I never knew what I was in for, until I became a mom.

How many couples have prepared themselves first before deciding on finally getting pregnant? Reading books, asking their own parents, asking friends who have kids already, doing a ton of research on the subject, and even consulting experts on how to go about it. Well, Mr. D and I are part of the unprepared parents of the world group, you could say we went in blind and toddled clumsily through the whole parenting thing, one looooong day at a time. Before that, we were under the misconception that kids were all candies and lollipops until we had our own. Boy, were we in for a big surprise! Here goes:

Kids are (way too) Honest - Our kids can get into trouble quite easily if we aren't careful. I've lost count of how many times I had to cover Miss Artsy's mouth (she was 4 at the time) when I took her grocery shopping with me. She'd blurt out things like:
  • Hey, Mommy, look at that fat lady! Our whole family can fit in her pants!
  • It stinks here!
  • That Mister looks like a Pokemon!
  • She looks like a witch!
  • That Mister has a booger.
I was exhausted from fleeing the scene of the crime with a cart full of groceries and a toddler to push around. Good thing she never did that while I was paying or there would be no escape then (visibly shudders).

Kids are Messy - I have a constant battle with this one. I find myself forever picking up toys, tripping over some in the process. And not just toys, kids tend to like the everyday things their parents or older siblings use around the house more. Let's just say that suddenly uncovering a wooden spatula under the bed covers at night doesn't surprise me. After three kids, nope, not one bit. I also found out that kids don't like it when the house is clean or organized, I am dead serious. I remember telling Miss Artsy when she was younger to clean up the mess she made in the living room because it was hard to walk around without stepping on any of the toys. She told me that it wasn't a mess, that all her toys were carefully spread out, for playing! Uh huh, I knew I could never win an argument with a 4 year old, so I just let her have her way for 15 minutes then it was off to cleaning for her, with me of course, even if I had to do most of it. Everyday the Little Hulk for no reason, just throws out every single item inside all of the bins and baskets and leaves the toys alone once they're all artfully scattered around the house. I guess, he just loves it when there are toys everywhere, something, I will never fully understand.

Kids Are Dirty - When you have kids of your own, you will realize quickly, like I did, that the dirt they produce cannot be contained. It doesn't matter how often you wipe them down after eating or how often you clean in the wake of the meal. You will find crumbs in your bed, their beds, on their toys, their clothes, on the floor, in the cracks of the couch, crumbs in their diaper, crumbs on you. If I had a dollar for every crumb I had to pick up with my hands, I'd be filthy rich right now.

Other than the crumb invasion, everything in your house, including the little ones will be sticky. When I say everything, I mean everything. Toys, books, clothes, the keyboard, the fridge handle, the toilet flusher thing, the door knobs, and sometimes even you. Ours is mostly from Yakult which is the Little Hulk's favorite daily drink staple and dark chocolate. Discovering a trail of chocolate hand prints on the walls and suddenly finding your slipper getting a bit stuck to the floor is an everyday thing in a household with toddlers that's for sure, haha. 

Kids Are Allergic To Sleep - They don't sleep when you want them to, that is haha. Screw planning out your day down to the last minute, kids don't like following schedules. They are opposed to it even. So the other day our trusty helper went back to the province for a well-deserved vacation, she'll be back next month. Now all the chores are left to me unless Mr. D is home and I had this plan of doing the cleaning and cooking which included feeding our dog and kitten and tending to the garden. My day was supposed to start at 4 in the morning, guess who kept me up the night before until 5am? Both my toddlers did, so I was groggy the whole morning and didn't get to finish even half of what was on my to do list that day, before succumbing to the calls of my bed beside the cute culprits. Now, I'm quite happy just to be able to dish out a healthy meal, take care of each of my kids' basic needs and keep the house a tad tidy inside haha.

Kids Chew On Everything Except Vegetables - I babysat my cousins when I was younger but they never bit me or stuff around the house whenever I was there. My kids however look at us as chew toys when we pick them up, my shoulder can attest to that. Not just when they're teething, just more so when they are. My son chews on all of his toys, the furniture (so does my baby girl), the crib, the high chair, cutlery, plates, on wood, metal, plastic and anything else they get their hands on. You name it, they'll chew on it. Keeping everything clean is the only comfort I have when they do try to chew on everything other than me, I always tell myself, "At least it's clean!"

Kids Are So Needy - They are so very needy. Most especially the newborns, since they can't do anything but be cute, drink milk, move clumsily around, poop, pee and cry. They need to be fed, burped, bathed, changed, picked up, rolled over, rocked to sleep, bounced, swayed, swaddled, sang to and a whole lot more. Parents of newborns can be compared to zombies, especially on the first few months after birth. This neediness doesn't go away too but intensifies as the child gets older if not properly trained by the parents. They can turn into spoiled brats quite easily, so you'd better look out for that and catch it early on. Their timing is also, always impeccable, they never need anything on your free time or when you ask them or offer something you think they'll be asking for in a second or two. No, they'll be needing something specifically from you when you're in the shower, peeing, taking a dump, eating, relaxing or even sleeping haha.
They need to be fed, burped, changed, bathed, rolled over, rolled back, rocked to sleep, picked up, put down, bounced, swaddled, swayed, shushed. Parents with newborns are like zombies for a reason. But we know this. Everyone warns new parents that the first few months will be hell. - See more at: http://www.scarymommy.com/10-things-you-dont-really-know-about-kids-until-you-have-kids/#sthash.Nin5Z5T2.dpuf

