I think before you have children of your own, man or woman, you automatically think that you understand the bond that happens between a parent and child. I am here to tell you, that I can honestly say, that until you are a parent, you truly do not fully understand. I have in the last two months of having a son, started thinking about all the things I THOUGHT I knew about being a parent, more specifically a mother.
1. YOU WILL BABY TALK – you say your never going to – but you are definitely going to. You’re going to notice that your voice is going to hit a higher octave and you are going to say, dance or do whatever it is that it takes to get that little baby smiling. If that happens to be a little baby talk, so be it…
2. YOU BECOME A MULTI-TASKING EXPERT – If you didn’t have this skill before, well congratulations, because after becoming a parent, you can now put it on your resume! You will simultaneously learn how to talk on the phone while washing dishes and bouncing the the baby’s rocker with your foot as well as repositioning the bottle back in the baby’s mouth every 45 seconds, by propping up a blanket under his chin. Or how to pump milk, while responding to an email, while trying to time your pumping session into how long you’ll have until you have to turn the food in the oven. I set a LOT of timers!! I actually got this pretty awesome one on Zulily, that is a magnet to your fridge, and it is HUGE and loud! – It sets for an hour, and that thing is PRETTY NIFTY!
3. YOU SAY YOU WANT TO CHEW ON A HUMAN BABY – Ok, so I never got this… people saying, “I want to chew on those cheeks” or “I love those chubby little legs, I just want to nibble on them” until after I became a parent! Now I totally understand it. The roly-poly legs and chubby legs and arms – and you just want to seriously bite them- and you sometimes do, it happens! You’ll see. When I tell Wesley, “I am gonna get you”, and then blow on his belly, or nibble on his feet, and he smiles – BAM! I guess that goes back to I will be absolutely ridiculous if it means that he will give me that charming little baby smile!
4. YOU ARE NO LONGER IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LIFE – Your body, your time, your pure existence, yeah, that belongs to your child now! No you cannot cook, or eat unless the baby is out cold. You can’t go to a birthday party without being stuck in the car parked in front of the house, in the back seat – pumping your boobs for milk, while others are passing by your car wondering why you are sitting in the backseat… Oh yeah, that totally happened. I have had to leave establishments, friends houses, parties etc. because my boobs hurt, and I needed to excuse myself or leave to nurse or pump. You get up 3 to 4 times a night to feed/change/rock/repeat. You can’t go shopping in peace, unless the baby fell asleep in the car on the way to the store – and when that does happen, sometimes you feel like you ACTUALLY feel like you can have a peaceful shopping trip. If not, you better have a blanket and a bottle, and fast access to it – because if you don’t get the bottle in and prop it up, you are going to sound the baby alarm, EVERYONE is gonna look your way, either to give you a dirty look or to admire how cute your baby is, meanwhile your boobs are going to start leaking, and you just realized that you forgot your DAMNED BREASTPADS!! Well, that shopping trip just turned into a spectacle while your growing wet spots on your light colored shirt become targets and you look for the most motherly woman at the checkstands hoping she is empathetic or better yet, not even notice! You may NEVER AGAIN, grab your keys and walk out the door without your child – a bag full of diapers and wipes (you better makes sure you have some in there), milk from the fridge (don’t forget your ice pack to keep it cold), your breast pump, your breast cover, a blanket to prop up the bottle, the bottle (seriously, don’t forget this), and most importantly, make sure you have your sanity after all of that – oh wait, did you get the baby?! You become a slave to your washing machine, and your dishwasher and mostly your child. I love my son, and would do anything for him, but yeah, I can’t honestly look at him and say, “You’re not the boss of me”, because that would be a lie.
