I’m new to this mom game. Growing up babysitting in my small town, I thought I would have a general idea of how to raise a baby. And, yes, I can feed, change a diaper, and get my little one to sleep. However, there are some things that I don’t think I could ever be prepared for without experiencing it firsthand.
1. Clean clothes are a thing of the past.
Laundry was already my least favorite chore. I’m great at the washing part. I can even remember to put the clothes in the dryer (most of the time). But let’s just settle on the fact that folding is not a thing in our house. Outfits are dug out of laundry basket and thrown in the dryer for some “ironing.”
But babies are a mess. Between drool, boogers, food, and diaper leaks, it is not unusual to go through two or three outfits in a day. My child also does this really neat thing now where she uses our shoulders as her napkin/handkerchief/chew toy/whatever. That means multiple changes for us as well.
Basically, it is a vicious cycle. I’ve come to terms with the little laundry mountains around our house. I will never be finished with laundry unless we stop wearing clothes altogether. So, for the sake of the general population, I will never be finished with laundry.
2. Buying toys is a waste of money.
You name it…we have it. Blocks. Dolls. Toys that light up. Toys to sort. Toys to chew on. I had to buy some extra bins just to store everything. But it was all a waste. Why? Because my kid currently loves only three things…my wallet, an unopened package of Belvita crackers, and a crinkly dog toy that looks like an avocado.
3. Baby wipes are universal…and magic.
We received an absurd amount of baby wipes as gifts. At first, my thought was, “What are we going to do with all these wipes?!?” Now? I never want to run out! Aside from using them for the obvious reasons, they are also great makeup removers and napkins. They can get the white part of tennis shoes cleaner. They are also instant stain removers which is great out in public…especially when being used as a napkin by your child.
4. Sometimes you have to smile and nod.
When I am at the store with my daughter, I am often asked, “How old is HE?” Then I look at my little girl in her bow, hot pink pacifier clip, and clothes covered in butterflies or something equally “girly.” I just smile and say, “Ten months.” Sometimes I get comments on how my ten-month-old is “too small.” I even had a woman inquire if her doctor is aware of her size. I just smile and say, “She’s healthy. Just petite and powerful.” When people comment about our baby’s tan, I smile, inwardly roll my eyes, and say, “Yes, she does have beautiful brown skin, doesn’t she?”
5. Perfection is a myth.
I will never be the perfect mom. Ever. I have whacked my little girl’s head on the car door. She has been found sucking the dog’s ear. The diaper bag has been forgotten at home after a miscommunication. We’ve melted down in several parking lots, figured out creative feeding solutions during solo shopping trips, and had to squeeze a stroller into a bathroom stall. Perfection is something I will never have, and I am completely okay with that. But I am learning and adjusting and moving forward.
Because we are on this little journey together and gathering knowledge along the way.