Being a mother is one of the most amazing things a woman can experience.
It doesn’t matter if you adopted or birthed your child…it doesn’t matter if you are a caregiver who sends the child home to mom every day. Those of us who are blessed and entrusted with the care and keeping of a child – well, we get to experience miracles every day. The miracles of those first steps, the discovery of snowflakes, of stories told, and memories made. There are the hugs filled with love, shrills of laughter as you push them on swings and the moments spent quietly watching them sleep. I wouldn’t give up this gig for the world.
But as we all know, there are two sides to every story.
Along with all the wonderful memories are a few that we’d like to forget.
As a mother of 3, stepmother to 1 and dayhome provider to many, many more – I have compiled quite the list of memories I’d rather not have.
So for all the would-be parents out there, or soon-to-be moms and dads…I’m going to tell you what no one else will. I don’t know why these things are unspoken of before someone has children…because it can’t be just me who has had these experiences.
This is your last chance to look away. What you are about to read, cannot be unread.
- Picking up a child and sniffing their butt to see if they’ve pooped will become a normal thing
- You will pick your child’s nose and it won’t even disgust you
- Going to the bathroom without an audience will be a long-term goal
- Ditto for taking a shower
- Getting the play-by-play from your toddler as you shower or use the toilet will become your new normal
- Warm meals – I haven’t had one in 15 years. I hear rumors that it happens eventually
- Since we’re on the topic of meals, get used to eating food that’s been chewed on, sucked on or otherwise defiled
- Anyone out there have a dog or cat that watches you have sex? The same thing will happen with your kid. You’ll be in the middle of an “intimate moment” with your loved one and suddenly you’ll feel that gaze…and your toddler will be standing at the side of your bed…eyes the size of teacups. He won’t say anything; just stare condemningly at you
- Other people will struggle to understand your child’s attempts at conversation. They won’t be able to get the “apple” or “doggy” – these words will come out as a garbled mess.
- However, that same child will pronounce curse words with stunning accuracy.
- Newborn babies can squirt poop nearly 3 feet. I learned this the day I brought my angel home from the hospital
- Some babies have the ability to poop up the back of their diaper.
- Exceptionally talented ones can get poop up the back, out the legs and even up the front. My daughter remained exceptionally talented for 9 months
- Speaking of poop – when you give your baby a bath, keep a strainer next to the tub. You’ll thank me for that little tid-bit of advice
- One day, your child will lie whimpering on the couch. Suddenly, they’ll get “the look” and you just know that he/she’s going to vomit. You will be unprepared for this – and you will attempt to catch their vomit with your hands
- On that note – a child’s tiny stomach can hold way more vomit than your hands ever can. You will still try to catch it
- There will be times when you will be the one who’s shouting and screaming and whining (I refuse to call it a tantrum, but hey…if the shoe fits, right?). There will be arguments with them as they get bigger
- There will be eyes rolled, doors slammed and “I hate you” shouted more times than you may want to think about
- There will be times when you will think you are a horrible parent
- There will be times when you think you should never have had kids (and then, oh the terrible guilt you will feel for even secretly thinking that one!)
Don’t say this won’t happen to you. It will.
In the end – being a mother is still the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
All of the horrible, disgusting, unforgettable things that I listed here – they pale in comparison to the unending, unconditional love that you have for your child.
After all…“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~Linda Wooten
Heather is a Professional Child Care Provider, owning and operating her dayhome since 2005. In the summer of 2012, Heather will graduate from Red Deer College’s ELCC program with a near perfect grade point average – despite the fact that she has 3 young children at home, and continued to work full time. Heather’s studies took her to Mexico in the spring of 2010, where she was able to work with many children in need. In her spare time, Heather writes about the laughter and chaos that comes with being a mother. You can read her blog here: http://www.delusionalmom.com/
NextGen Speaks Out, our guest blogging series, is envisioned as a hub for information and discussion. NextGen is a non-political, non-denominational organization focused on giving all nextgeners a voice. NextGen does not represent the opinions expressed by the individual columnists.