10 Things You Never Realized Before Having A Child

Last Monday, I had a moment. I shared my struggles and you listened. Many bloggers, myself included, begin writing as a way to express ourselves. From issues with food to struggling as a parent, it’s therapeutic. After reading all of your comments, I was glad that I publicly vented. Too many people filter out the bad and it’s nice to know we’re in good company so thank you for sharing your own stories.

For another mommy Monday post, I’d like to be a little more light hearted.

Before having children, there are so many things you do not think about and things you think you already know. I’ve tried to whittle down the many things I never realized before having children into a short list of 10. Would love to read your additional ideas in the comments.

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10 Things I Never Realized Before Having A Child

  1. By putting your child to bed later does not mean they will sleep later. Yeah, I too thought that my kid would sleep from 8 pm -8 am. Nope. The opposite sometimes is true however. Put the kid to sleep earlier and they sleep longer, i.e. 6:30 pm instead of 7.
  2. It’s important for me to tell you my child’s age in months. Childless people make fun of you for saying your child’s age in months instead of years but as a parent of a 14 month old, every month counts. If I ask a toddler parent how old their kid is and they say it in years, I’ll follow up with a month question because I want to know when I can expect my child to stop eating dirt and say a few more words.
  3. Sleep is sacred and my plans will always revolve around nap time. I know I used to make fun of people who did this, but I’m now that person. Sorry, I can’t come to your party until my kid wakes up from his nap. I also can’t come to your party until he goes to sleep for the night. Can you plan accordingly? Thanks 🙂
  4. Grandparents are not your best resource even if you think they have the most experience. All grandparents suffer from this sort of parenting amnesia. It’s almost like they just blacked out the years they raised you and have no idea what a child wears to bed anymore. In their defense, they put us to sleep on our bellies with blankets and standards have changed but they aren’t exactly the best people to call for advice which you learn early on. They are fantastic babysitters, just make sure you update them.
  5. I also never realized how many places I would no longer be able to go to because they are not stroller friendly (Charles and Newbury Street kill me). I went MGH so I could get avocado toast at Pressed but once Tommy arrived, I could never go! Luckily the South End location is stroller friendly.
  6. Breakfast at 8am on the weekend is actually quite lovely. It’s quiet and you don’t have to wait which is so very rare in the city. There are no crowds and you can actually relax. Pre-baby Sarah thought this sounded like torture. I love my sleep.
  7. Flying west is going to be hell. We are heading to San Francisco in two weeks and Tommy is going to wake up at 4 am for the day… I’m having panic attacks already. We are going to London in April and that I’m excited about! Tommy can join us for dinner and then we’ll all sleep in. Shit, I already forgot about #1… hopefully this plan works though?
  8. Sesame Street is actually pretty funny. A lot of kids movies like Pixar and Disney are too. There is adult humor hidden in there that the kids don’t obviously get but it’s just entertaining enough that adults don’t mind watching it again and again.
  9. Being a mother with a stroller in the city makes you so much more aware of what is and is not handicap accessible. We really need to do a better job for those with disabilities. In the winter, shovel enough on your sidewalk and into the intersection so that a wheelchair (and stroller) can get through.
  10. You can’t work from home full-time and not have help. Why I thought I could is stupid in hindsight.

Most importantly and this doesn’t deserve to be on this list because it is so much more than a number on a top 10 but I really didn’t realize how being a mom would change me inside. I hate the level of empathy and sympathy I have for everyone who is fighting a hard struggle. From children and parents with cancer to child refugees and the homeless, it’s heart-break after heart-ache every damn day. I wish there was more I could do than send a check here or there. Maybe it was just my newsfeed on Facebook last night but it seems like the world is totally f’ed right now and needs love more than ever.

I also am pretty sure that I have postpartum anxiety. I will write a separate post on that but I didn’t expect to be so afraid of something happening to my baby that I would make myself almost sick. I knew it was possible to love someone so unconditionally that you would throw yourself in front of a bus to save them but to feel it is different. It’s unnerving. It’s raw. That might be weird to call love raw but that’s how it feels and I didn’t realize it would be like this.

Have something to add to my more lighthearted list above? Share it in the comments.

Read this post next… 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Baby 

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