I have only been a parent for a little over nine years, but kids have a fantastic way of making you learn things in a short amount of time. Obviously there are the basic things like: how to hold and feed a baby, how to change a boy’s diaper without getting peed on (no peepee teepee’s required) etc. But there is so much beyond the basics that I was completely unprepared for.
We are just coming out of a rather difficult time with one of our sons, health wise. As I don’t want to completely embarrass him, I will just say that we have spent a lot of time in the bathroom in the last two months, and (what feels like an eternity!) watching him be in pain every single night. A couple of doctor visits, one trip to the ER, and a follow up appointment and we are finally heading in the right direction with the end in sight…no pun intended. However, it was while traveling to and from, as well as surviving, the most recent doctor visit, that this list started taking shape. It is in no particular order, and not even remotely close to complete, but it’s a start. I would love to hear anything you would add as well!!
The thing about kids:
- They will make you a better person. (Whether you want to be or not!) Any flaws, hang-ups, insecurities? They will just keep running headlong into those until you deal with them one way or the other. There’s nothing like realizing you have an anger problem when your two year old is doing an Oscar worthy impression of you complete with bulging eyes. Mercy.
- They will continue your education with all of their questions. Since our oldest learned to talk, I think I have done more research on more subjects than I ever did in school just to keep up with their questions. Thank goodness for the invention of Google. Although overusing that particular tool will result in your children having the mistaken belief that Google knows everything, including why there is a traffic jam on your little country road.
- They will make you tired. Very, very tired. You think you’re tired when they are babies who don’t sleep through the night…and then they turn three (or four, five, six…) and you understand a whole new level of tired. The kind of tired when you can hardly function after they go to bed because you have no mental capacity left. See literally every number in this list for a valid reason why.
- They will make you do things you don’t want to do. But you’ll do them anyways. After our exhausting doctor visit, sitting in the bathroom at ten o’clock at night together, my son on his kindle and me reading my book, was not my ideal way to end a long day, but he needed me. So there I sat, perched on the edge of the bathtub, sipping my decaf coffee and all, waiting with him for as long as he needed me to.
- They will give you reasons to laugh often. Do it. Whether it’s making up their own song about the human anatomy (or rather specific parts of it) or writing you passive aggressive notes and leaving them for you to trip over, kids do funny stuff. Sometimes this is their redemption, and what keeps you from going completely insane.
- They will break you. Not every day, or even every week, but at some point, you will find yourself sitting in your car/room/bathroom/dark corner wanting to cry because you Just. Can’t. Handle. It. And it’s ok. Even more ok? Is telling them how you feel. Letting them see you break, and letting them know why. Our doctor appointment the other day was at 4:50, just before dinner time. I knew it was ill advised, but we needed to get in there, so I sucked it up and prepared myself. Or so I thought. It was a longer than usual wait time, and by the time we got into the actual exam room the boys were bouncing off the walls. The twins were doing jumping jacks and push ups, I kid you not. They had exhausted every ounce of their patience and listening abilities, which resulted in the doctor actually stepping in and helping me discipline them as he was trying to give me instructions for our problem. I appreciated his kindness, but was humiliated at it’s necessity. When we got to the car, I started to cry, and when they asked, I told them exactly why. I was overwhelmed, embarrassed and so beyond tired, both mentally and physically. Bless their little hearts they tried their best to make me feel better the whole drive home. Which leads us to number 7…
- They will surprise you with how much they love you. There is nothing quite like getting a handwritten note from your baby telling you why they love you. It’s precious. They love to love you. They think about you. Maybe not always in the ways you wish they would (you’re welcome for that super healthy meal you barely touched!) but they think about you. They know my favorite color is blue and get excited when they see something I might like in that color. They know what parts of movies are my favorites, and always call my attention to it when it comes up. They tell me I’m the best mom ever. Their love is infinite and often undeserved.
- They will inspire you. I am not an adventurous person by nature, but I have spent an exorbitant amount of time lately looking at travel trailers, and travel routes, dreaming of someday taking them on a road trip. All of the self reflection and personal growth that has brought me to this point of writing a blog is because of them. They have inspired me to want to be a better version of myself, and also to enjoy life as easily as they do.
- They will confound the heck out of you. You will never, no matter how many kids you have, be able to anticipate all of the crazy things a kid is capable of coming up with. Just about the time you think you have prepared for all possibilities, they will come up with something so bizarre that you aren’t sure if you should be concerned or proud that your tiny human has such mental capabilities. But ultimately, you will be proud that they are yours, weirdness and all. Because that’s another thing about kids; they make you love them like you’ve never loved anything else in your life.