As a newly pregnant woman, people will give you advice all the time. It gets exhausting, really. You wish they would just stop. When people ask, “Are you pregnant?” When you obviously are, you begin answering “No, why do you ask?” Just so they won’t give you more advice. Or worse, try to touch your belly!
(People: Please, stop touching pregnant moms. Just stop. It isn’t a cute belly. Nobody says the retired neighbor guy’s beer belly is cute, and it’s about the same size and shape. Just be honest.)
But there are a few things about parenting that nobody ever told me when I was pregnant with Audrey. I wished I had known them ahead of time, but I had to figure them out on my own. Now I’m passing them on so you won’t be surprised like I was.
1. You’ll be tired.
Okay, technically I was told this many times, but it’s worth repeating. You don’t know what tired is until you have a baby. Suddenly you are falling asleep while standing.
2. You will want to be with them all the time.
You might think you would be ready for a break after being around them constantly for weeks on end. Until you go to leave them at your parents house so you can go on a date, and suddenly you don’t want to go. You cry like you’ll never see them again, you text for updates with your parents at the restaurant, and you rush your date so you can go be with your child again.
3. You have giant freak-outs about the smallest things.
“You put her in the swing? That swing is labeled for ten pounds plus. She’s only nine and a half pounds. What were you thinking?”
4. People still bombard you.
Unfortunately, babies are even more popular than baby bumps. At grocery stores, in church, and on facebook, you are suddenly the most popular person. Crowds gather as you walk by. You never have to worry about forgetting exactly how old your baby is, how much they weighed at birth, or what day they were born, because you will be asked for the answer about twenty-seven times in one afternoon.
5. You’ll never want to leave your house again.
Seriously, you think you’re going to be a soccer mom? Haha, how about a cold cup of reality? You want to feed your baby in your car or change their diaper in a Walmart bathroom stall? You want to pack a screaming baby around the grocery store? You want to have a major blow-out at a friend’s house, only to realize you forgot to bring a change of clothes for your stinky little one? trust me, it’s easier to just stay home.
6. You won’t be annoyed at your baby for crying.
Hearing your baby scream doesn’t annoy you like it does with other children. It just breaks your heart into a million tiny pieces instead.
7. Your body is not “back”.
I hear this all the time, and I have even said the words myself, “I want my body back.” Newsflash: you don’t get your body back just because you aren’t carrying a baby inside it anymore. In fact, I don’t think you ever get your body back. You sold it. Bought a new one called Mom Bod. It works great as a tissue for snot, vomit or other bodily fluid. Also functions as a pillow, a bottle, and later, a vending machine. You may not like it right away, but it grows on you.
8. Enjoy sex while you can.
Just enjoy the fact that you can’t get pregnant right now. There’s no worries! Afterwards, you never know for sure.
9. You are suddenly part of the exclusive Mom club.
You might have had mom friends before, but now you really can bond. If you see another mom at the mall, you might feel like going up and talking to her, and you know what? That wouldn’t be weird, because you literally have so much that you could talk about together.
10. Breastfeeding/pumping is actually rocket science.
You don’t think it will be hard. After all, other moms make it look like a piece of cake! It’s a natural bodily function, right?! but I can tell you, there’s a reason people have built a whole profession around breastfeeding. It’s called a lactation consultant, and chances are, you are going to need one.
11. You learn what unconditional love is.
Marriage is supposed to be unconditional, right? But is it, really? Not often. If he cheats on you, it’s over. And vice versa. Heck, I probably wouldn’t talk to my husband for the rest of the day if he left the house without saying goodbye. But when you have a child, it’s like they can do no evil. You still love them no matter what they do.
12. You will still !@$#&ing want more kids!!
Why do we do this to ourselves, you ask? Is it for the cute baby toes? The answer is yes. Yes, we do it for the toes.