5. YOU SHOULD BE FREQUENT BUYER REWARDS –
You know how airlines give you free miles from flying with them all the time, well, I think that AMAZON.COM and Smart&Final and Walmart should give me some kickbacks already!! I buy diapers and wipes, laundry and dish detergent like I am stocking up for Armageddon. And you won’t believe me that you will go to the store, and then you realize that after remembering to grab everything else in the house to go for this outing, you forgot your list of what you needed. Now you have to try to have a photographic memory, and remember what it was that you needed to get. You’ll inevitably forget 1/2 the things that you needed, and end up with extra stuff that you already have, thinking that was the stuff you needed. Actually though, because I asked for diapers and wipes for gifts from my baby showers (I had FOUR freaking baby showers!!), I didn’t have to buy them until about 2 1/2 months in! I have boxes and boxes still, but I ran out of the 1’s for the stage he is still in now. Here is an example of my baby shower invitations that I designed for my baby shower. I asked for books instead of cards and diapers and wipes with a raffle for people that brought them. Do that, you won’t be sorry.
6. YOU KNOW A LOVE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER KNOWN BEFORE – People tell you this will happen, but you can’t fathom what they even mean until you become a parent. The day that we left the hospital, it was a somewhat windy day, and while we were waiting for Brian to get the car, I waited outside with my nurse Dana (WE LOVED HER TO PIECES!!) and Wesley in his new carseat- and I lifted up the carseat cover, and the wind blew in his face. OH MY GOD, he was so confused what all of this was, and what he was seeing and all those noises. He had never seen the world in this way and he was overwhelmed. Once we got him in the car, he stayed awake the entire car ride home looking out the window with me sitting in the backseat with him, and I was bawling my eyes out – the entire ride home. It was insane to watch this little baby trying to figure out this new world that he had been brought into. Brian asked me what was wrong, and I was just crying because I was in love, overwhelmed with it actually, that I had just made this little human, that he was a piece of Brian and I. I was just emotional, and in love and for some reason crying just felt like the only thing I could do to make myself feel better. I was and still am overwhelmed with love for this little guy. When I call him a ‘cutie patootie’ and he smiles that big smile, I tear up, I cry a little and I hold him close to me. I LOVE him so much it’s insane!
7. BODILY FUNCTIONS NO LONGER REPULSE YOU – Hooray for poop! Good job buddy!! Do you have a poopskie? Yes, a poopskie! I told you – you will baby talk – just you wait! I have been puked on, down my chest, right where the milk came from in the first place… Pooped on – although not yet projectile xxfingerscrossedxx that never happens, peed on, coughed on, snot on. Ok, you get it. It happens, and you just deal with it and move on. I can now get up from a meal, change a butt, and then go back to eating… it doesn’t bother me. However, I’m sure when they actually start stinking from eating real food, I may have a different tune!
8. YOU LEARN THAT TAKING A SHOWER IS A LUXURY – Smelling good?! What the hell is that anymore… honey, the only thing that you smell like milk from your shirt that you just realized is soaked for the 2nd time today… Or you realize that the next time the kid falls asleep, you’d better run, not walk to the shower to take a shower instead of trying to do the dishes, do a load of laundry and THEN take a shower, because frankly, I think your body spray is no longer doing it’s job of making you smell somewhat decent!
9. THE SUPPORT YOU GET FROM OTHER PEOPLE SURPRISES YOU, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE GIVING IT ARE NOT ALWAYS THE ONES YOU’D EXPECT – This is so true. I really love that having Wesley has brought people closer, people brought me meals and clothes and stuff, but a lot of that came from people that I really didn’t expect at all!
10. YOU WANT TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF FOR YOUR CHILD – This is one that Brian really enjoys! I love to cook and experiment with my new food processor – and Brian loves to taste test. From black bean burgers to salsas to hummus, I seriously cannot get enough! Honestly though, I never started buying organic (nearly everything) and have never been to so many farmer’s markets in my life. I just think ‘well if this is going into my body, it is also going into my son’s’ so I think before I stuff my face. I have grown an entirely organic garden of strawberries, cucumbers, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, lettuce, carrots, garlic, onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, anaheim peppers, zucchini, collard greens and 3 different type of tomatoes. AND I am keeping it ALIVE!!! I want my son to know what REAL food is, and where it comes from, and how to cook. I think that is so very important, and something that should never go out of style!
Some things I learned for the first time, and then other things, I never really REALLY fully understood before I became a mommy. One more is that even being a photographer, I use my phone to take photos more than my actual camera, all of these were taken with my phone – go figure!
What are some of the things that you learned after becoming a parent, or things that you never fully understood?