As we start to settle into 2019, I cannot help but think about how much my life has changed since Annabelle was born in December 2013. I love being a Mom, all the good, bad and the ugly, but things happen that never cease to surprise me. Why wasn’t there a “Mom Course” offered before I had kids? Since I know quite a few people having babies this year, I thought it would be fun to share five things I wish I knew before I had kids.
Kids aren’t perfect.
No matter how hard you try to mold your kids into who you want them to be, they’ll still surprise you. Babies aren’t perfect, toddlers aren’t perfect, and kids will never be perfect. They SHOULDN’T be perfect because it is an impossible hope.
I remember thinking when Annabelle was a baby that if I stayed calm around her, she’d always have a calm temperament. WRONG. Both Annabelle and Ailey are their own little people with their own agendas and terrible tempers. I obviously love them no matter what.
Snuggle and Hold Your Baby as MUCH as You Want
I don’t remember who told me that if I held Annabelle all the time she’d never let me put her down, but whoever did was an idiot. Annabelle is very independent and sleeps well on her own. Granted it took her two years to do so, she turned out just fine. Ailey is another story – I couldn’t hold her as much as I wanted with a jealous big sister always nearby and two years later she is attached to my hip. Moral of the story – snuggle and hold your baby as much as you want.
Sleep… there is no normal.
There is no such thing as a normal sleep pattern for a baby. Both of my daughters slept terribly for the first two years of their lives – and Ailey still sucks at sleeping through the night. Every single child born in this world will sleep differently than the next and sleeping problems are all relative. As parents we should accept babies are gonna to do what babies are gonna do. The best advice I can give someone who isn’t a parent yet: It is only a sleeping problem if it’s a problem for you” (unknown).
You’re Going to Cry.
Crying is part of Motherhood – whether it’s a tear of frustration, tears from another sleepless night, or tears of joy. I cry at least once a week and probably more frequently now that the girls are older. It’s healthy to cry, unless it’s happening so much you can’t control it. I experienced postpartum depression after weaning both Annabelle and Ailey and it isn’t pretty. If you’re unable to get ahold of your emotions at any point after having a baby, reach out to your OB asap.
Kids are sponges – and literally soak up everything around them.
The first time Annabelle ever said a bad word was Christmas 2017… she was reenacting her favorite movie, “Home Alone” with her little sister. As she ran through the living room yelling, “Leave it on the doorstep and get the hell out of here!” my husband and I looked at one another trying to hide our smirks and giggles. Who would have ever thought she paid attention to the dialogue of the movie? She was newly 4 years old and we’d never heard her quote anything before – what a hilarious first quote to repeat right?
Little kids have BIG ears and even bigger mouths. There is no such thing as a secret in our house, nor can you spell/whisper/sign anything without Annabelle asking what you’re talking about. Ailey is even catching on, repeating things she hears the adults say. I NEVER thought I’d be sending secret texts to my husband sitting next to me just so the kids won’t know what we are talking about, but it’s a daily occurrence.