I remember vividly a conversation I had with my friend when was pregnant. I asked, ” Do you regret it ever? Do you ever wish you didn’t have any kids?” At this point it was too late to change anything, as I was several months pregnant but I was starting to panic. This was a baby we had been trying for for about half a year. Her response was perfect as always, ” I remember the good parts about not having a baby, but I never wish I didn’t have him. I can’t imagine life without him now that he is here.”
Today marks a decade of parenting for me. I have learned a lot and grown more in some ways and less in others. Here are few big things I have learned about parenting.
- Kids Have a Ton of Stuff Accept it and Move On
I look back at pictures of the kids when they were little. We were living in a 1200 square foot house and there was stuff everywhere. From baby equipment to toys and books. There are photos of the kids with just mounds of stuff behind them and it seems so mortifying now that I was happily posting these for anyone to see that we were literally drowning in kitchen sets, cars, and Little People. True friends will be happy to come on wade through the kid crap to visit with you!
2. Don’t Put Your Baby in a Sling While You Dry Your Hair
This cautionary tale comes from the one time I tried to use a sling so I could actually attempt to style my hair. Make sure while putting the hair dryer back that you don’t accidentally hit your infant with the metal drier grill causing a burn. That may or may not result in your pediatrician diagramming the minor injury, that in retrospect wasn’t even worthy of a trip in other than that you as a new mom were paranoid. Said diagram may or may not have been kept in case they felt they would eventually be building a case to send to family services. No such injury ever occurred again and the sling went into the garage sale.
3. If You Feed Your Baby Too Many Sweet Potatoes, Their Nose will Turn Orange
No explanation needed. Orange noses beat serving them canned baby food peas.
4. The Sole Purpose of a Preschool Graduation Program Is to Bring You to Tears
A slide show of adorable three and four year olds set to the right track, think Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up, will have an ice queen breaking down into tears. Don’t even try to pretend you won’t , just pack the tissues.
5. Accept Hands Me Downs
Babies grow quickly and aren’t overly concerned with whether or not their sport pants are Under Armour or Garanimals. If someone is giving, take the hand me downs and spurge on a few nice pieces instead of an entire wardrobe. Then pass it on!
6. Children Can Break You
They become like little versions of you, but savvier. They will bring you to tears, or to yelling, or door slamming, or have you rocking in a corner. I used to think that no little human could bring me down, I taught children with emotional issues who’d scream in my face threatening to blow the school up and could stay calm as ever on the outside. Then I had my daughter…
7. Fruit Snacks May Keep Them Quiet, But They May Also Rot Teeth
I am not saying my son’s terrible teeth are due to his love of fruit snacks, but I am not denying that till age 4 he had a two pack a day habit.
8. You May Countdown the Hours Till Bed
This is not anything I do anymore, but when they were babies I remember craving 6 o’clock. I knew if I could just make it till 6:00 then I could give the bath, watch that episode of Go Diego Go and put them to bed. The bed where they would sleep for at least two ours straight before waking me all night.
9. You Will Pray and Beg God for Sleep in Your Nightly Prayers if You Get One of Those Kids
I had two of those kids, the first worse than the second. I remember the first time we traveled to stay at my mom’s and our first born was in the room with us. He was up his normal every hour and half all night long. The next morning, my husband remarked” What was wrong with him last night?” This brings me to 9B. Where you may feel extremely angry and jealous of all the humans getting sleep at night. You may even imagine what it could be like to sleep. My first baby slept through the night finally at 20 months old, I became a human for the next year till the next non sleeper showed up! Now it’s mostly the dog who keeps me up.
10. You Won’t Trade Them In
So the answer to my original question is, not only do I not regret having them, but it is impossible to imagine life without my children. They are my joys and sorrows, laughter and tears, frustration and pride. Being a mom is a gift that I hope to never take for granted even when I am pushed to door slamming by a four year old, up all night with a screaming baby, or told I am embarrassing by an adolescent.