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What No One Told Me About Motherhood

There will be long, endless nights that you won’t get a nap to recover from.  Feeding your baby in the middle of the night while your husband is fast asleep, apparently not hearing things from his side of the bed. Oh well, his nipples are useless anyway and the baby won’t take a bottle from him either. Resentment builds. Your hair and clothes will go unwashed for longer than you would like, and don’t even peek around the house, at all the messes there.  

The baby just had a blowout and now that it’s clean, there’s spit up coming from their mouth. Around here, it seems that the washing machine and dishwasher are always going. Not just from the kids, who knew that a husband could go through so much laundry and so many dishes? Didn’t they learn to at least clear and rinse their plate or fold laundry after it’s dry? How do the kids’ little sippy cups grow mold in the straws so quickly? How do toys accumulate so quickly for you to trip on and have to clean up after they are finally asleep while the husband plays video games?  Will the counters ever all be clean at once?  How will I get rid of that smell in the car?  The smell of those stray fries and fruit snacks you find underneath a seat on a hot day.  Will I learn to stop yelling when things go wrong? Will my kids be traumatized because I don’t?

No one told me how many different kinds of sunscreens there are.  Baby soaps, lotions, swaddling blankets. What if I do it wrong? What if I choose a type of diaper rash ointment that my baby is allergic to or gives them cancer? How many diapers will I go through? How many clothes do they need and how fast will they grow out of them? Will I ever economically recover from this? How do you teach someone so many important things, when you can’t teach them not to throw plates full of food you prepared all over the ground? Simply because the plate color they asked for wasn’t right by the time you got to the table with it or they didn’t like that the nuggets weren’t shaped like dinos. Will they ever learn to share more than snotty noses and sickness? Will there ever be a day when my house will be clean, when I will have enough help?  When appointments for them don’t fill my calendar?

There will be, and I think that’s what will break my heart the most.  I won’t hear little voices anymore asking me “why” things work the way they do and I won’t have all the answers. I will pray for even a five minute phone call to hear a little more from my child who once just couldn’t stop talking.  They will be moved out of the house at this time and I will no longer be the most important person in their world. The car will be downgraded in size, no longer to find precious pictures that never made it into the house from school.  I’ll have no kids waking me up at night, but this is what will keep me up at night. Worrying, wondering if I did enough. I hope that even though no one told me these things, that I will do enough.

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