We all seem to grow up with an ideal in our mind. Some of us expect love, marriage and kids; others see a career and globe-trotting; some don’t have an image of what we’re going to be when we grow up, but we know how we’ll do things when we get there. Then one day, we wake up, or strained squash hits us in the face, or we step on a teensy-tiny little shoe belonging to Miss Polly Pocket, and epiphany: this isn’t what we thought it would be like.
Let me tell you, preconceived notions are the murderer of bliss. Thinking we know what to do, that we can control everything, or that life’s predictable? Ha. Better sign yourself up for a one-month, all-inclusive, expenses paid vacation to a ‘spa’, where you can engage in group, anger, and art therapies – without the luxury of shoelaces.
Complete surprises are often what cause our downfall. To give you a heads-up, here’s some of the things they (and who are they? I don’t know. But they’re out there) don’t tell you:
- Morning sickness doesn’t notice when it’s noon, and you may have it past the 12-week mark.
- Even if you’re extremely laid-back, you will meet a parent with a child that causes you to look at your own in comparison and worry that s/he isn’t _______.
- You will yell at your children far more often than you ever thought you would, and this will make you feel terribly guilty. And then, you’ll do it again.
- You were a much better parent before you had kids, and most of that was because you didn’t know that kids just act out sometimes, despite the parents’ efforts.
- If you’re a single parent, never rely on child support, even if your ex has never missed a payment.
- Not having an adequate emergency fund will kick you in the junk when you don’t need it, most. Read: you will need a new water heater at the same time as your washer dies.
- Tantrums will get worse if you give into them and/or pay them attention.
- Some kids just don’t sleep. Like, ever.
- Despite their seemingly advanced intelligence, sometimes you just can’t logically reason with a preschooler past the “Because I want to” point.
- After giving birth, your concept of a flat stomach may change.
- After giving birth, your concept of pain may change.
- After giving birth, you will know what it is to be tired. I don’t care if you’re used to working 80 hours a week, while in school and training for a marathon. New motherhood is the epitome of zombie-haze.
- There will never seem enough hours in the day, fruits and vegetables in their diets, or money in the bank, and you will always lose a sock at some point in the laundering process, but a sticky kiss from baby can make everything seem at least 80% better.