I love my 3 children more than I could have ever imagined in my pre-motherhood life. Before becoming a mom, friends would often tell me about the indescribable, heart bursting open, love that they have for their kids and I would nod my head and smile. OF COURSE, they loved their children! I didn’t doubt that love was real. But sure enough, it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I truly understood the meaning of overwhelming, all-encompassing, unconditional love.
There’s not a thing in the world that my children could do that could ever make me love them one iota less than I do.
I love being a stay-at-home-mom and spending lots of time with my girls. Sure there are hard days, but the happy moments outweigh the rough ones a hundred times over. I wouldn’t trade my time with my kids for the world.
That being said, there are a few things I wish I had really KNOWN before entering parenthood. You can’t go back in time, but sometimes I wish I could briefly turn back the hands of time and really appreciate a few things I took for granted.
Treat Yo Self
I’m not sure if this is a universal sentiment, but after a child emerges from your nether region, suddenly buying things for yourself makes you feel extreme guilt. Why does buying myself new bras that actually fit my ever-changing cup size (thanks a lot, pregnancy/breastfed babies) feel frivolous and spendy? Is it mother nature trying to ensure that I’ve got enough provisions available to properly care for my child?
Sometimes I go into a store with the solid intention of purchasing something for myself and magically find myself at Pottery Barn Kids perusing the adorable children’s furniture and bedding. The instant gratification and joy I used to receive from my own retail therapy is now found in the items I buy for my kids.
I wish pre-motherhood Laura could go back and buy a few more things for herself without feeling guilty for being a bit selfish. Just buy the shoes, Laura! In fact, pre-motherhood Laura wouldn’t have even entertained the idea that taking care of myself feels a bit unnecessary.
Sure, everyone knows that babies don’t sleep. But it wasn’t until I truly experienced extreme sleep deprivation with my second daughter that I realized how much good sleep I used to take for granted pre-baby. For the first 6 weeks of my middle daughter’s life, she didn’t sleep for longer than 20-30 minute stretches at a time. At one particularly low point of exhaustion, I think I googled, “How little sleep can you survive on before you die?”
I like to think back to the times when I used to leisurely wake up around 10 or 11 a.m., grab a bite to eat, and take a couch nap later in the day. I wish I could have stockpiled the naps from my young adult days and then cash them in during parenthood when I really need some extra z’s.
Thankfully, all three of my girls are fairly good sleepers! That doesn’t stop me from frequently wishing I could spend a nice weekend (or 5) sleeping in until I’ve missed the window for hash browns at McDonald’s.
Sounds of Silence
I am legitimately jealous that my husband gets to drive to work in complete silence each morning. (Ok, technically he’s probably making work calls, but he’s got the ‘potential’ to spend 20 minutes driving alone, drinking coffee, and enjoying the blissful sounds of nothing.)
Before our three daughters were born, I often felt an eerie awkwardness when our house was quiet. I would turn on music or the tv on for background noise and “company” when I was alone.
Now? The only time our house is quiet is momentarily around 10:30 p.m. when all three kids and my husband are asleep. The rest of the day (and night)? Someone is always crying, someone is always screaming, and someone is always laughing. There’s a tv or iPad on somewhere. Forget about trying to make a normal phone call or FaceTime to chat with family – that’s when the kids really crank up the volume!
Silence isn’t commonplace around here these days, but I truly do relish the (very, very few) moments of peace. Of course, the chaos is happy chaos and I wouldn’t trade the madness for the alternative. Or maybe I just need to invest in a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones?