Top Ten Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Became a Parent

10.  The kitchen floor will never be clean for more than five minutes. And that’s pushing it.

9. Leaving your house will never be simple again. The equation:

  • The Time it Used to Take You to Leave the House –   5 minutes
  • Add 30 minutes for children under 2 –                          30 minutes
  • Add 20 minutes for children who are potty trained-  20 minutes
  • Add this together                                                           = 55 minutes

This is how long it will take you just to pack everything you could possibly need for 2-3 hours away from home.

  • Now double that time.  = 1 hour and 50 minutes

This is how long it will take you to pack AND leave the house.  Because the 13 month old’s diaper leaked and needed a new outfit, the 3.5 year old got hungry and then refused to go potty before leaving, then the 13 month old’s shoes are missing because she found them and ran off to eat them in an undisclosed location, the car keys weren’t hanging on The Key, and now you’ve taken too long and have to feed the 13 month old or she’ll scream for the entire car ride.  Oh, and look at your shirt. You are now bathed in drool and spit up.  Better change clothes.  If you managed to to do laundry.

8.  Laundry gets much much MUCH worse. What used to be simple, is now a never ending chore of seeming epic proportions.  Every top worn in the presence of a child will have some sort of stain on it that if you do not scrub will be ruined.  Clothes will disappear and wander off, only to be found months later hiding under the couch because your daughter loves to throw clothes. Sand will accumulate in your son’s pockets until he has enough to make his own sandbox, but it will hide until you put the clothes into the washer.

7.  Being exhausted isn’t just for the Newborn Phase: there is also the Teething Phase, Sickness Phases, Learning to get up to go Pee in the Dark Phase, and eventually the Has to be at School at 7:45 AM Phase.

6.  Dishes will accumulate in the sink (even if this is your biggest pet peeve) because the acute hearing of your 13 month old will make her run into the kitchen every time she hears the dishwasher door open. This is so she can climb onto the door or grab a knife from it to stab whatever thing/person is handy.  Most likely herself.

5.  Your brain will switch from Intelligent to Mommy/Daddy Brain. The combination of sleep deprivation and constant interruptions will render your long term memory useless.  You start writing a blog in hopes that you will remember something from your children’s childhoods.

4.  Forget about eating food while it is hot, unless it came from a crock pot. Your children will always be ravenous when it is time for you to eat and will instantly lack the skills to feed themselves.  Learn to order food that tastes okay cold.  Like salad.  Or pizza.

3.  Buy a crock pot.

2.  If someone offers you help, TAKE IT. Even if you have somehow turned into Bree Vandekamp/Hodge from Desperate Housewives and your house/yard/laundry are all in perfect order, still accept the offer.  Take a nap.  If you are miraculously rested, Hulu some TV shows you haven’t had time to watch from six months ago because they aren’t fit for children and the kids do not nap at the same time.

1.  Go on a Baby Moon. Or even better, a pre-Baby Moon before you get nauseous and can’t sleep at night.  Take a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go that is not kid friendly.  Enjoy it, because it will most likely be 10 years before you get a chance to do this again.

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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7 Responses to Top Ten Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Became a Parent

  1. nannymcp22 says:

    hahahaha how about make sure you can multi task before having kids?? like doing the laundry while cooking dinner and doing homework with the children while making sure the others dont hurt themselves or others?? i only have one child but im a nanny and i look after 6 kids–make that 7 in january. i can totally relate to all of you mentioned. its comforting to know im not alone! 😀

    • Kelly K says:

      Yeah, that whole “making sure they don’t hurt themselves or others” can be quite the challenge. I only have two, but as the 3.5 year old likes to tackle, bump, lay on top of, or throw toys at his 13 month old sister, it feels more like I’m raising a Clone Army – all with the intent of exacting revenge on Lil Diva. And of course her favorite hangout is on top of the kid’s picnic table where she loves to stomp her foot in jubilation – all over the tiled floor.

      I’m considering buying stock in crash helmets.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. marinasleeps says:

    This was the best thing ever written. Seriously with little kids it will always ake a hour to leave home. Cause you gotta prepare for the worst. Cause one day you will be carrying the baby at the grocery store and he/she will pee allllll ovvverrr you!

  3. Kelly K says:

    The one time you are not prepared, you will pay for it. Dearly.

    Thus preparation for every possible occurrence.

    And sometimes that isn’t enough, because your husband will take the Bag That Holds Everything, use it, forget to tell you he used up all of something (like spare change of clothes, wipes, diapers) and you are not aware it needs restocking…. until it is too late.

  4. mc6pack says:

    Great list. Getting ready to leave the house to go somewhere with the crew is a pretty good way to make my blood pressure spike.

    Take care, Kelly.

  5. Pingback: From the Internets: Advice for New Moms | The Family Good

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