I was sitting at a baby shower a few weeks ago and after three hours of being surrounded by women with no kids, or one child, my patience was starting to wear thin. Where grocery cart protective covers and pocket nannies make for a great registry, the need for them is as practical as an alarm without a snooze button. But ya know, I’ve been there…8 years ago. I was 24 years old when I had my first. Virtually a child myself. I barely could raise myself, let alone my daughter. I mean, if going to the drug store to buy your pregnancy test with a pack of cigarettes doesnt say adult, I don’t know what does. I knew it all, nobody could tell me different. I am a mom now; I know what’s best for my kids.
So, looking back eight years ago and knowing what I know now, I knew nothing, which, I am sure is why these young women in their twenties were aggravating me so much. I wanted to yell out, “You have no clue! When you have another child, your one child will make you feel like you never had any at all!” But, I kept quiet and got to thinking about what I’ve learned in the past years and after three kids that have changed my opinion on how to raise children, or more relatively speaking, “Calming the chaos” at least. These are the differences between then and now.
DIFFERENCE 1: It’s not a good idea to dress your preschooler in hooker boots to match mommy’s hooker boots because when she starts pole dancing on your trampoline support beam, you may have a future issue to deal with.
DIFFERENCE 2: If you are bleeding or broken and you are still breathing, then you have to wait until I’m done folding laundry. Unfortunately for my children, I will be folding laundry for the rest of my life.
DIFFERENCE 3: Sickness does not mean they are dying. With that being said, listen to me closely. No matter what you do, you can NEVER clean your house good enough after someone gets the stomach virus. Its too late. You’re screwed. Stop wiping down light switches and door knobs. Stop washing the sheets, blankets and stuffed animals twelve times. It’s over for you. Just accept it. The only way to stop getting the stomach virus is to have it at least 6 years in a row, sometimes twice a year…and even then, you will still get it. Accept it now.
DIFFERENCE 4: You do not stop being a parent whether you are with them or not. The choices you make will affect them no matter what. It is probably not a good idea to be trashed out of your mind then proceed to enter a wet tshirt contest, EVEN when your child is not there. They do exist.
DIFFERENCE 5: The terminology “Not for children under 3 years old, small parts” isn’t relevant anymore when your 3 year old swallows a penny. Nobody told me about that in “What to expect while expecting.:
DIFFERENCE 6: You do not need bed rails for a mattress that lies on the floor. It is only about 5 inches from the ground. They will survive if they fall off. I assure you.
DIFFERENCE 7: Kids will eat vegetables if you stop telling them that they wonj’t like it.
DIFFERENCE 8: When your child asks what that circle thing is on your boob and you tell them it is a nipple, they will then tell others that their mommy has “nipples” on her face. (to be confused with pimples) Neither one is better than the other, promise.
DIFFERENCE 9: Your middle child will get lost at least once a week. You need to take precautions by telling them what you expect them to do before that happens. They virtually think they parent themselves and understandably so at times.
DIFFERENCE 10: Your child does not need a flotation device when they are playing in the sprinkler.
DIFFERENCE 11: Anything is possible to happen and everything you read about won’t happen.
DIFFERENCE 12: It will look like you havent showered whether you have showered or haven’t. At the end of the day, you will have food on your clothes or in your hair, regardless.
DIFFERENCE 13: Your kid does not have to wear a winter coat, hat and scarf when it is 50 degrees, not do you need a windshield for your stroller.
DIFFERENCE 14: A bathing visor for infants is as productive as buying an endtable with a litter box in it for your cat from those airplane magazines. You’ve now taught your child that water will make him go blind and the cat can poop on furniture.
DIFFERENCE 15: Teach your child to potty on the big potty from the very beginning. Everything you’ve just suffered through you have to do over again on the big potty. There will not be a Dora the Explorer potty at the mall.
DIFFERENCE 16: Gas stove covers do not work. It took me to the 3rd kid who tried to kill the family, that I’ve switched to electric. You also don’t need power strip covers, toilet locks, refrigerator locks, oven locks, blind cord locks….etc. “No,” works too.
** I enjoy reading to my children at night instead of participating in a wet t-shirt contest.
** Beyonce songs are still acceptable to have dance parties to no matter how old you or they get.
**We learn that children will get hurt, they get let down and sometimes they get a little bit of water in their eyes, but they learn that it hasn’t killed them.
**No book can tell us what our children need, we just know.
**We provide for them before we provide for ourselves and if that means you need to break out the jean overalls so that your kid looks super cute, its what we do.
We need to let our children out of the bubbles and to keep away from the temptation to buy the toilet locks and power strip covers and instead experience this crazy thing called living. And if they suck on the grocery cart because you haven’t made it out to buy the cart cover yet, a little germ and dirt won’t kill them…just ask my son who ate my yard for dinner the other night…
BE TRUE, BE YOU.