Becoming a parent changes things…a lot of things. I changes you physically (fortunately bigger boobs somewhat balanced out the stretch marks and sudden need for a tummy tuck in my case) and it changes you mentally and emotionally. Your perspective on just about every part of your life becomes different. No longer are you just concerned about #1 (yourself), you find yourself in situations you never dreamed you’d be in, making decisions you would previously have never considered, and things spew out of your mouth that you didn’t even know a situation could call for saying. Parenthood, put simply, is freaking craziness so I thought I’d share some of the life lessons I’ve learned from my own children…I have a feeling many of you can relate and for those of you who don’t yet have kids, consider yourself warned.
Patience – I have learned that I really don’t have any, but I think I have more than I used too – really it depends on the day — if I ends in “Y” I probably am not going to be very patient that day. I think a lot of people think that becoming a parent means you are automatically granted the gift of patience…not true, you just have to learn to be better at #3 on the list so that you don’t drive yourself and your family completely bonkers all of the time. (Sometimes bonkers is totally acceptable and pretty much expected.)
Priorities – Things I used to think were important were not life altering after all. I don’t care if my eye shadow matches my outfit anymore as long as I don’t have hand or paw prints on my pants by the time I get out the door to work…hell, if I’m wearing eye shadow you better believe there’s an important meeting or something that day and I can almost guarantee it will be a shade from and Urban Decay Naked Palette – that stuff matches everything. Not saying I don’t like looking put together and even pretty, but at the end of the day, if I don’t get to spend an hour in front of the mirror before I leave the house, the world will not end like I used to think it would.
Choices – Some Battles Are Not Worth Fighting. You really have to pick your battles as a parent, some of them just aren’t worth it; or at least not at that particular moment. If it’s not a life lesson, a moral or ethical wrong, an action that will harm your child or others, or illegal, it may be better for everyone to just let it go sometimes; otherwise you will be bickering with someone all the time over trivial crap and that’s a stressful way to live. Sometimes you just have to let it go.
Materialism – No matter how careful you think you are, chocolate and red juice ALWAYS find their way to the carpet. Just by a good shampooer, a couple rugs, and be ready for it when it happens. If you can afford wood or laminate floors, even better – problem solved. A dog or two never hurt either for quick food pick-ups. While you’re better off not to get it until the kids are in high school, just think how exciting that new carpet will be when you finally do get it installed!! Totally worth it right?
Public Speaking – Two year olds have no filter. Remember this when you’re in public and be careful about your conversation and the questions you ask your child. At some point or another, the entire restaurant will know that either you or the child has to poop or has pooped. Just own it and move on.
Compromise – Cupcakes and Doritos are an acceptable breakfast food combination on occasion. Really it depends on your level of patience on that particular day. (See #3 but be prepared for #4)
Scientific Theory – If there is a source of water (tub, toilet, puddle), your child will find it. Usually this happens seconds before they are to get in the car for an important event or on the school bus. Having extra shoes and socks on standby is never a bad idea…sometimes wet feet and pants is just how one gets to spend the day. Hopefully it’s not their brand new tennis shoes that met the newly formed mud puddle from last night’s rain, but chances are it will be. There’s some crazy magnetism between new shoes and mud. Remembering to flush ALWAYS is imperative (I know you’re thinking “isn’t that just a given?”, but for those of you with men and boys in the house, you know that no, unfortunately it’s not.) Personally I believe my toddler’s binky has probably been washed in the toilet more times than I care to know.
Irony – Never say never. You know all of those things your parents used to say and do that you swore you’d never ever do or your kids would never hear coming out of your mouth? Wrong!! I turn in to my mother more and my grandmother more and more every single day. And as much as I hate to admit they may have been right, it’s true. Until you have kids you can’t appreciate the situation that your parents or other parents were in and understand why sometimes they act or sound like crazy fools. After years of thinking my parents were bat shit crazy, I’ve come to realize that crazy is really a coping mechanism and all parents are a little bit crazy (I mean hell, if we weren’t we probably would have these wonderful little minions to begin with right?)
That’s all the wisdom I’ve got today, but with a tween and a toddler, I’m sure I’ve left something out or I’ll learn something new tomorrow or the next day. It seems that just when you think there’s nothing else they can possibly do that will surprise you or that you haven’t planned for, they find something that throws you for a loop. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes funny, but no matter what, the main thing I’ve learned from my kids, is that I didn’t know what love was until they came along.
What’s the craziest things the kids in your life have ever done? What lesson has that taught you? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!