So I’ve only been a mother for less than three months, but I’ve already come across some pretty funny and surprising things about being a parent.
1. Poop is a big deal. Everyone warned me that a new fascinating topic of conversation would be our baby’s bodily functions, and they weren’t lying. I never thought I would keep track of someone’s bowel movements so closely, right down to consistency and color.
2. Public restrooms are now scrutinized heavily. I’ve never been a fan of using public bathrooms, but who is? Now that I have to bring my small infant into them and find a place to change her, I’m even more picky. So far the mothers rooms at Buybuy Baby and Babies r Us, along with the ladies lounge at Von Maur department store, are at the top of my list for more than acceptable. Failures? Urban Cookhouse where the changing table opens so low, I had to bend over to knee level, which was lovely for my back. And Ruby Tuesday where Penny was lying at an angle and the temperature was so low, we both left with freezing hands.
3. Babbling may be better than real conversation. Every day of maternity leave I’ve looked forward to my husband coming home so I can talk to another adult. And I am excited to have chats with coworkers when I go back to work next week. But nothing beats hearing Penny babble and encouraging her to keep “talking” away by saying “oh yeah? Tell me more!”
4. Messes at home bother me a lot less. I admit that I’m usually a neat freak. I like things to be in their assigned places and I love organizing and tossing out junk mail and expired food from the fridge. But right now there’s laundry to be put away and mail to be sorted and shoes under the coffee table … I could go on and on. None of it matters as long as Penny has clean bottles and clothes, and Jermaine and I are fed and showered. I do use what time I have to try to pick things up, but I’d just rather play with Sweet P or unwind with my hubby. The chores can wait.
5. The camaraderie you feel with other parents is real. I felt this as soon as I got pregnant, but it’s increased since Penny was born — that natural kinship you feel with other moms and dads. I’ll be eternally grateful to my family and friends who have kindly answered 16,000 questions over the past year, and cross my fingers they haven’t found me too annoying! I’ve also already exchanged sympathetic looks with other parents at stores when Penny has been fussy. I appreciate the “we’ve been there, hang in there” look in their eyes more than they know!
6. You can love more deeply than you ever thought possible. There are moments when I look at Penny and Jermaine and I can’t even believe how much I love them. I would honestly do anything I had to to keep them both happy and safe and my number one goal in life now is to take care of them and make them feel loved. While I of course have other things I want to do for me, it’s surprising how easily your life can come into focus. I think this can happen for anyone whether they’re a parent or not or a spouse or not. But for me, my priorities are so clear now, and I just hope I can fulfill that goal for my family!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a few things that have struck me in recent weeks.
If you’re a parent, what things have surprised you?