Kids Break Stuff - This is inevitable, so I do not advice buying them the expensive stuff or you'll just be throwing away money. It doesn't matter if the toy is expensive, good quality or Made in China, they will find a way to break it in a matter of minutes. But this isn't limited to their stuff. In our case, my phone, Mr. D's phone, their sister's school bag, the dvd player, the dvd remote, the kitchen tongs, the salad spinner, and other things they get their little hands on. They ruin couches with permanent markers, even the curtains and bed sheets were not spared in our house. The latest was my 5-year old HP mini. It wasn't enough that they took out all of the letter keys (typing anything became a challenge, I gave up on that) last month, they had to cut it in half too. Yup, damaged the hinges that were connecting the top part (LCD Monitor) to the body, now I can't even use it as a video player to keep them occupied while I work haha. We'll have to get that fixed one of these days, when we find the time to, that is.

Kids Are Gross - Most people who don't have kids think they understand this, but they don't know the gravity of the situation that we parents have to face on a daily basis. It's easier said than done, parenting, it's hard work. It's a given that kids pee, poop and puke (well, sometimes) but what a lot of single unmarried people fail to consider is the fact that we parents do all the cleaning. And I'm not just talking about diapers, potty training and the occasional tummy bugs, those are nothing. It's when your kid decides to take a dump on the floor, at your relative's place or I've read of some cases, unfortunately, in the mall. Or when your kid decides she can take a bath all by herself, gets the whole bathroom wet up to the walls and ceiling but comes out still filthy. Now you have to clean up both the bathroom and her. Or when your kid throws a huge fit after not getting his/her way and ends up barfing everything he ate at dinner time, on the floor or worse, you. These shenanigans are not isolated cases, they happen often, if not everyday. And because you're the one cleaning up you can bet that some of this crap will get on you too. On good days, I just get them on my hands, on bad days, let's just say the dirty laundry piles up a bit more than usual and a quick shower is necessary just to be on the safe side. The worst experience I've had was when my youngest was just weeks old, she was a gassy little tyke and whenever I change her after pooping, she farts with a bit of poop. It was like a canon ball only there was wet poop, on the bed, on my clothes, my arms, on my face. This happened everyday for a month. Gross, I know. I had to take a bath, a lot.

Kids Are Hoarders - They never want let go of anything, my kids have this uncanny ability of remembering each toy they own. To my horror, I can't throw or get rid of any of their stuff and get away with it. They'd know, they'd always know and they make me pay for it. When you have kids, toys are going to overrun your territory in more ways than you can count. Even if you don't buy them yourselves, you're gonna have relatives and friends who just can't help themselves and spoil your kids rotten with the amount of toys they bring each visit, turning your house into a mini toy store. Just give in, it is useless to fight the inevitable. And just like the crumbs, the toys will be everywhere. The more kids you have, the more bins and baskets you tend to get as a way of trying to still stay organized. I tried to sort them at first, all the plastic toys here, all the wooden here, toys for boys here, the girly ones there. I give myself points for effort. But eventually, I ended up just throwing toy after toy in whatever container that had free space for the sake of keeping the house clean and keeping my sanity intact. I had more important things to deal with, like figuring out what to cook for dinner.

Kids Hurt Themselves, A Lot - Ok, so kids get booboos now and then. Wrong, they get booboos a lot! I am always in a panic when my kid starts rolling over on his/her own. That's when the close monitoring begins, but it still doesn't matter because they still hurt themselves even on a close watch. Unless we keep them inside a bubble like I wish I could sometimes, there is no helping it. It is part of growing up, it'll make them learn from their mistakes and toughen up after each incident, which is hard to take in for first time parents (moms, mostly) but still true. Kids are clumsy, they fall off things, trip on things or even their own feet, bump into walls, hit their heads under tables, choke on things, step on things. And let's not get started on kids hurting each other. But don't worry, most of it can be fixed just by picking them up and giving them hugs and kisses. A few or maybe 100 band aids on hand can help too! We found that warm water with sea salt can help with bumps, it won't grow as big as a golf ball if applied immediately.

Kids are All Worth It - They are more than worth all of the sleepless nights, the days you couldn't even take quick showers, the skipped meals (because they ended up eating what's on your plate, and after the meal you totally forgot you didn't eat at all), putting on hold all of the plans you laid out for yourself when you were single, your wiped out cash balance, your wardrobe budget going to diapers and baby clothes, and the messy, sticky, stinky house you now reside in. They are God's precious gifts to us, we'd take a bullet for them if we had to, putting them first is inevitable. They're the only living beings on the planet that you'd give your most coveted, expensive (which you usually keep for yourself) snack or food (bone marrow, truffles, and dark chocolate in my case) to (other than my husband) and still feel satisfied. I wouldn't trade my time with my kids for anything in the world, not for money or a career. Maybe when our youngest is in high school, then I'd be able to leave them at home without supervision for a couple of hours a day. But that's my limit haha. Being a hands on parent in a team of two is the best and most rewarding career ever, I get paid with unconditional love and that, to both Mr. D and I, is  a huge slice of heaven. 

Do you agree? What else have you discovered about kids after becoming a parent? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Article published on March 19, 2015