When I imagined becoming a mom, I knew it wouldn't be all cuddles and kisses. I knew it would come with lots of diaper changes, messes, dreaded potty-training and temper tantrums.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I heard over and over again from friends and family that we wouldn't sleep again for at least 18 years once the baby arrived. We also learned that my personal hygiene would get neglected (it did) and that we would become obsessed with our new baby's bowel movements. Magazine articles and blog posts only reiterated what those close to us said. However, there were a few things that these well-meaning people forgot to mention. You know, things no one told me about having kids.
1. Moments of privacy? Ha!
Forget it. Children have an innate sense of when you want (or need) time to yourself or a moment with your spouse. They don't understand why anyone would want to be alone. They feel like it is their job to keep you company, especially when you need to use the bathroom. I suggest a lock. Seriously.
2. Personal space? What's that?
Babies and toddlers have no clue what personal space is. They have no misgivings about getting right up in your face. Not only will their face be right on top of yours, but every part of their body will be, too. For some reason, my 3-year-old loves sticking her butt up in the air. Inevitably, it ends up closer to my face than I ever wanted. Never mind the fact that my youngest doesn't understand that sitting on my face might cause me to suffocate.
3. Whatever you are eating, they will want it. Now.
My girls are master moochers. If I want to eat something I love and not have them share it, I have to hide in a locked bathroom (see #1) or wait until they are in bed for the night. Since the latter usually happens after 9 p.m., I don't get to eat what I want very often. It has gotten so bad that I've been known to put off eating lunch until my girls are napping so I can eat my lunch without little hands and fingers grabbing at it.
4. Your stuff = their stuff.
At least, that is what they believe. We used to keep some things, like coasters, puzzle books, and pens, in our end table drawers. No more. My girls thought everything in a drawer was one of their toys. I've had to be creative in hiding those items. By the time they were tall enough to touch the top of tables, I had to hide everything I kept on there, too. Any kitschy stuff has been hidden until they are much older. I'm thinking until at least 21.
5. You will lose your mind.
I'm sure you've heard of "pregnancy brain." Ha. That's nothing compared to "Mommy brain." Focus is a thing of the past with all that you need to keep track of now. I blame my kids.
6. There will be bodily harm.
Be prepared to be harmed physically by your adorable bundles of joy! I've lost count of the number of times I have been head-butted by a child, whacked in the teeth and stepped on. I'm a bit amazed that bruises haven't yet appeared on my face. My husband has seriously considered buying a cup for protection. (I'm thinking that might be the perfect birthday or Christmas gift.)
7. Your boobs will never be the same!
I'm not talking about the sag that happens after having a baby. (Although that does happen, too.) My girls have stepped on my "girls" (who saw that coming?) multiple times, randomly grabbed them, pulled them to help them get up and rubbed them for comfort, long after breastfeeding came to an end. If I had a dollar for every time I told youngest, "Hands off my boobs!", I would be able to afford a whole new wardrobe for my post-baby body.
And, despite all the torture my little ones put us through, my husband and I decided to have a third. I blame #5!
Are there some things you've run across as a parent that no one told you about?
This post originally appeared on Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy