When I joined the ranks of Mommyhood 15 years ago, I was blindsided by the truths that become glaringly apparent the day you join the club. And, as these truths became more evident, I sometimes felt like the other mothers who already knew them were giggling at me next to their lockers and whispering behind my back. They were saying, “Look at that poor schmuck….aww, she just found out she’s never going to sleep again ever” and “Bwahahaha, she thinks crunches will bring her abs back….silly, silly girl.”
Admittedly, I joined the club grossly misinformed but I cannot be the only one who was shocked an appalled to find that toddlers watch you pee. That’s what leads me to the list of things “they,” the moms snickering by the lockers, didn’t tell you before you got knocked up.
The “10 Parenting Truths Other Won’t Tell You…But I Will” List is comprised of the hard learned truths I have gleaned along the way. In the interest of saving space and for the courtesy of my male readers (all 2 of them), I have decided that the following items will NOT make the list: what your boobs look like post partum, your first trip to the bathroom post C section and bathing suit shopping the summer after your first child.
Frankly, those topics are entire blogs in and of themselves.
Rather, the truths I have compiled are the little known, gonna catch you with your pants down if you don’t know ahead of time tidbits.
Consider it my gift to you and yours:
1). There is not a single mother on this planet that knows what she’s doing.
Not one. Every single mother makes it up as she goes along and hopes for the best. No lie. And, if a mom claims to know what she’s doing, she’s lying and you should not be friends with her. Exception to this rule: Mom Bloggers (ahem).
2). You will sleep again but it will never be the same.
For the rest of your natural life, you will sleep with one ear to your door and you will be able to discern the night time goings on in your house better than any CIA agent with night vision goggles. With both eyes closed and in REM sleep, you will know that your son is sleepwalking and that your daughter needs Tylenol. It’s an amazing phenomenon, really.
3). Sick leave does NOT come with the job.
You will sign permission forms with your head in the toilet, you will plan PTA parties doped up on pain killers after oral surgery and you will have a husband who asks you to get the dry cleaning when you are laying on the floor half dead with the flu. The managment does NOT care one iota about your health. Best to come to terms with this one now.
4). Make friends with moms who understand and do it as soon as your cherub gets here.
Troll the halls of the Mother Baby Unit if you have to but find that one mom who lets you say anything about your kids and won’t judge you. Make sure to ask her if she knows what she is doing during the interview. If she says yes, drop her like a hot potato. If she says “Hells, NO!”, grab her, hold on to her and drink wine with her at every chance you get. And call her from the closet on the bad days. If she keeps answering, she’s a friend for life.
5). Sex will become, at times, a chore.
Just another thing on the long list of to do things that never ever ends. Sex will be sandwiched on the list with things like “Make 25 Hello Kitty Themed Class Favors” and “Empty The Dishwasher.” Squeeze it in for obvious reasons and because it’s worth it to reconnect with your partner. If it’s a choice between “Have Sex” or “Fold Laundry”…remember that your pile of laundry will look unchanged in the morning, the following day and next Tuesday. But your relationship will not resemble itself very quickly if it’s not tended to. And, it’s okay if you think about the Hello Kitty favors during…hey, we’re moms, we multitask.
6). When you bring your cherub home from the hospital, be prepared: you might not like him/her at first.
Of course you will love them and you will think the miracle of life is amazing and all that happy horsepuckey, but those first few days are just plain trying. In one fell swoop, this bundle comes into your world and single handedly ruins your ability to quickly run into a Dunkin Donuts for a cup of coffee. Everything becomes harder and it’s their fault….sort of. You will find your groove eventually but, it’s okay to admit that you don’t like your new life. And if you say it out loud, you”ll become one of the gals I’ll totally be friends with.
7). You become a liar.
You lie about Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and The Elf on The Shelf and all things magic. You will craft intricate lies to explain how Santa gets into your house, how the giant rodent leaves candy all over the family room and why the Elf on The Shelf didn’t go back to the North Pole for the 4th day in a row. You will become adept at boldfaced lying to your children yet expecting total honesty from them. If I were you, I’d start making a list of all the places the Elf can hide in your house. You’ll thank me.
8). Every single product on the market can hurt your child if you believe the hype.
