Hi! I’m Ashlee and I blog over at “Growing Up A Thomas”. I’m a wife to Chris and mom to a 15 month old ball of energy named Luke. I call myself a “recovering perfectionist.” I’m your typical type-A, undiagnosed, borderline OCD, schedule crazy, list making, get-er done woman.
Back when I was pregnant, I was given TONS of advice. Some good, some bad. Some a bit cray-cray. Mainly, I was told that my life was going to change. And I knew it would. I just had no idea how much. Like NO CLUE. Clueless party of 1. Like my friends and family were probably laughing at how life as I knew it was going to explode into a ball of flames and rain fire down around me.
But, after being on this journey for almost a year and a half now, there are 5 specific things I wish they would have told me about becoming a mother…
1. You are going to feel like you are going to die.
Dramatic? Maybe. But this is my list and I seriously felt that. I had a relatively easy labor and delivery – it was the whole newborn thing that rocked me to the core. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat. The baby… not me. Days and nights run together and you feel like you are never going to feel normal again. Mom zombie! There is no rhythm or flow to your days. A hard adjustment for anyone but being a crazy organized, type-A woman? Well it rocked me to the core. It’s survival mode – only necessary systems are a go. And “necessary” takes on an entirely different meaning. Showers? Not necessary. Which brings me to my next point…
|Good thing he was so stinkin’ cute back then!|
2. You realize how selfish you really are. Here me out here…
I wouldn’t consider myself a selfish person. In fact, I would like to think I tend to think about others often. But having a baby is where the rubber meets the road. This was the first time in my life that someone else came before ALL of my needs. Yes, my husband’s needs are important. But he is an adult and can wait until after I take a shower/go to the bathroom/eat a sandwich. Luke is a different story. My sole purpose in life is to meet his tiny newborn needs. Even when it meant not showering for a few days, never eating while sitting down, or “holding it” because it took me 45 minutes to get him to sleep on me and there is no way I’m moving now just to use the bathroom.
3. You will become “that mom.”
You know who I’m talking about. In fact, I use to think of Alissa as “that mom.” I use to get so annoyed when trying to make plans with Alissa before I had kids. She would give me these small windows of opportunity to hang out because of the kids’ naps and/or eating schedules. I swore that I wasn’t going to be “that mom.” My kids were going to be flexible and my days were not going to be dictated by naps. I said alot of things before I had kids. I say it often, but I think the best parents tend to be those people without kids. They have all the answers.
Boy was I wrong. I am a nap drill sargent. You better believe we are home not even one minute late for Luke’s naps. Dinner with the extended fam? Sure, but you better make reservations for 5 because Luke CANNOT and WILL NOT be late for bath, book, and bed. Not on my watch!
Don’t worry, I have apologized to Alissa. Because really, the joke’s on me now. I’m the craziest schedule-loving parent you have ever met!
You may not be as rigid as I am about the schedule aspect of parenting. But here this, “I will never do X, Y or Z when I’m a parent” usually comes back to bite you. Because we all do things now we said we wouldn’t then. Give yourself some grace. And give others the same.
4. Staying at home is work.
WORK. When I was working full-time, before Luke, I couldn’t wait to be a stay at home mom. I was dreaming of Oprah and bonbons with an occasional load of laundry. Hilariously wrong. My new boss (Luke) is more demanding than anyone I have ever worked for. There is no one hour lunch break and I’m never fully “off the clock.” My job is 24/7 365. (366 if you count leap years.)
I know moms who have to work and dream of staying home. And believe me there are days I dream of going back to work. “The grass is always greener…” I say… learn to appreciate your own grass! Because it’s all grass and it all needs to be taken care of. Just like we are all moms and we are all responsible for raising these tiny human beings. (A stretch? Maybe…)
And I saved the best for last…
5.You never have before and never will again love anyone as much as you love your kid.
Even way back, when the pee stick hadn’t yet dried, I instantly felt a connection to protect my still flat and awesome looking stomach and tiny zygote that was inside. Insta-momma bear! My bestie sums it up pretty nicely when she says, “I’d take a bullet for my husband… but I’d take 1000 for my kid.” True dat.
And then once they are really here on the outside, you want to just smother their face with kisses and squeeze them tight and never let go. (Except during lunchtime. And especially after eating avocado. Luke is a sticky slimy mess and I hold all squeezes and kisses until he is cleaned up again. But believe me I make sure he gets all the ones I was saving!)
There are days that I look at Luke and can’t believe that something so awesome came from me. He’s almost too cool to be related to me. One smile or giggle or silly noise from that boy makes all the anxiety and stress and all of the “work” of this mom business not seem all that bad. He is 101% worth it. And yes, 101% isn’t mathematically possible but I’m trying to get a point across here!
Thanks for letting me share with you all. I would love to have you all stop by my blog and check out the crazy that our family produces on a weekly basis. I promise my readers silly with a side of serious. Always and forever!