I know that I just recently got my Mom card, so I realize that I still have A LOT to learn. But I have learned a few things in my 8 months...
1. At some point, you WILL get poop on you. People joke about this occasionally, but all jokes aside, it happens. And it is GROSS. I've gotten poop under my fingernails like twice now. That is twice too many times if you ask me! There are times (like this morning's lovely diaper) when you get to wake up to a diaper filled with squishy, nasty, interesting colored (she had blueberries last night) poop. And it will be everywhere. Sometimes, a diaper cant even contain the mess. And you'll inevitably get poop on you. Dont fight it. It is going to happen.
2. While we're on the subject of poop, you will most definitely sniff your child's butt to check for poop... way more than you ever thought you would. And yes, it is gross. And no, you cant stop yourself. It becomes habit. A nasty, disgusting, habit. Gag.
3. You will do things you swore you'd never do. Its no secret that Ticky-boo is a terrible sleeper. She used to sleep. I swear it... although, its coming to the point, that I am questioning that memory... its been so long since she actually slept, were those couple of weeks of blissful sleep all a dream? Anyway... Ticky-boo is 8 months old and while I expected to not sleep very much the first few months, I kind of expected to be at least getting sleep that somewhat resembled a full night. However, between the hours of 8 pm-8am our house is a battlefield. Ticky wages war against sleep and there are many, many nights, when her camp wins out. Last night was one of those nights. She slept on her own (after screaming for an hour) in her pack and play until 1:30am. Then she woke up crying. I laid her back down and got her back to sleep. I laid down and closed my eyes and she got back up, crying. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Until I finally gave up and pulled her in bed with me. Again. For like the 30th night in a row. I never wanted to co-sleep. Never. I never minded the thought of sleeping with a baby in the same room, but the same bed? No. Until my baby refused to sleep unless she's attached to me. I gave in and did the thing I swore I'd never do. We are a co-sleeping duo as of now. And I hate to break it to the tiny human that loves to snuggle with me, but it is a habit that Mommy WILL break. And it will be broken well before Daddy comes home.
4. There will be times when you feel like an awful parent. In accordance with revelation #3, I didn't get any sleep last night. Even when Ticky-boo was in bed next to me, she was restless. All. Night. Long. So when she decided to get up at 6:45, I was beyond exhausted. I think I was cross eyed and I stumbled down the stairs and made her a bottle. She sucked it down and then I put her in her pack and play with some toys and I turned the TV on and went back to sleep. Yep. I feel like an awful parent. I know she was safe and she was right next to me, so if she had cried or needed me, I was right there, but still.... I feel like an awful parent.
5. Sometimes you have to do things for yourself. Tying in with #4, regardless of my feeling like a shitty parent for letting Ticky-boo play in her pack and play while I got an extra half hour of sleep, I had to do it. Even though I didn't really sleep or sleep that long, it was extra rest and time to wake up and I felt sooo much better once I got up. Its obviously not something I plan to do on a regular basis, but I know now that I have to make time for myself... I have to do things for myself to be a better parent. My new goal is to try and get the baby to bed on her own earlier at night so I can have a couple of hours to myself to read or watch trashy tv shows or to take a bath or a shower or do whatever it is that I feel like I need to do for myself. Because, I know in the long run, it will help me to be more patient and therefore, making me a better mom to Ticky-boo.
I know I'm not done with my list. There are so many things people dont tell you about being a parent. But I think its because you have to learn those things on your own. No book or blog or doctor or wise grandmother can really and truly prepare you for parenthood. Its different for everyone and even though we might all have the same experiences, they're going to be different to us. Things that are significant to me might be unimportant to my best friend and vice versa. But that's part of the journey... and it is filled with experiences and lessons to be learned and its a wild ride.