I’ve been a mom for almost 2 full years now (not counting pregnancy). It’s so incredible how my life has changed in so many ways. After listening to a conversation by a group of women hoping to have children in the future, I started thinking a lot about my past. There’s so much about being a parent that people don’t tell you or don’t prepare you for. So, if I could go back in the past, what would I tell myself? In today’s post, I’m answering my own question! Here are all the things that I would tell pre-baby Erica to prepare for life as a mother.
Don’t get your belly button pierced!
I don’t know how far back I can go exactly BUT if I could go super far back, this is one major thing I would tell myself. After 2 babies, my belly button is incredibly gnarled. I’m not bashing myself or anything. I’m not ashamed of it either. It’s just a big wrinkly, stretched hole and who needs that?
Your kids will do (insert literally anything here).
I used to see kids having a tantrum and think, “my kid will NEVER do that”. Wrong… there are a few things as parents that you simply can’t control.
You’ll learn to cherish things a lot more.
Taking a nap, going to the restroom in peace, cooking with empty hands, eating in peace… I could name literally a million more things that seemed so mundane before children. Now, with two kids, I’m lucky if I get to eat a hot meal or a meal completely by myself without sharing. If I didn’t have kid, I wouldn’t know how special it really is to be alone. Before it was such a norm, I didn’t appreciate it. Now, it’s like my reward. Even though it’s silly, I cherish these simple moments more than I ever imagined.
It’s a lot harder than it looks.
Y’ALL. Let this be a warning if you don’t have any children yet. It’s HARD AS HELL. That’s the only way to describe it. I love being a mother. I honestly feel like it’s my calling. But there are days when I cry and ask God if I’m really meant for this. There are days when I look at Baby E ruining things and think that I should discipline her but I really just want to lay on the couch. There are days when she pushes my buttons to the max. There are also days when I literally can’t imagine my life without them. Like, when I think about them being anywhere but in my vicinity, I almost get anxiety. At night, they go to sleep and I find myself watching videos on my phone, getting excited for the next day with them. Being a parent is so weird. It’s ridiculously hard but it’s also ridiculously wonderful.
Your marriage will change.
This is the NUMBER ONE thing that not enough people talk about! Your marriage changes… it’s as simple as that. My husband and I had been together for 10 years before our first child and I didn’t think it would affect us at all. It did! There have been great times and obviously not-so-great times. Basically, having a child was our first REAL obstacle as a married couple. On your parenting journey, you’re going to learn a lot about yourself and just as much about your husband. Parenting styles may differ. How each of you react on minimal amounts of sleep will be revealed. It is honestly a whole new ball game for your marriage. Fortunately I’ve learned that once you get through the thick of it, you’re actually stronger as a couple.
You will change.
Some people don’t change… but I did. I wish I could be one of those people who have the courage and confidence to live their lives as they did before. God just knows that’s not in my soul. I find myself constantly thinking of ways to enrich my kids’ lives or ways to be a better or more fun mom. Honestly, in the first few months of birth (then and now), I actually get this annoying anxiety when I even think about leaving my kids. They are legitimately my world and this HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE! I didn’t realize how much having kids changed me until I started to be a better person for them. I can admit that I used to be selfish and sort of immature… Now that I’m a mom, I feel that it’s made me a healthier person, a more focused and determined person, and a more present individual. I’ve definitely changed but in the best ways.
Instagram moms aren’t real (sometimes).
I followed a lot of IG moms when I was pregnant. That was a HUGE mistake for me, honestly. I compared myself to them CONSTANTLY. I expected my life to be rainbows and butterflies just like their lives were. Little did I know, everything is curated and motherhood is not always pretty. Most people don’t talk about the spit-up stained clothes, the lack of time for your own self-care, the poop explosions, or the constant issues of children. Instagram is meant to show you the highlight reel and I learned that the hard way.
I will say that nowadays more mothers are honest about their struggles and that has been an absolutely incredible release. It’s been nice to find accounts that I can truly relate to.
Despite what everyone says, there IS a right time!
Sorry, this may not be what anyone wants to hear (and an unpopular opinion) but it is something that I needed to hear before I had kids. Y’all there really is a RIGHT time. I know that babies can’t always be planned but if you CAN, then you should. I kept hearing that no time was the right time and that you should basically just have a baby whenever because you’ll never be prepared. Now that I have two children, I’ve noticed parts of my life that easily could be better for my children if I would have planned it out more thoroughly. Things such as finance, living situations, etc (all of the adult type things), it would have been nice to have that stuff figured out before I brought sweet little tiny people into the world. With all of this being said, I still believe in God’s timing.
Travel while you can!
We did travel a little bit before the kids were born and I’m thankful for that! When I was younger, I actually had no ambition to travel or see different parts of the world. I’m guessing it was because I was young? Well, now I do… so if I could go back, I would tell the younger me to just travel for the hell of it.
You will love deeper than you possibly could ever love.
As I said earlier, these little babies have SUCH a hold on my heart. Despite literally everything I’ve said, I cannot imagine my life without them. Whenever I get a minute (literally a minute, haha) of silence, I sit and wonder what the heck I used to do with all of my free time. I truly can’t remember. Even though I always feel pulled and busy and that I’m always sacrificing, I feel that it was my calling to be a mother. These children have completely changed me for the better and I’m excited to mold them into citizens to better this world.
This pajama set c/o Figure 8 Maternity is awesome. It’s cozy and also nursing friendly. Actually the top is specifically a nursing hoodie. I love wearing it when I’m cold in the house but it’s also going to be awesome for winter!