What I wish I'd known ... (round III)

02 July 2015

... just a couple more posts-o-wisdom and then you're stuck with boring old Grace again. Not unlike when you had a cool, fun substitute and then your regular teacher came back to class. The worst. 

But, in the mean time! ENJOY .... 

Blythe from The Fike Life

 I wish I'd known that it was all going to be fine. Even at the start of this last pregnancy (number 6), I found myself so anxious for how life could ever possibly continue beyond the birth of this baby. I can barely handle going to the grocery store now, how am I supposed to do it with another baby? I can't possibly take them all to the doctors or to a dentist appointment. How will we survive!?! My workload felt maxed out. Another baby seemed impossible. 

And then he came. And as I'm laying here with this 8 day old on my chest, I'm realizing that the answer isn't "it will be easy" or "it will be perfect"- because it isn't. It isn't easy and it's not perfect. The answer is "it will be fine" and the reason why it will be fine is simply because you just won't care about all those things anymore. I have no idea how we are supposed to "do" life when my husband goes back to work on Monday. But I know that I don't care. I imagine never, ever being able to shop again with all the kids and I just don't care. Can't get all the laundry done? I don't care. Eating from the freezer aisle for the next 6 years? I don't care!! Suddenly everything else feels so silly. All my worries, all that fretting. I have this baby now and he's so much bigger and better than anything I might miss out on because he's here.

Nell from Whole Parenting Family

I wish I had known before I had my first baby five years ago that it is not all about me.

You see, I was a studious first-time mom. I read all about my birth and my recovery and my nursing and on and on. I was preparing for the addition to my life! My husband and I felt didactic about our birth plan, our nursing goals, our nursery decor (which was actually just themed "nursery" with lots of hand-me-down furnishings). The baby won't sleep right away, people said. You'll have to get into your regularly scheduled date nights, people said. You'll get the hang of it and be back to normal, they said.

Three kids later, life has foisted upon me the learned-through-experiential knowledge that having kids is not about me and what I expected or planned for. It's about them. It's about waking up when they scream unrelentingly, feeding them how and what they'll willingly digest, and coping with their extreme learning curve regarding the meaning of the word "no." There is no getting back to normal. Normal high-tailed it five years ago, ne'er to be heard from again. Embrace the new norm, carve out escape routes periodically with a babysitter while you slug chocolate, preferably hot in a coffee shop, and let go of any idea that this life is about you anymore. You are entangled with them. And that's okay.

Sheena from Bean in Love:

I wish I'd known before I had kids that they are so incredibly awesome!  Hilarious, cute, and so special to me that I would lay down my life for each and every one of them.
But also…
That coming in contact with the bodily fluids of another person (or 3) really isn’t that big of a deal.  It’s how fast you can clean it up before the releaser or someone else spreads it around that really matters.  Damage control takes on a whole new meaning. 
That, those bodily fluids?  They’re not name-brand discriminatory in where they choose to fall.  Thrifted or high-style, it’s all fair game.  Save the expensive stuff for retirement. 
That the truth doesn’t hurt quite as much when it comes from a toddler, it’s just more embarrassing than anything.  “Mommy, that lady looks scary!!”…as said, normal-looking lady passes by within arms reach.  I don’t even know this kid.  Sosososo sorry.
That rest is for the weary.  Wait, no, it’s rest is for those without kids.  At least I think that’s how it goes.  You’ll have to excuse me.  I’m running on five seconds of sleeee…zzz
That, instead of dancing it up in da club during those raging college days, I should’ve spent all that extra time researching and inventing extra arms because Lord knows those would come in handy every moment of everymotherhoodday.  That and bi-location.

That the Nose Frida is uh-mazing!  If I’d have known about the contraption prior to kids, I’d have made Anthony (my babies daddy) use it on me because it does snot suck.  Ditch the bulb syringes for one and I promise, you’ll love it forever…and I also promise it’s not as gross as it looks…or maybe desperation has blinded me but either way, it sucks.  Literally.
That even the ugliest article of clothing is cute in miniature.  And I might be biased but, it’s even cuter than that when there are two of the same.

