The One With What I Wish I Had Known Before Baby

Sarah Barratt Photography

The Today Show Parenting Team has asked several famous parents and bloggers to reflect on what they wish they had known before having kids. Somehow, I did not make the cut!:) However, it did  make me think about what I wish I had known. Not that I probably would’ve listened to any of it. But here it is: 1. You are tired like you have never been tired before. And may not EVER sleep again! I am pretty sure I have not had a good night’s sleep in 13 years. Between pregnancy, breastfeeding, peeing the bed (them, not me), nightmares, teeth grinders, and worrying, sleeping 6 hours straight is a luxury. 2. Do not take your children to a park with swings. You will have to push them. For hours. Every time. Nobody warned me that I would get so tired of swing pushing, story times, playing catch, reading the SAME book over and over and over….Bless their little hearts. 3. Young children have bipolar disorder. They can be laughing and have a great time one minute and the VERY next SECOND they are screaming and sobbing and you are the WORST. Mother. Ever. And these mood swings occur over the tiniest of infractions: I opened a package the wrong way, the wrong cup, the wrong seat at the table, You never know what will set the little monsters off!

Sarah Barratt Photography

4. The minute that baby is in your arms every priority instantly changes. Things that you once thought mattered or were important are completely insignificant. All you care about is making this person safe and happy. Your hair, clothes, house, even career all pale in comparison to this little person’s needs and desires. 5. Something so tiny and cute and that you wished and prayed for can make you insane. Nobody will make you angrier, cry more, stupider…or bring you more joy. 6. The complete joy on their face when they do something new will make you happier than you have ever been. The first steps, riding a bike without training wheels, reading the first book, pure unadulterated JOY! I will never forget the first time #1 saw the ocean. Complete awe was on his face. That is still my favorite trip to the beach ever, just for that look. 7. Just show up. We spend so much time worrying that we are doing things wrong. Breastfeed vs. bottle feed, work or stay home, co-sleep or cry it out in the crib, helicopter or free range. We are never going to get it all right all the time. We may be screwing our kids up a bit. But so long as you just show up, most of the time, they will love us and forgive us, and be okay. Be there when their hearts are broken, to listen to them cry, the be their cheerleader…the other stuff will work itself out. 8. How much you can actually love someone. I love my husband. I love my sister. I love a lot of people. But nothing compares to the love you have for your children. You would move heaven and earth for them. Give your life for them. Do anything to protect them and keep them well and safe. Your heart is no longer your own. All of the sleepless nights, and worries, and swing pushing, and whining, it’s all worth it. Every moment.

To have a child, is to decide FOREVER

to have your heart go walking around

outside your body.

-Elizabeth Stone

Sarah Barratt Photography

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