From BPAs to GMOs to free range and everything in between, everyone has an opinion. Throw in pesticides, lead, high fructose corn syrup and Dr. Oz and you have one crazy, confusing arena in which to raise healthy kids. Do the best that you can, save the judgment of others and refer to item #1 above. No one knows what they are talking about and only you know what’s right for your family. And if people judge you because you occasionally eat bright orange mac and cheese with a chaser of red Kool Aid, so be it.
9). All forms of Lycra, push up and Spanx become a necessary part of your wardrobe.
Undergarments after childbirth will henceforth be chosen based on words like “sturdy” and “support” rather than “lacy” and “sexy.” Case closed. Further, yoga pants will become an integral part of your wardrobe and words like “elastic waistband” will cross your lips. You will begin to loathe anything that has a button front and you will no longer mock those who wear leggings because you yourself will be rocking them. Embrace the new wardrobe choices as a chance to shop for the body that grew humans and wear those Spanx with pride.
10) You will be good at the job of mothering the minute you meet your cherub and you won’t screw them up too terribly.
You will make mistakes and you will have hours where you are fully convinced your child will need extensive therapy to fix what you’ve done wrong. Just do the best that you can with the talents you have and you will be fine. And, if your kids don’t like how you are doing your job, when they grow up, they can screw up their own kids any way they’d like. For now, own the phrase “I’m the Mommy and that’s why”.
Of course, this is not an all encompassing, all inclusive list. I’m sure I’ve left out truths or have forgotten to mention something but one thing is for sure: this mom will never be snickering at my locker behind your back. Nope. I’ll grab you by the arm, sit down and say, “Oh, honey, we’ve got to talk…..”.
And then I’ll pour you a giant glass of wine while you digest the truth.
What do you think? Is my list complete? Anything you’d like to add? Tell me in the comments!
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Happy Mother’s Day Mrs Burke! 🙂 So true! 🙂
This is all true! This happened to me 27 years ago, and I remember it like yesterday!! Somehow our children turn out alright if we love them enough!!
Darcy Perdu (So Then Stories) says
Love this list! So funny and SO true! I had no idea how brilliantly convincing a liar I could be! “Oh that Toys R Us is closed for renovations. The cars in front? Obviously, the construction workers, darling.”
Michelle D says
How about the lack of bladder control? I learned that while jump roping while teaching at school. Oops!
Herzlichen GlÃ¼ckwunsch und weiter so!Mein Liebster und ich haben eine PlexiglasrÃ¶hre, Durchmesser ca. wie ein Tischtennisball, 1,5 Meter hoch. FÃ¼r jedes verlorene Kilo darf man einen Ball reinmachen. Er orange-farbene, ich weiÃŸe. “Unser Wus#2hgewicht&n8c21; ist erreicht, wenn die RÃ¶hre voll ist. Und wer zunimmt, muss rausnehmen!! Ich denke, das motiviert, wenn es ums “Halten” geht. 16 Kilo sind schon drin!Dir weiter viel Erfolg!
A big one not many talk about is that it’s OK not to be OK especially those first 3-4 months, but whatever you do don’t bottle that shit up talk to someone about it. I seriously can’t stress that enough because holding all that in just causes resentment towards your significant other or god forbid your little one.
Be my friend. Lol
What a load of CRAP!!!! I’m a single (ah-hem) widowed mother and I must say you… are making this a lot harder than it has to be. Your point #1 – Yes people don’t know what they are doing!?! It is easy once you figure out to use common sence. Points #2 & 3- I do agree with these but you have to take care of yourself, chores and errands can be put on hold. Point #4 – The mommy friend who wont judge!?! AKA the unicorn! Point #5 – Lady are you kidding me? Get over yourself and get laid! Your poor husband. You stop… and imagine how he feels, hearing your crap comparing him to a chore like vacuuming (Bet he hears this over and over!) Point # 6 – is called postpartum deperssion… your advice is dangerious. Point #7 – Kids aren’t dumb… they know its you! Why are you letting some fat man in a suit be better than you? They’re actually better behaved when you say NO and mean it!!! You want your kids to make up stories instead of telling you the truth? Your point #8 – Please give the internet a rest and take a nap. Point #9 – If anything having a child should make you take better care of your body. Come on your non judging mom friend should be telling you you look schlumpy!!!! Finally your point #10 – How can you be the best parent when you’re thinking, how I can do this with the least amount of damage? Lady put down the giant glass of wine… go to the mirror and shoot yourself your beautiful smile! Go support your man and put him and yourself first! Command respect from everyone and your chidren will follow and beam with pride for their mom.
