Parenting is an extremely hard job. No one tells you that you’re gonna feel like you’re going crazy 90% of the time and no one talks about the fact that there will be days when although you love your kids more than life itself, you will have those moments when you really just don’t know what to do.
No one tells you just how stressed and sleep-deprived you’re really gonna be. I mean, when you get pregnant or have a baby, you get smiles and “congratulations”. But no one actually tells you the dark side.
Toddlers never listen
I am a mother of two boys – eleven and two – as I write this post, and oh my GOD! They literally drive me nuts sometimes. My toddler never listens to me. I mean EVER! Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a little bit but I swear that’s how it feels at times.
For example, bedtime in my house goes like this:
Me: Skai, it’s bedtime
Me: Skai, you need to sleep
Skai: Not yet!
Me: Come, baby, mommy is going to sleep too. See?
Skai: NOT YEEEEEEETTT!!! [cue breakdown]
Big kids are in on it too
Just in case you’re thinking this is unique to the toddler, let me just stop you right there because it sure as hell isn’t. My eleven-year-old is just as difficult to get to bed.
Me: Okay Josh, it’s time for bed
Josh: Aww ??
Me: Come on Josh, let’s go
Josh: Can I just stay up this one time? (mind you, this is NEVER just this one time)
Me: No Josh. You need to go to sleep. You have school tomorrow.
Josh: PLEEEAASE??! [cue tantrum]
In my house, bedtime starts at 8:30 pm but the kids are ALWAYS awake at 9:30 and sometimes they are still screaming “NOT YET” and “I CAN’T SLEEP ” at 10 Goddamn 30!
They’ll never eat your food
And don’t even get me started on their refusal to consume the sources of energy that is vital to their existence that I put on their plates in the evening.
One kid only wants to eat chicken nuggets and ramen noodles, except when he doesn’t and literally wants nothing in the house and/or expects us to jump in the car, drive to a fast food restaurant just to buy fried ripe plantains and their noodles.
The other, regardless of how many joint or muscle pains he has due to his growth sprouts, absolutely refuses to eat his vegetables even though he’s FREAKING ELEVEN!
Say goodbye to free time
Oh, and you literally have no free time. So all that “me time” you keep hearing about? Just forget about it because there is only cooking time, cleaning time, nursing time, counseloring time (yes I know that’s not a word), clowning time, stand up comedian time, laundry time.
SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY! You’ll literally never see the bottom of your laundry basket ever again. The more you wash, the more dirty laundry will continue to multiply. It’s like cutting the head off Hydra.
There’s always toys, clothes and some random whatever on the floor. Your walls will never be clean again. Your kitchen sink will keep giving birth to dirty dishes no matter how much you wash them.
Your fridge will always be empty no matter how much food you buy as if there’s a black hole sucking the food away every time you close the fridge – which will continue to be a mystery because you’ll perpetually be begging your kids to just eat what’s on their plates. It’s as if they’ll eat so much… just not when you put in on their plates.
Did I mention they won’t eat your food?
Speaking of which. That’s exactly the case at my house. My toddler has recently started preschool and this little boy just gobbles up rice and chicken – and whatever else – with no issues at all when his caregivers prepare it but when he gets home?
Nope! It’s a losing battle. It makes me wonder if it’s just that he doesn’t like my cooking. You know, now that I say this? That actually stings a little because I quite like to think I’m pretty decent – well at least half-decent – in the kitchen.
You’ll yearn for quiet and…
Oh. Before I forget, you will never hear silence ever again! Remember all those times, when you thought “God! the place is so quiet. It’s so boring”?
Yeah, you’ll YEARN for quiet and boring. You’ll spend a lot, and I mean A LOT of time hiding in your bathroom just so you can get a break.
You’ll become overprotective…
But even with all that, you’ll never trust anyone enough to let them sleepover. You’ll be overprotective because they are forever your babies and you’ll cling to those moments as much as you possibly can.
You’ll smile when they smile, laugh when they laugh and cry every time they cry. Every heartbreak they experience will feel as though it’s crushing your heart and you’ll always be doing everything in your power to protect them from everything you possibly can.
Like a creepy stalker, you’ll stare at them while they sleep and think “I can’t imagine my world without you”. You’ll spend hours reading through mom blog after mom blog, parenting article after parenting article.
You’ll watch hours – days – of videos just constantly learning how to be a better mom because you’ll always feel like you’re messing up even though you really need to give yourself some credit.
They’ll be the center of your world…
And everything you do will be done thinking about how it will affect them now or in the future. Every plan you make, every goal you set will factor them in, in one way or another.
You’ll finally know what unconditional love means because you will love them in a way you never thought or even knew was possible. And although they talk back to you, don’t listen to you, won’t eat your food and drive you nuts, you wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Enjoy your journey as a mom – or dad. It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling roles you’ll play in your life.
Share your comments. I’d love to hear from you. What are some things you wish you knew before you became a parent? How do you survive the chaos?
Remember sharing is caring so don’t forget to share this article with all your mom friends. Let’s help each other figure it out together. You can also join the discussion in my Facebook group or leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you.