I had this vision in my mind of what my life would be like. Single. No kids. Law degree. Then I met a guy, I dated that guy for a short period of time, married that guy after only being together for 6 months, and nine years later we have three kids together + my step son.
When I started hanging around my husband and my step son (my step son was 2 at the time) I think my mind started thinking about how amazing life would be adding some extensions of ourselves to the mix. HA! <3
Well, fast forward two years and I gave birth to my first daughter. Now, when I met my step son he was two, we only had him 50/50, and you and I both know that two year old challenges are very different than newborn challenges.
There are so many things I know now that I wish I knew then, but that's life! So, here are some things that surprised me most about being a mom...
1) You care. A lot. Every little thing touches you. Having a child of my own changed my entire personality. I wouldn't say I was necessarily a hard person, but I wasn't nearly as sensitive before I got pregnant and gave birth to my daughter. I mean, I cried when she cried...massive change! She changed my whole life.
2) My goals changed. Instead of pursuing a law degree, I really wanted to find ways to be with my baby as much as possible. The thought of separating myself from her that much was a nightmare. This was hard on me and my husband. I had gone from being incredibly driven and wanting to become a lawyer to all the of the sudden being satisfied with being a support for my husband and taking care of my daughter full time. We had a lot of arguments. The phrase "you're not the person I married." was thrown around a lot. And it's true, I wasn't. I wasn't a mother when he married me and believe it or not, that changes a woman in a way that can't be explained. My whole life purpose changed. I never would have guessed that I would make this change. It was a inner battle for me. I like to make money, I like to go. Staying home with my daughter changed my ability to do both of those things I had to choose at the time which I wanted more. I chose to stay home. <3 Ironically, now my husband and I both work from home TOGETHER. We pushed through a lot of really hard obstacles to get to this point in our marriage, but it was worth it. It's amazing how you grow together. <3
3) Feeding...how much time it takes to feed children. Newborn and up, I'm pretty sure a very large portion of my day is spent in the kitchen or nursing my child. Lots of time spent feeding. I had no idea how tied down just feeding my kids would make me feel, but remind yourself that it's just a phase!
4) The mess. I had no idea how messy my house would become. I have learned to not pressure myself to keep the entire house tidy, but I do set up rules about the main areas that are visible if visitors come. I also keep a basket handy for carrying toys, shoes, etc., to different rooms. That has helped tremendously!
5) The lack of sleep and ability to still function. I have never had so little sleep and yet I function. I like to call this grace and coffee. <3 When you're a mom and you know something needs to get done, YOU GET IT DONE. Especially if this is for your child. Motherhood gave me a different type of drive.
6) Clothes...the amount of kid clothing that we go through. WOW.
7) The quiet actually freaks me out more than the noise. If my child is quiet, it doesn't always mean something horrifying is happening, but there is always that possibility...haha!
8) I could honestly keep going because I think my kids probably surprise me daily, but I'll save the best for last. The LOVE. <3 The love my children give to me. It's extraordinary. I have never felt such love and purpose. While holding my babies it's like I am exactly where I need to be every time. <3 And I'm pretty sure that's the fuel that keeps the mama moving. <3
These are all pretty common "surprises." And there are plenty of books out there that are written to help "prepare you", but I found that those books didn't prepare me for the practical, day-to-day life of a mom. I am so thankful for bloggers, mom authors, and friends that have shared and encouraged me on this journey. <3 I have so much growing to do, but I am learning that showing up and loving my family is the best place to start. The surprises happen daily, but my ability to handle them is strengthening!
Here's to surprises and the growth we gain from them! <3