If you are a mom-to-be chances are you have been immersing yourself in all things baby and childbirth. As it stands, there are plenty of resources out there to learn from, and plenty of people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience.
But, what are some things about motherhood that no one will tell you? How many women actually talk about becoming a mom and its challenges?
So, here is a list of a few things I’ve gathered throughout my motherhood years that no one talks about and that no one could have prepared me for.
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1. You will never use the bathroom alone again
Well, maybe not ever, but for a long while.
Having a toddler sing the ABCs on a bathroom step tool as I use the toilet became the norm around my house for quite a few of the early years of my motherhood journey.
When you take a leap into motherhood private space lines blur quickly.
2. Disappointment is an understatement
It is a mother’s nature to want to perfect her craft. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a good mother?
However, because motherhood is ever-changing we often feel as if we failed in some way.
Not realizing in the process that our wins as mothers shouldn’t be attached to society’s standards but the ones we set as our own.
Dictated by our own individual circumstances and the individual needs of our children.
3. There isn’t a rule book
I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “Babies aren’t born with a manual.” Well, motherhood doesn’t have one either.
No one can truly prepare you for what your motherhood journey will entail.
All we can do is live it, own it, and cherish it. For it is precious in the rawest form.
4. Learn to pick your battles
Our initial mother instinct is to want to tackle every single task that comes our way.
However, you will quickly realize that not all tasks require the same energy, and some tasks we can even learn to pass on.
Tackling everything, perfecting everything, and being in control of everything is a false expectation that can get you into a deep emotional and physical hole.
I didn’t understand much of the “pick your battles” concept until my second child was born.
With so much to do and so little time, I’ve now learned to prioritize and to say “no” to those things that don’t contribute to the bigger picture.
5. Expectations are what you make of them
I have always had a type-A personality. I have put high expectations on myself and ensure to meet those expectations at all costs.
Before I had children, I used to keep an agenda of all my daily/weekly/monthly tasks. Then, I would tackle those things accordingly.
Well, let’s just say things have changed a bit since then.
Although I still have my monthly planner and I still plan on meeting each goal, my expectations have changed.
Learning to be more flexible and less harsh on me has been an ongoing process that no one could have prepared me for.
Go with the flow has been my recent motto.
Learning to perform your daily tasks using your means and adapting to your current circumstances removes unrealistic expectations and reduces stress and disappointments.
6. Taking showers is a privilege
Taking showers used to be one of my most treasured possessions in the early years of motherhood.
Yes, yes… I still took them daily… Barely!
It is incredible all the things we take for granted before we have children.
Daily necessities can sometimes become big, orchestrated tasks in motherhood.
Things as simple as sitting down to have dinner, taking a shower, or using the bathroom.
Having to make time in my day, literally, to take a shower, is something no one ever tells you about becoming a mom. Especially, a mom of multiples.
7. Who needs to eat anyway?
Although this might not be the case for every mom, sitting down to grab a bite can sometimes be challenging.
Throughout the day I find myself catering to every aspect of the house, kids, chores, and computer work, which barely gives me time to grab a proper bite.
It is also not rare to find me eating lunch standing by the kitchen counter as I overlook the kids and finish other tasks while I’m eating.
When my kids we little, most nights went uneventful and I was not required to stand up 3 times throughout my dinner. At some other times, however, we were cleaning up spilled water and settling down a screaming toddler because her brother stole a chicken nugget.
8. “Should” is an elusive word
“Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.”
Questioning yourself about your parenting choices and meeting societal expectations is an ongoing process in motherhood.
Although often inevitable, this mindset can steal our peace of mind.
Living in the moment, embracing your present, and owning your truth is the antidote.
9. The sun had never seemed so beautiful
When my husband and I had our second child, we decided I would become a stay-at-home mom and take care of the kids full-time.
Although an incredible blessing and privilege, the stay-at-home journey hasn’t come without its challenges.
Having worked all my life since the age of 17 (12 of those years as a registered nurse) staying home full-time has been a huge adjustment from a social, professional, and emotional point of view.
Especially in the early baby days, cabin fever was an understatement.
Stepping out of the house and taking a walk by myself seems so much more valuable and meaningful than it ever was.
Enjoying some sunshine, listening to the birds, and feeling the wind in my hair… are all things motherhood has taught me to treasure.
10. Embracing your weird
There are many silly and weird things that have sneaked their way into my personality since I had children.
Maybe those qualities were always there and awakened by those two beautiful souls God put on our path to care for and protect.
No one could have prepared me for the fun, embarrassing, quirky, and silly moments that have enlightened my life with happiness and laughter.
So, embrace your weirdness and show your kids it is okay to be themselves.
Next time you find yourself making a funny face, peeing in from of your children, wiping poop off the crib railing, or singing their favorite Disney movie song at full volume with your kids in your car, remember you are making everlasting memories.
11. You live and you learn
The popular phrase, “You live and you learn” couldn’t be more accurate in describing the motherhood journey.
While there are some things that can prepare you to become a mom, other things you are likely not to learn until you live it.
So, what do you do? You read a few articles, buy a few books, and take some notes from mothers all around you (family and friends).
Oh, the joys of motherhood!
The ups the downs and the everlasting need to make sure that you are doing the best that you can to ensure your children are safe and happy.
Before I had children I thought I had a pretty good idea about what motherhood entailed. After all, I am the oldest of 6 children who also worked with kids throughout high school and college.
In addition, I became a nurse at the age of 21 which allowed me to care for children and learn about them at a professional level.
You would assume that would have given me some sense of motherhood, right?
I knew that there was so much more to motherhood that I did not yet comprehend, but the extent of it caught me by utter surprise.
No motherhood book you read and nothing anyone tells you will be able to ever come remotely close to your own motherhood experience.
12. Mom guilt is a thing
No one really talks about the inevitable “mom guilt” that comes with motherhood and how much we experience it throughout our motherhood journey at different degrees.
No one could’ve ever prepared me as to how “mom guilt” would have made me feel. Oftentimes, even on things that are out of my control.
For what is worth, when you feel any sense of mom guilt, it likely means that you actually care about your children and want the best for them.
13. This too shall pass
“This too shall pass”, “this too shall pass”, this too shall pass.”
No one ever told me before I became a mom, how this little, but powerful 4-letter phrase would become my mantra for so many years when my kids we little.
Oh, how many times a day did I whisper it under my breath? More than I can count.
In the sleepless nights, the sick days, and in the middle of utter exhaustion. That little prayer kept me going.
Looking back now, the saying “Motherhood were the days as long and the years are short”, couldn’t be more true. Everything did pass, the good, be bad, the happy, the sad.
So my advice, embrace it all, as it is, for what it is, for one day, they will all just be memories.
More on motherhood:
- 10 Simple Ways to Prepare for Motherhood (As a First-Time Mom!)
- 5 Best Planners for Moms to Help Us Stay Organized!
- 75 Positive Affirmations for Moms
- Top 10 Qualities of Highly Productive Moms
- 9 Crucial Tips for Surviving the Newborn Stage (New Mom’s Guide)
Motherhood is a precious and ever-changing roller coaster ride full of surprises and adventures.
No one will ever be able to prepare you for your motherhood journey because no one has ever walked it before.
Your motherhood journey is waiting for you. Waiting for you to write your unique story on its empty pages.