5 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Momma

I don’t think it’s a big secret that once you become a mother, you will learn a few things on the job. There’s an insane amount of parenting books out there, but I don’t feel any book can prepare you for everything relating to motherhood. So here are 5 things I’ve learned on the job. Maybe you can relate?

You will survive if you don’t get to shower more than twice a week. 
I haven’t showered daily in years. And I’m ok with that. I’ve experienced days where I wasn’t exactly sure when my last shower took place. But I’m ok with that too. It’s not good for your skin or hair (especially if you have dry skin & hair like me) to shower daily anyhow. You think baby-wipes are only for babies? I don’t even have babies in diapers and I still make sure we have wipes on hand, especially when I’m not exactly sure when I showered last. 
Staying out past midnight isn’t as fun [or vital] as it used to be.
My 20-something party-going self would be shocked & ashamed that I can barely make it past 11pm, but it is a true-story. You have kids, they get up early. Sleeping in? What’s that? Oh yes, anything past 7am! On the extremely rare occasion that I am awake & partying past midnight, I pay for it so hard the next day. Ok, ok, so the next 2 days. I still enjoy a good party, but I seem to have a better time if I go out a little early so I can be in bed by midnight. Lame? Maybe. But, again, I’m ok with that. Take the picture on the right, for example. MI Beer-fests take place during the day. Because most of us are parents and turn into spewing dragons if we stay out too late.  

It Takes a Village.
Yeah yeah, it’s an old phrase from way back in the good old 90s, when Clinton was president, but it is a fact. You can’t do it all and remain sane. Sorry, but it’s impossible, and martyrs are annoying. #thereisaidit Children need more than their parents to succeed in life. We all need a little help now & then. Whether that’s from a grandparent, aunt, neighbor, friend… people generally want to help, especially when it comes to those first sleepless months of parenthood. Let them!! Even though my children aren’t babies, I’ve learned that if my neighbor offers to take the girls for a couple hours, I should not pass GO or collect $200, but jet them over immediately. I’m a better Momma after a break.
Don’t let the bastards bring you down.
Everyone from your own mother to strangers will tell you 
what you should be doing, 
what you shouldn’t be doing, 
what you’re doing wrong, 
what you aren’t doing at all, 
how your child will be completely screwed up if you do or don’t do this or that or another thing. 
You know what? There are so many ways to raise your child… because *spoiler alert* they are YOUR children! You created them! You know your children better than anyone! And guess what? We’re all unique! Trust your instincts and ignore the judgmental, one-upping ass-holes who may not have the best intentions. Took me awhile to learn this one, but once I started blowing off the unsolicited advice, I’ve been a much happier Momma. 
Maybe some of you may think the last 2 topics are contradicting… so let me clear that up: 
YES, you should ask for help from people you love & trust. 
NO, you shouldn’t take unsolicited advice from Judgy-McJudgerson. 
The importance of Date-Night.
Remember that person you’re doing this whole parenting thing with? Remember what it was like to just sit at a dinner table without having someone else to feed, wipe or barder with to eat? Remember how you created your child(ren)? 
The first year of parenthood was rough on the hubs & I. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing; we were trying to do it all without help, on our own… and our marriage nearly crumbled. Then… we went to Tucson for 5 days… without our 14 month old. We left her with Nana, and it was the best thing we could’ve done. After fighting the urge to sleep the vacation away (Natalie wasn’t yet sleeping through the night) we had a blast!! We felt FREE! We felt like there was an us again. When we came home, Natalie was sleeping through the night, and we started a mission to find a sitter so we could have relaxing, guilt-free nights like that more often. We now have a standing once/month date-night that coincides with our once/month Saturday choir at church. Our marriage has never been stronger. 
One thing I tell friends wondering if they can actually afford to leave their children for a date-night — whether it’s a financial thing or something else entirely — kids are temporary residents in our home. If we only focus on the kids for the 18ish years they are living with us, we’re going to turn to the person we married in 18 years and wonder… who the hell are you? Your relationship matters and your kids need to know this too. Learning that Mom & Dad have a life together will help them to understand the importance of building solid relationships. Date-night is good for everyone.  Invest in the relationship with your partner.
I’ve learned so much more than just these 5 things over my last 7.5 years of motherhood, of course. The importance of hugs, the depth of sibling love, the importance of a bed-time snuggle, lots of ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey things like that. But the above 5 came to me first… #letsbehonest 

What have you learned since becoming a parent? 
Comment below! 
I hope all of my fellow Mommas out there enjoy a beautiful & relaxing Mother’s Day on Sunday. 
You deserve it! Cheers to all of you!
Are you a blogger? Link up with Alissa at the Clever Compass for her Friday 5!  
Clever Compass' Friday 5

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8 Comments

  1. Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, so true! I love three and four the best, but all of them are spot on.

    Great pics too.

    Thanks for linking up.

    • Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks… yes, 3 & 4 are HUGE. I realize there is an entire book on #3 written by someone named Hillary, but… definitely had to learn those on my own. I scoffed at needing “A Village” for the first year or two of parenthood.

  2. Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Cheers to not letting the bastards bring you down! (That’s my favorite).

    • Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Valerie!! Yes! I think that may be my favorite of the lot as well. It was probably one of the toughest things for me, since I was raised by someone who *always* worried about what people thought… but when that message finally clicked… wow. What a relief.

  3. Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Timeless! Thanks for sharing some things we should all remember with a good dose of humor tossed in.

  4. Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I have learned that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere!

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    Kelli Williams

    Kelli Williams

    Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...

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