Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I Wish I Knew

Someone asked me the other day if there was anything I wish I knew before I had Caden. After telling her that I could write a book on that subject...and if you compiled all my blog posts, I already have. But, I narrowed it down to a few things.

THE CLEANING:::. Dear God, the cleaning!! I had NO idea how much time and energy I would spend cleaning up after just one child. And we’re not just talking about when I changed diapers and the ongoing picking up of toys. Oh, no. The day might bring a spilled bottle of maple syrup or a blender explosion in the kitchen, a sippy-cup malfunction in the family room, a picture knocked off the wall with broken glass everywhere, and ant-infestation on the front porch due to a melted Popsicle, and a bathtub tsunami. Not to mention the laundry. Spit-up stained sleepers have turned into food and grass-stained clothes, occasional peed-on sheets, and spit up filled bibs and diaper rags due to my little ones I watch.

It doesn't seem like that long ago when I lived in a 1-bedroom apartment and used the same plate and fork at each meal. I vacuumed and cleaned the bathroom maybe once every week or 2. (Did I even own a vacuum?) I did one load of laundry a week. And if I put something away, it stayed there. Wow....that was so nice.... *sigh*

Now, if I didn’t do the daily maintenance I usually do, walking in our house you would think we’d been robbed. Or, as a friend put it “My husband recently said our house is to the point where we should burn it, collect the insurance money, and start over!”

THE 24/7, 365 DAYS RESPONSIBILITY:: OK, so maybe intellectually we knew this was the deal. But did you really think through exactly what this meant? That you’d be restricted to drive-thrus, unless you want to lug the baby carrier or a sleeping child in a carseat in and out of the car just to grab your Starbucks or your drycleaning?

That unless you’re lucky enough to live near family you will have to pay someone to watch your child EVERY SINGLE TIME you want to go out with your spouse, go to a yoga class, repaint the bedroom, and possibly even just clean your house without someone wanting your EVERY second of attention?

That you don’t get sick days, holidays, vacation time, or personal days? Yes, even when you're on vacation, there is nothing relaxful about that when you have a little one!! hehehehe That you may never again sleep in on weekends? (At least till your kids are teenagers.) I’m telling you people, it takes some getting used to. :)

THE UNPARALLELED JOY::: . I’ve always loved kids. Always wanted one. And yet I still hadn’t the faintest clue what it was going to be like to have my own, brand-new person that was half me and half my husband. How I would feel when he reached for MY finger and would only be soothed by ME. How my heart would soar when he slept peacefully, ate well, burped, gained weight, had poopy diapers even! Every day he has brought me more joy and now I cannot remember what my purpose in life was before he came along. He is all I ever hoped for and more, and I cannot imagine a life without him in it. He brings me soooo much joy.

Moms love to trade horror stories and vent about the hard work and frustrations that go along with raising kids. It can be hard! So before you have them you might wonder, “Why put yourself through that?” and “Is it worth it?” The answer is yes. YES!! YESSSSSSS!!!!! A thousand, billion, trillion, bazillion times YES. Why?

A billion, trillion, bazillion different reasons. Because babies and kids have senses of humor. More than many adults I know. And because they unconditionally love you, with the sloppy kisses and sticky hugs to prove it. And because they’re so very entertaining. And because of moments when they walk in the room dressed like this..

If that's not enough to convince you, I don't know what is. But I don't really wish I knew all this before. Because you really have to experience it for yourself.