Before I was a parent, there were so many things I didn’t know or didn’t really understand. The big things were easy to spot – complete and total lack of sleep, absolutely no self-time, how much coffee would be vital to my existence…
It’s the little things that have surprised me though. Those things I didn’t even think about before I was a parent that now can make or break a day or night.
Before You Were A Mom, You Never Thought About:
1. Creaky floor boards
While these were annoying before I was a parent, or even creepy, now they are landmines at bedtime. You will know exactly where all the creaky floor boards are in your house, especially if one is in your child’s room. It’s a necessity to figure out the best routes in and out of the room so you don’t set one off and wake that kid up minutes after you finally got them to sleep. Or you could try escaping this way…
2. Getting out of the house
Before I was a parent, I knew exactly how much time it would take me to get ready. I knew I could shower, wash and dry my hair and get out of the house with about an hour of leeway time. Now, I have to add 30 minutes to 1 hour of buffer time to any trip out into the world with the kids. They make running to the store much more complicated. If you actually have to make them presentable you better leave at least two hours of prep time for all of you and manage who needs what when. You don’t want to dress someone who then wants a snack which will end up all over their clothing.
I knew this was the issue with kids but I grossly underestimated this. Throughout teething babies constantly have drippy, runny noses. When they are sick they have drippy, runny noses. If they have allergies they have drippy, runny noses. In all those cases, you end up with snot on you. It’s on your clothing, your skin and even in your hair. It’s thick, it’s yellow or green most of the time and it’s constant. Even if you teach them how to wipe their noses, like I have with my 18-month-old, I still get snot all over me when he snuggles in and nuzzles my shoulder or neck. And I can’t turn him away because he’s cute. It’s like his super power.
Similar to snot, I had no idea how often I would be the one to get thrown up on. I can tell you I NEVER thought about this before I was a parent. The idea of spit up was as far as my brain could take the scenario and that is NOT the same as throw up. My daughter got the stomach flu around 7 months old. About a year later she got it again. My son throws up anytime he starts coughing really bad. He also had the stomach flu twice this year. He threw up on me 11 times one night this fall. ELEVEN times. There is no preparing yourself for this. Just make sure you have plenty of alternate clothing if your kids become ill.
Before you were a mom …
As an adult, I would snack when I was hungry. I would stop somewhere and pick up a coffee (Yes, coffee is a snack) or just wait until my next meal. You can’t do this with kids. You need to pack some kind of snack – goldfish, fruit, pouches, fruit snacks, cut veggies and more. If you are out without snacks and the kids want a snack, you’re in trouble. Just try to find something out there that’s not fired or hope another mom takes pity on you and shares.
You think these things are simple before you have kids, but they’re not. They all have a lot of parts nowadays and the parts have parts. You need special bottle brushes to clean these things so that you don’t get food particles all over the bottles and then you need special, smaller brushes to clean their parts.
7. Putting on a pair of shoes
I swear it can take my pre-school daughter 15 minutes to put on one pair of shoes. Her shoes are Velcro. It shouldn’t be that hard, but it is. I have to ask her about five times before I usually end up doing it for her. We also MUST make sure the seam of her sock is in the appropriate place before putting her shoes on. The world will end if this isn’t right.
7. Car seat rules
Before kids you assume they can wear their coats in the car seats. You have no idea that’s not recommended. You don’t know there is a spot that’s considered the optimal spot for the car seat buckle to sit. You also never think about how long they need to be rear facing. Now if that chest clip is not in place or someone tries to put them in forward facing car seat with a coat on you freak out.
8. Family photos or any photo
Prior to being a parent your biggest photo concern was probably whether or not your spouse was smiling weird or a hair was out of place. Today you still worry about that stuff but now you have to just get everyone looking at the camera first. My son looks at the camera like a deer caught in headlights and my daughter will give me the forced, pre-schooler smile about 75 percent of the time. You know the one. It’s the smile where they look like they are growling at the camera and have widened their eyes as far as they can in an effort to look happy. It doesn’t matter if this is a group selfie, me photographing them with my camera or an actual photo session with a photographer. Pictures have become a chore. I need to take about 40 to get one with everyone facing forward and giving me something that resembles a smile. Luckily, natural looking photos are still a big trend because they don’t require everyone to look at the camera. I’m convinced some frustrated, photographer mom started this trend.
10. Night time necessities
My son loves to snuggle blankets. He doesn’t want it on him, he just wants it to snuggle. He also has a hangover from breastfeeding and loves skin to skin. He still has to stick his hand down my shirt to really be able to relax. If I’m not there he will accept my husband as a second choice, but I literally have to be out of the house to have this happen. If I’m there he will just scream at the top of his lungs until my husband hands him over. My daughter wants a blanket on her to fall asleep but needs it off of her the second she falls asleep otherwise she wakes up from being too hot. Not having a blanket, the right cup for your milk or the proper parent’s chest can totally throw off our night.