I’m so glad we agree on #2 and #3! And I appreciate the review…. always fun to go back and reread my pieces through someone else’s eyes. Thanks for commenting.
Psst…She’s not a #4.
But maybe her unicorn is, Tara?
Bahahahaha!!! I was rhinking the same thing. Nothing gets me more worked up than a mom dressing down another mom for speaking HER truth. There are lots of amazing, non judgemental moms out there – THANK GOD!
I wonder how many paid sitters, nannies and trips to daycare she has used while “bringing up” her children. Obviously has NO CLUE of the reality of being a mother. And this is coming from a mother of three who also worked 40-50 hours a week! It isn’t easy, even with help from family.
It also begs the question as to whether or not this woman is wealthy and can afford food, toys, cleaning service, babysitters, laundry service, medical care, etc. I could go on and on.
Circumstances change with wealth and are reflected in a person’s perspective.
Suffice it to say, she is NOT your friend. In fact, I wonder if she has ANY friends??!! Maybe those that she associates with at the country club. More phony “moms”.
Trust me – I hold no resentment for wealthy people – I am very wealthy and can afford all of the above but it was my decision to be a mom and as much as I loved it – it was VERY HARD work. No regrets – kids are never spoiled with too much love.
Thanks for being so cool with your reply Christine… For the record I really felt from your post that you and so many moms are really putting yourself last… Kids, Chores, Husband, Holidays, Friends etc. pile up on moms and they don’t matter. You moms should be pissed off about this! Everyday I see some kid out there, treating their parents like crap and I feel like it comes from points that you stated. Any – hooo I bet everyone thinks I’m the meanest of the ugly people out there and that’s not true. I found my inner peace and took charge of my life, filling it with pride, happiness and being grateful. Hopefully one sad mom reads my comments and makes a change. Changing the way I thought about myself was way easier than living the parent trap. Thats all Lady, keep writing.
Cheryl, I’m so glad you spoke your truth here…moms should be able to say whatever THEIR TRUTH is without judgement. I’m thrilled you came back to comment again and while I was taken aback by your comments at first, I realized that motherhood is defined differently for all of us….I hope you’ll continue to read….and bring your unicorn friends, m’kay?
Cengiz Han Uluced diyor ki:GÃ¼zel doÄŸru yazmÄ±ÅŸsÄ±nÄ±z da TÃd8eiyk&#r217;¼e 5 milyon 129 bin 623 asgari Ã¼cretli Ã§alÄ±ÅŸan var. Aileleri ile beraber yaklaÅŸÄ±k 20 milyon kiÅŸi eder ki bu da nÃ¼fusumuzun 3′te 1′i ne denk gelir. NÃ¼fusumuzun 3′te 1′i demek ki geÃ§inemiyor!
You are taking this WAY too seriously. Number 6 in no way indicates post-partum, I’ve had it with 4 kids, and that’s not it. I have also looked at a newborn who has been screaming for 6 hours in a colic frenzy, and wished there was an escape. I think any mom being honest with themself has felt most of these things, but when anyone says it, somebody proclaims that they’ve loved and adored every second of their kid’s existence, and that’s just bullshit. Being a mom is rough, all the way around there’s tons of joy and there’s times it is straight brutal.
Amen, Sara….appreciate the comments!
