Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life. I mean that from the bottom of my heart; however, despite how fabulous and fantastic the life of today’s parents seems on social media – you know there’s at least one parent you are friends with on Facebook who constantly posts pictures of her flawless kids and her perfectly coiffed hair – the truth is, parenting isn’t as glamorous as many make it seem. In fact, it can be downright dirty, gross, and just plain not fun.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade any of those not-so-awesome – and sometimes hair-raising – times for anything in the world; however, if you are expecting your first child, or you are trying thinking about having kids in the future, I think it would behoove you to know about some of the ugly truths. I wouldn’t want you to be blind-sided…
So, here’s some of the ugly truths that no parent wants to admit, but that pretty much all of us deal with at some point.
17 Your Appearance Declines
Not that all parents look terrible, it’s just that you don’t have the time to get put into your hygiene and primping efforts anymore.
Trying to take a shower with children can be damn near impossible; forget about trying to put on makeup, do your hair, and find an outfit that actually matches and isn’t stained. Yep, expect your personal appearance to suffer a bit.
16 Things are Going to Be CRAZY!
Not all the time; there will be times when everything goes exactly as planned, and you will relish those times. However, there are going to be lots of times when things are going to be absolutely crazy!
In our house, dinner time is always insane. Every time I try to cook, my kids feel the need to surround me like a bunch of hungry sharks. They ask me a million questions, stand on cabinets, pull every toy they own out and scatter them throughout the house, and fight… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! This happens pretty much every night. And no matter what I do to try and avoid it, it always seems to happen. I’ve just kind of accepted this craziness.
15 Things Will Get Gross!
Yep, you are going to experience gross on a whole new level. There are going to be blow-out diapers; you are going to be peed on and puked on; your kids are going to spit food on you – heck, you’ll probably find dried up food in your hair while you’re out at the grocery store.
Grossness just comes with the job: You’ll learn to deal with it.
14 Your Friendships Will Change
Before I had kids, I remember saying that my friendships weren’t going to change at all. They would remain just as tight-knit, and that we would still hang out just as much. Ha! – Boy, was I wrong.
I am definitely still friends with many of the people I was friends with prior to having kids; however, we definitely don’t see each other as much. And our relationships have changed. Some friends have drifted away, and I’ve also made some pretty kick-ass new friends, too!
13 Your Marriage Will Change, Too
One of the biggest relationships changes you will experience will be your marriage. You’re going to have differences of opinions; you’ll be overtired and stressed out; you’ll have more responsibilities to juggle; you’ll argue more – but, there are some definite good changes that will happen to your marriage. You’ll have a newfound appreciation and respect for one another, and you’ll become each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
12 You’re Going to Feel Guilty
Today, there are more demands than ever on parents. Whether both parents have to work, or you’re a single mom or dad, you’re going to have a lot to juggle. With everything that you have to deal with, you are definitely going to feel guilty.
When the guilt sets in, just remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, and snuggle with your kids – you’ll feel a whole lot better.
11 You’re Going to Get Unsolicited Advice
Whether you’re checking your Facebook page, or you’re in line at the grocery store, you’re going to get unsolicited advice. People have this need to share their insights about parenting, like they know how to do it better than you, or they know your kids better than you.
Unsolicited parenting advice drives me insane; however, I have learned to take it with a grain of salt. You really have to do the same. Just shrug your shoulders, walk away, and keep on keeping on.
10 You’re Going to Get Frustrated
Yep, frustration is definitely an emotion that you are going to feel a lot of. When the kids are asking you for a billion things, and you have a million things to take care of, or you’re just so overly tired that you want to scream, frustrations are going to mount.
Instead of blowing up, take a deep breath, count to 10, and if you have to, walk away.
9 You Just Might Cry…
Nope, make that, you WILL cry.
When the frustrations mount; when you’re so overwhelmed; when you just don’t know if you’re doing it right; when you’re kids reach a milestone – and especially when you realize that your kids are growing up – you’re going cry. I have cried more since becoming a mom than I ever have in my life!
8 There Are So Many Schedules!
Not only is your schedule hectic, but so is your kids! Mommy & Me classes, appointments with the pediatrician, school, homework, extracurricular activities; there’s a lot of scheduling on our kids’ plates. Sometimes, it can be difficult to juggle all of those schedules!
7 You’re Going to be Judged
Yep, this is one of my least favorite things about parenting – the judging.
As a mom, I judge myself, and I do it a lot; however, I also have to contend with the judgment of others. What others say when I tell them that my 2-year-old isn’t speaking in full sentences or because he isn’t potty trained; what they say because my 5-year-old is a very picky eater… There’s a lot of judgment going on, and sometimes, it gets overwhelming.
Just take my advice; don’t let that judgment get to you. People are going to say what they will, and you know what? – Your kids are going to be just fine.
6 Your Needs Come Last
You need to sleep? You have to take a shower? You just want some time alone to watch your favorite TV show? Nope. Not going to happen; that is, unless everyone else’s needs are tended to first.
Your kids come first, and that’s that. There is no way around it. They depend on you, and it is your job to make sure that they have everything that the need.
5 You’ll Probably Deal with Financial Woes
Kids are expensive. Child care, clothing, food, diapering, and everything else that they need; yeah, it gets expensive.
Don’t be surprised if you find that you have difficulty with your finances, at one point or another. You might need to pass on that summer vacation or wait another year to buy a second car or a new pair of heels you've been eyeing. Just be sure to stick to a budget and discuss your finances with your partner. Money talk can cause a lot of arguments between couples, so it's important to keep the conversation open and honest when it comes to the finances.
4 You’ll Lock Yourself in the Bathroom
I am definitely guilty of this.
When there is just too much going on and I need a break for five minutes, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom. I tell my husband that I have to go, but I’m really looking at my phone, or just taking a breather. And you know what? – I’m not ashamed of that. We all need a break sometimes, and as a work-at-home mom, sometimes, five minutes in the bathroom is all I can get – and I’m going to take it!
3 You May Become a Yeller
I have never been a yeller in my life. For me, it’s just not an effective form of communication. Before I had kids, I swore that I was never going to be a parent that yells. Boy, was I wrong!
I’m not saying that I yell at my kids all the time, but sometimes, when I get so frustrated and nobody is listening to me, I snap and raise my voice at my kids. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it definitely happens.
2 You’ll Second Guess Yourself
I know a lot of parents like to pretend that they have it all together; that they always know what they are doing and that they are always in control. Well, take it from me: They’re lying.
There isn’t a parent out there who doesn’t second guess her- or himself. You can’t help but wonder if you’re making the best choices for your kids; if that time you yelled will seriously impact your child forever; if you should have said yes instead of no. Second guessing yourself is just part of the parenting gig. When you do doubt yourself, just take a look at your kids for reassurance. Are they happy, kind, fed, bathed, and dressed? If so, then you are doing pretty alright.
1 You Aren’t Always Going to Be Happy
Of course, there are going to be so, so many times when you will be happy; however, it’s impossible for anyone to be happy all of the time – and that certainly includes parents.
There may be times when you wish you could take a break, when you’re upset because your kids are driving you nuts, when you cry because you and your spouse are arguing over some parenting-related thing you disagree on…
When you do feel unhappy, just take comfort in knowing that this too, shall pass, and you’ll feel overjoyed and that smile will return to your face once more.