11. Foodie quirks
Did you ever think it would be so vital to have a sandwich cut appropriately? My daughter is crazy about having her sandwiches cut in squares. If it’s wrong she will tell you it is wrong. If one of them gets a cup with a straw and the other doesn’t there will be shrieking and possibly tears. If a pink plate is available my daughter will need the pink plate and my son always insists on a utensil. In all fairness, I think he has some sensory issues because he doesn’t like anything on his hands, but whoever even knew about food sensory issues before kids? Right?
What are the little things that surprised you about being a parent?
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haha – so funny about all these random things that are now major priorities. The shoes alone is hilarious! 15 minutes. Velcro. haha!
It is so true. And you have to experience it to understand it.
Ah, the throw up! I am not a mom yet but have nannied and yep there is no preparation for all that! Thanks for sharing! Great for new moms!
Ugh, the food quirks. I wrote so many posts about my picky eater I could faint. My daughter will eat nearly anything, though.
It’s funny the things that you take for granted before you have to do it for a little one.
Hahahaha amen to all of these! I have my fair share of unbelievable moments in this motherhood journey too. My son is 10 and he still have his food quirks that could drive me bananas lol.
For me, it was totally the throw-up. I’ve never done well with it, and even after all of these years, I still don’t do well with it.
This is pretty funny. I’m not a mom, and as I scrolled through your points, I definitely found myself saying, “Yep, I don’t think about that! or that! or that…” lol
OMG creaky floor boards for sure! Our house is old and super creaky and it drives me batty, if my husband has to wake up early then EVERYONE else is up early just from him walking around ;( and SNOT is sooooo gross!
Hahaha this post has made me laugh so much – My son looks at the camera like a deer caught in headlights 🙂 That’s just the best! Bless him! I’m not a mom and can totally agree here – I’ve had no idea about any of these! xx
Hahaha… this post was AWESOME and so true. I wouldn’t think of these if I weren’t a mom. Thanks for sharing.
Ugh, yes, the throw up is the worst. I’ve caught throw up in my cupped hands before but I can’t imagine 11 times. Poor thing!
Your post cracked me up! I knew those things but certainly became more aware of it when I became a Mom because I had to deal with it (LOL!).
I’m pleased to be coming out the other side of this as my kids are getting older…but the teenage years bring another whole lot of issues you didn’t know you’d have to deal with!
Oh so true!!! I needed this laugh! I love my babies…and coffee 🙂
I am not a parent but I have young cousins and nieces and nephews. Kids are so funny and particular. I’m so happy that as the Aunt I don’t have to deal with the snot and the throw up but I’m sure some day I will with my future kids.
It’s funny because I remember when my son was a newborn, I never realized how much his door creaked LOL
These are all so true! Photo taking used to be effortless and getting everyone clean and together is a nightmare! I love the video with the mum sneaky out the nursery haha!
This is great. I’m not a parent so this really helpful, almost like a warning haha. I had no idea about the snot one.
The car seat rule was definitely a huge one for me. All the rules and regulations still baffle me sometimes but I now understand more even more.
This is the truth. There are so many things that we take for granted now that we are parents. Great post!
This list is spot on! I never realized the floors in our house were so darn squeaky until I had to sneak out of the kids’ rooms.
I didn’t think of a lot of these either before I became a mom. The foodies and picky eating, especially!
I’m not a parent, but this got me thinking how often we take for granted things or situation until they change. The photo session is hilarious!
I can’t really related to this because I’m not a mum myself. However, these all sound like things my mum says to me haha
Everything is so true, especially taking 15 minutes to put on a pair of shoes. It shouldn’t be that hard for a 4 and almost 11 year old to put on a pair of shoes. LOL. – HilLesha
This is all so true! You’re definitely going to learn a lot about yourself and about life once you have a family of your own. I couldn’t agree more with all the statements!
OMG, I am right there with you! Thankfully some of these have fallen by the wayside now that my son is 12, but you’d be surprised at how many I still have to deal with. And that video…. too funny!!!
The creaky floor boards is so funny and I always knew were those spots were in the floor when my kids were little. You didn’t wanna wake them up!
There are so many things that I never thought about before I was a parent. These are all great examples and oh so true that you never really thought about people’s snot so much before in your life.
I sweat it takes like a full half hour just to get my one child in the car. Two shoes and a jacket sounds sound that hard but when you have an extremely distracted 2 year old, it can be near impossible.
Haha yes to all of these! Especially the one about stopping for snacks. It’s impossible unless you want to lose most of it to a toddler.
I knew I officially became a mom when I woke up covered in newborn poop and spit up. I cleaned up my baby and went back to bed. Didn’t change because i was too tired…
Aww man! o many things I never thought about! The first one that comes to mind is when they throw tantrums over the silliest things. Me: Which toy do you want to play with? David: ….starts crying… I want my teddy bear!!!!
Sneaking out of the room! OMG yes!! That was so me! I remember seeing that hilarious video on facebook recently and just about died laughing because I swear it was me! Just all the thoughts running through your head when you’re trying to escape! O_O haha! These are funny and I loved reading them!