Thank u!! Am tiered of all these mom’s who claim those first 3 months were blissful and for those who speak their minds are depressed/something is wrong with them…u know what makes ppl depressed, the fact that they could be around so many ppl and still feel alone. So instead of isolating mothers who speak the truth, allowing them to become even more depressed…let’s keep it real with each other….i very much so appreciate the author for wanting to keep it real and blessing those that feel alone with the fact that they are not alone “we’ve ALL gone through the brutal side” of motherhood
Cheryl, why are you so mad? Great it is going so well for you and your children respect you. But why on Earth would you read a humorous post if you are so easily offended? The unicorn, does exist. I have several of them. We don’t always agree with each other’s parenting but we accept it works for each other. And number six is not a sign of post partum. I’ve been there. I know my life would be simpler without my child. I am a single mom to a five year old and have been for four years. Returning to school was hard, work is exhausting and dating is complicated. But you know what? Wouldn’t trade it. She is my light and made the wrong marriage worth everything I went through. But I agree with Christine’s list. I need the humour. I enjoy the free moment and relaxation and it helps me be the best mom I can. There is so much to be actually stressed about why get so worked up over this list? If trashing this is the most stressful part of your life than congratulations. I haven’t achieved that tranquility yet. If you are doing this because it releases some of the pressure of a stressful life (which I get) was it necessary? Would you appreciate being torn down the way you just tore down Christine? She was bringing a little levity to people. What exactly was the crime?
Wow! This is meant to be a fun piece stop talking it so seriousl!! I loved this “list” and thought it pretty darn accurate!
Thanks for the great read! I always found it funny that other mom’s never told me the truth abput motherhood before I had my first daughter.
#11 Children have to be taught not to play with poop.
We all want to think we’re above it, like we just popped out of the womb and knew that was something we shouldn’t do, but it doesn’t work that way. Leave a soiled diaper too close to grasping hands (in your sleep deprived delirium) as you fasten a new one, and you will be horrified at exactly what your child does with this delightful new substance. And yay!!, you can look forward to a repeat at potty training time!
That is why Grandma’s are so important! we have been there, done that and we are more than happy to share our knowledge when asked.
Ha! This is great! I am sending it to my son’s best friend who is in the beginning stages of labor as I type. My timing might suck but better late than never. And BTW Tara’s #4 comment up there made me laugh so hard I scared my kid and made the neighbors dog bark.
Tara is clearly someone’s #4…
Whoah…some unhappy follower woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Let’s all calm down and take a chill pill. The blog is written to inform and entertain. Let’s not attack and demean. We are all moms, we have all been there. Thanks, Keeper, for helping a fellow mom out. I enjoyed this blog post 🙂
Rebecca Rose says
Good lord! That woman seems angry. Dangerous advice? This isn’t Dr Phil…. This is a blog. Its meant to entertain. I remember one night my darling baby boy (he’s ten now) wouldn’t go to sleep. I was awake, literally, twenty four hours with him. The joys of teething. My husband came downstairs to find me in hysterical tears. Our infant son, bouncing in his bouncy seat. “He won’t let me sleep!!!” It’s not always PPD… Sometimes its just good old fashioned exhaustion, coupled with the fact that you can read up on the subject and take all the advice you can…but nothing in this world is going to prepare you for the first time you are handed your child and sent home from the hospital. Its all hands on experience and every child is like a snowflake. I’ve got four and each one was different and taught me different things. Its OK to admit you don’t know it all… Just don’t admit it to the kids, they smell fear.
But truly, great post… Wish I had a number 4. Lol.
You forgot to mention that all things in motherhood are mandatory – however, fatherhood has an escape clause that we are not aware of. They get to go golfing or go to work for (just) a half day (12 hours) every Saturday and sleep til 10 or 11 on Sunday. You MUST be available to pick up your cherub from every sporting event they will ever participate in while your husband gets to say he’s too tired and fall asleep on the couch!!
Omg that is so true .
This doesn’t seem fair… You need a bit of time as well and in my understanding, it’s not happening. Men don’t necessarily get it but we need to tell them what we want so they do. We can’t just burn out and we shouldn’t. We are in this together. Maybe you guys could figure something out. There is always a way, even if it doesn’t look like it right now. 🙂
Awesome post. Very spot on!!!
Still laughing over Tara’s comment!
Geez this is meant as a fun and entertaining and that’s how I choose to see it. I have 3 kids the youngest about to turn 18 and looking back this blog is gold – I can relate to pretty much everything. Thanks for posting 🙂
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So true. You know after first days with my child I called my sister who has two sons and asked her why didn’t she told me that is so hard..
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