This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

I Wish Someone Had Told Me…

I was putting pictures in a photo album over the weekend when I started thinking about all of the things I have discovered since having Austin. I thought I would put together a list of some things I wish someone had told me before I had kids.

1. Labor is hard.

My idea of what labor was going to be like was drastically different from what I actually experienced.

I had previously watched Colleen and Sarah go through the beginning stages of labor, and it looked like a breeze! Colleen’s epidural was so strong, you could’ve cut off her legs and she wouldn’t have known, and Sarah… well, Sarah had Pandora going and was singing and dancing at 10 cm. So, naturally, I thought my labor would be just as easy and I wouldn’t feel a thing.

I was sorely mistaken.

I discovered that, sometimes, epidurals don’t work and, sometimes, even two epidurals don’t work. Needless to say, my labor consisted of two epidurals, me feeling everything, the nurse trying to teach me breathing techniques for a natural labor at 8 cm and Kyle awkwardly kicking out my whole family because, let’s be honest, things were just uncomfortable.

So, my first point would be, labor is different for everyone and I shouldn’t have waved people off when they said “labor is hard.” Understand that this is the most physically challenging thing your body will ever experience. Austin

2. Do not put cold water in your squirt bottle.

If you have had kids, then you understand the squirt bottle and have probably made this mistake just as I did. If you do not have kids, don’t put cold water in the squirt bottle, EVER.

3. Be prepared to wear your maternity jeans for a few months postpartum.

I had no idea that I would still look pregnant after giving birth. I honestly thought, like some sort of magical vacuum, my stomach would shrink and reshape itself and I would look just like I did pre-pregnancy.

That was not true for me and, honestly, it still isn’t.

For the first couple of weeks, I would put on my normal jeans and feel discouraged and fat, and then I would go back to the comfort of my maternity jeans, feeling defeated. Try to understand that your body has just been through a crazy, life-altering, body-changing event and your jeans will fit again. Don’t rush it!

4. Som3141etimes babies cry just to cry.

Right after I had Austin, a friend of mine was over when Austin was screaming. She said to me, “OK, well babies cry because they are hungry, tired, they need a diaper change or they are sick.” I agreed and entertained all of the above until I realized, nope, he just wants to scream.

Sometimes babies scream just to scream and while yes, I’m sure they do need something, good luck figuring it out.

5. Your relationship with your husband will change.

Not in a bad way, in a really cool, new, interesting way. Watching your husband become a father makes you look at him differently. He is no longer just your husband, he is the father of your child/children and that is, hands-down, the most important role he will play. Watching him play with your new baby will make you appreciate him and be so happy that he will be there as a role model to your new child.

6. Being a mom changes the way you look and feel about EVERYTHING.

I used to love reading the news at work. I would always bring the stories up around my family, and Colleen would always say, “If it is about a kid, I don’t want to hear it.”

I never understood that until now.

I can’t read the news anymore because any story involving a child makes me feel like crying. I read a story the other day about someone’s brakes going out in their car, and I made Kyle give me a 30-minute tutorial on what to do if my brakes go out and Austin is with me. I can turn just about any story into a terrifying event that involves Austin. My mom recently told me that she still feels that way, although I doubt as strongly since we’re adults now, but she said, “Welcome to motherhood. You will worry until you die.”

Awesome. IMG_1768

7. If your baby wants to sleep on their stomach, they will figure out how to sleep on their stomach.

I was terrified of SIDS and Austin sleeping on his belly, so, at 3 months, when Austin decided he was a belly sleeper, I panicked. I told the pediatrician, who told me to go in and roll him back to his back, which I did a few times… until I talked to some friends and family who had kids. They all said the same thing: “My kids slept on their stomachs, with blankets and a bumper, and they are fine.”

So, I relaxed a bit. I didn’t give him a blanket or a bumper, but I let him sleep how he, apparently, wanted to sleep: on his stomach, facedown. And so I stopped rolling him over and let the poor kid sleep in peace. And now, at 8 months, Austin sleeps through the night, every night, on his belly.

Let me point out that Austin still only has one tiny blanket in his crib and a mesh bumper because I am a bit of a worrier.

8. Your dog will become a second-class citizen.

I know you love your dog – I certainly love mine – but believe me, as soon as you have a baby, the dog is no longer your No. 1 priority. You find yourself wondering whether he’s outside or in because you honestly can’t remember. You yell if he comes within a foot of one of the baby’s toys. And walking the dog is suddenly way down on your list of things to do. In fact, you consider it a good day if he gets fed.

9. Do not assume that your baby is ever finished pooping or peeing and let them go without a diaper for a little while.

I learned this one the hard way, several times. You will get pooped on, and it will shock you at how little it bothers you.

10. Don’t wish time away.

Back at the beginning, when Austin wasn’t sleeping, people would remind me to cherish this time. I remember thinking, “Sure, I’ll cherish this time once he starts sleeping.”

But now my little guy is 8 months old, and I can’t believe how fast it is going. So, take it all in from the first, few, crazy months of no sleep to your baby becoming a little person.

It goes incredibly fast.

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