On September 20, I met two little kids who were in a foster home down the street from a friend. Playing with babies is a favorite pastime of mine, so I offered to be a respite home for them.
As circumstances changed, the way they often do, the respite home became a transition home which turned into a permanent home on December 22nd.
So one month into this motherhood thing, here are some things I’ve learned so far:
1. You never need as much sleep as you think you do.
2. Single parenting is HARD. Even with an army of amazing friends to love and support us, night terrors at 2:00 am just suck when there’s no back up.
3. Childhood diseases are called “childhood” because that’s where they should stay. Adults with childhood diseases are pitiful and generally worthless.
4. Bathing can easily become a luxury if you let it. Don’t let it. Take a shower, even if it’s at 3:00am when the night terrors have stopped. You’ll sleep better if you’re clean. Trust me.
5. There are an endless number of chores and other activities that you only thought required two hands. Cooking? Cleaning? Carrying things from the car? You can totally do all of those things while also carrying a sick/sleeping/crying toddler.
6. Parenting reveals your self-centered spots and your idols faster than just about any other relationship.
7. The carpet doesn’t need to be vacuumed nearly as often as you previously thought.
8. An adult, two toddlers, and a mastiff can all fit in a half bath.
9. People like posts about cute kids a lot more than they do ones about cultural crises or theological truths.
10. I can parent well, or I can career woman well, but I haven’t figured out how to do both well.
11. Kids extend inordinate amounts of grace to struggling parents, even when parents aren’t as quick to do the same.
12. Playing in the snow just isn’t worth it. Find someone else’s cute snow pics and photoshop your kids’ faces into those snowsuits.
13. Pregnancy brain is just parenting brain. I didn’t birth these kids, but I lost my mind when they moved in.
14. I’m in awe of parents who teach. To care for dozens of other people’s children all day while also keeping up with the needs of your own is a daunting task.
15. Sometimes it’s ok to cry through lunch.
16. Kids really are sponges, so if you don’t want your kid doing or saying it at a most inopportune time, you better not do it at all.
17. Next time you’re really mad at your kid, try singing “You Are My Sunshine” to her while putting her to bed. Really. Don’t be convicted.
18. Alone time is more precious than gold, which is another good reason to shower at 3:00am.
19. Sometimes it’s just a matter of survival and that’s ok.
20. Apartment complexes charge pet fees and tell you it’s for replacing the carpet because it would be inappropriate to charge child fees.
21. The best piece of teaching advice I ever received also applies to parenting: at the end of the day, you’re older, you’re smarter, and you win. If you think you’ve lost, walk away and try again later.
22. When someone offers help, just say “Thank you” and take it. No one is impressed with (or fooled by) your attempt to be Wonder Woman.
23. Kids may appreciate works like The Chronicles of Narnia and Where the Sidewalk Ends, but you can’t truly appreciate them until you’re grown.
24. Even when you’re a mom, some days you just need your mom.
What are some things you learned as a new parent?