That that thing we call l-o-v-e is deep.  I knew it was a big thing but I didn’t know it was a BIG thing.  If you think you’ve reached the fathomable depths of your pool of love when you met your better half, think again.  Your mini-me’s will demolish those depths.  I didn’t know the truth in this until I laid eyes on my slimy newborn; fresh from the womb.  And then I knew it even more so after the tortuous pain of the first breastfeeding sesh, when I realized I still loved them.    
Oh, and that being photogenic really has nothing to do with how perfectly your mouth curves up at the ends, how many whitestrips you’ve used, or how marvelous your hair always looks.  It’s all about how many kids you have.  The more kids, the less photogenic. 

But they’re worth it.  Really and truly.
.           .           .
Many thanks to Grace for letting me pitch my tent over here today!  I know I’m not alone in being all excited and up in her social media business, dying to see more stills of her FIVE! amazing kids and hearing about their rip-roaring adventures.  :)

Indiana Adams from Mom Jeans and Dad Jokes

Hi, Camp Patton lovers! I'm Indiana Adams. Yes, the same Indiana Adams who once had a baby in the toilet. Gee whiz, that was one time, and it hasn't happened since, okay? 

Whew. Glad that's out of the way at the top! 

Grace, in her infinite wisdom (or foggy pre-pregnancy brain-- who knows!) asked me to tell y'all some thing that I wish I had known before I was a mom. So here are three big ones:
You may renege on a lot of your "I would nevers". 
Things I said I would never do once I became a mom:
A. Wear yoga pants in public on days that I'm not exercising. 
B. Give my child a pacifier. 
C. Drive a mini-van. 

Please note: I do A and B every dang day, and the only reason why I don't do C is because my mini-van envy has not yet reached critical mass (meaning my current car is paid off and as much as I want a minivan, I don't want to budget the monthly payments for one). I'm about to break, though!

Had I known that I'd be backtracking on some of my "I would nevers", maybe I would have just kept my smug pre-kid mouth shut while my mom friends were giving each other knowing looks. 

We're all just winging it, really. 
I read a lot of books on how to get through pregnancy, birth, nursing, and toddlerhood, and I read an insane amount of websites and follow an absurd amount of mommy bloggers. I'm raising three children, but day by day, despite how "prepared" I am, nothing prepares me for motherhood's moment to moment adventures. For instance: if you've found that your four year old has made scrambled eggs by himself before anyone was awake, do you high five him or give him a negative consequence? What do you do if your armpit starts lactating? Do you let your two year old daughter wear a winter hat to the store when it's 80 degrees outside? 

Every mother is different. 
May I suggest making friends with as many different moms who are different than you as you can? I couldn't be more different than one of my dearest friends Sully (who I met thanks to Camp Patton! Holla!), but we're learning a lot from each other and I love it. I've learned that mothers (and women, in general) can't be pigeonholed or stereotyped and we should certainly stop that thing we do where we compare ourselves to other mothers, denouncing their choices or not feeling up to par with theirs. No one's life is as pristine as it looks on Instagram on their blog. My yogurt stained yoga pants have a totally different story to tell than your yogurt stained yoga pants. I'd love to know how your pants got so stained, and I'd love to tell you how mine got so mucked up, too. I think the analogy is breaking down here a little bit, but I think you get what I'm saying. 

Rachael from Erstwhile Dear:

I wish I would have known that my partner had plenty of time to prove himself as a new parent. It didn't matter how he responded to my baby registry list (overwhelmed), or how walking around Babies R Us made him feel (panic attack overwhelmed). That had as much to do with his identity as a parent of a human being as my glucose test results...i.e. nothing. Confidence as a parent grows like a wall of ivy. Glance over one day and it's rooted in everything.

Chaunie from Tiny Blue Line:

I wish someone would have told me to chill the heck out. I set out on the motherhood path with these super high standards in my head—my kids will never watch TV during the day, we need to do something crafty every week, kids need to play outside every day, I need to buy organic all the time, schedules are good for everyone, blah, blah, blah. And for the most part, those things are good.

