you, only years later. That baby inside your pregnant belly is now almost five years old. A lot has changed in the past few years.
I know that you’ve read all of the pregnancy and parenting books. It’s great to be prepared. Truthfully, you have no idea what is in store for you.
Once you give birth, your entire life is going to change. (So is your body, stop hanging onto those size zero jeans…never going to happen again). Being pregnant has already changed you. Being a mother is going to change you in ways you couldn’t begin to understand. It’s a magical process but it’s a hard one.
You need to prepare yourself: You can’t be prepared for everything. If you learn this while pregnant, you’ll have a much easier time.
Being a mom is hard work. There are the good days that make you want to have ten more kids. And then, there are the days where you wonder what business you ever had having children. Yes, I’ll admit it. I’ve sometimes wondered why I had a child when I know nothing about parenting. There isn’t a book, movie, podcast or blog that can adequately prepare you for the trials that you’ll face as a mom.
Sometimes, it sucks to be a mom. Yes, I can’t pretend cleaning up vomit or macaroni and cheese off the ceiling is fun. It’s not. Waking up early is not fun. Going to bed late is not fun.
You may have given birth to an alien. Or a hormonal gremlin. There’s really no difference between them or your child throwing a tantrum.
You will worry about everything. You’ll worry about being pregnant. You’ll worry about giving birth. You’ll worry about your baby. It’s normal.
It’s hard to imagine that the child growing inside could ever be anything but sweet. However, your child WILL be a jerk. Hopefully, it won’t happen too often. But it will happen. The first time your child says “I hate you” or “You’re a bad mom” will break your heart. Don’t worry though, by the 1,000,000,000 time it’s said, it’ll only hurt a little bit. Like a knife in your back. This is when you know you’re doing the parenting thing right.
It’s ok to buy earphones in bulk and tune out your kid sometimes. Bonus points if you hide in your closet with a candy bar.
Becoming a mom will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
You don’t have to pretend to like everything about your kid. Like if they eat their boogers. That’s just not cool no matter cute they are.
Comparison doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t matter if Mrs. Perfect feeds her kids organic food, sews their clothes and reads them a bedtime story every night. If you’ve managed to make a PBJ and put on an audiobook, you’re doing this mom thing all right.
You will be amazed at how much you can love one single person.
You will also be amazed at how frustrated you can get at one single person.
Take lots of pictures. Go ahead and label them before you forget why you took them. Mommy brain is a real problem.
Don’t start co-sleeping. Just don’t do it. It’s impossible to stop.
No matter what the trials you face with your child, there are brighter days to come. You will not look back and miss the tantrums though. It’s the good times you will miss but you’ll also celebrate your child getting older. It’s a little bittersweet to realize you won’t change her diaper again. But…NO MORE DIAPERS!!!!!
Oh, and that whole thing about your kid never watching TV…forget it. It’s going to be the only way you’re going to accomplish cleaning the house. A little TV is ok.
Your Future Self
P.S. Don’t be in such a hurry to give birth. It hurts. A lot.
What advice would you give to past pregnant self if you could?