But on the day that I took my first daughter to kindergarten and came home, I walked into my kitchen, looked at my remaining little ones at home and promptly burst into tears. Because it suddenly hit me how none of it really mattered. Seriously. I had stressed myself out so much trying to do everything "right" that I felt like I lost out on a lot of opportunities to just enjoy my kids. They honestly won't remember the perfect craft or somehow turn out better if you never skip naptime. Those first years they really don't need a lot of fanciness and if you asked my 7-year-old about all of those elaborate imaginary games I forced myself to play with her or the failed crafts we attempted, she would just give you a blank stare.

It hit me that day that she was gone from me how backwards I had it. I was so focused on doing everything "the right way" that I really wasn't enjoying my kids. So starting then, I changed my tune, brewed another pot of coffee, pulled out some blankets, and snuggled with my kids on the couch while we watched a movie without a single trace of guilt in my soul. And for the first time? Finally felt like I was doing something right.

Kilee from One Little Momma

Three Things I Wish I Knew Before Motherhood

1. The art of not washing my hair every day. 
Oh, how I wish I had given this theory a shot earlier in life. Only in the last six months have I stopped washing my hair every day and let me tell you, it is SUCH a game changer. I had long hair until after I had my first baby and boy, did I love clean hair. I cut my hair into a bob three years ago and even with short hair, I hated not washing my hair. But I also hated the time it took every day to wash and dry and often straighten my hair. So many hours of my life wasted! By not washing my hair everyday now, I not only like how my hair styles better, but I get an extra 30 minutes back in my life on most days. And as a mom of three- 30 minutes is gold!

2. Your third child will be your easiest and your hardest. 
I think a lot of people will tell you this, but I didn't know why until I had my third. Transitioning to three kids was a big adjustment- a hard one. Three is just a lot of little people to keep track of and keep moving and keep alive. But once you get slightly adjusted to the fact that there are three, life is great! Baby number three is when you get to start to use all of that knowledge you have accumulated from the first two. For the lifespan of the first two kids, you've been working your way through parenting school. You've figured out feeding and sleeping and napping and not to say there won't be differences, but baby number three is when I felt like I had earned my parenting degree and could finally put it to use. You've been exposed to it all and the needs of a newborn or a three month old or a 10 month old don't phase you. And of course there is continuing education- you are always learning as a parent. But I'm glad we didn't stop at two. I'm glad we went for three (and now four) because parenting is extra awesome on the days when you feel like you've got the hang of it. 

3. Motherhood will make you a better version of yourself. 
Before I had Easton, our first child, I was accepted to Master's degree program at the University of Washington for dietetics. I wasn't planning on getting pregnant and it definitely altered my plans. I decided to forgo the program because I had planned on being a stay at home mom and couldn't see a baby and a 3+ year program working well together. I felt really lost and struggled for months with what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I kind of felt like my life was over- which sounds terrible- but I couldn't see my old plans working out with my current situation. And thank goodness they didn't. 

It took time but when Easton was about four or five months old I decided I wanted to start an Etsy shop. I poured hours into learning new skills like photography and selling products online. I felt my confidence and my capabilities grow as I was not only learning how to take care of this baby, my husband and our house- but also to manage my time so that I could fit in extra hobbies. That Etsy business ended up growing into my blog and now into my husband and I being self-employed full time by our jewelry business. Looking back, I can't believe the changes that have happened in just six years. People always ask how I do it all with three kids and I always say it's because I have three kids. I am more driven, more productive, more organized and happier as a mom of three kids than I would be if it were just me. I can't imagine having all of my time to myself- I would waste so much! I mean it’s not like I don't daydream about it sometimes, but...
Being a mom has pushed me in every way to be a better version of myself. It definitely wasn't the end of my life when I got pregnant- but very much the beginning. 


  1. I remember how excited I was when my kids learned to blow their noses. It's the little things :)

  2. I SO needed exactly what Blyte wrote!! Thank you so much!!

  3. I loved all of them, but Chaunie's struck a chord! thanks!

  4. As someone who doesn't have kids yet (but cant wait to have them) I really, really enjoy reading these! And I keep finding new blogs to follow ;)

  5. I have five kids of my own and I could have written Blythe or Chaunie's posts... you know, if I actually wrote. ;-)



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