Becoming a parent means…

Bodily functions become a normal topic of conversation 
You were really hoping you would never be one of those parents discussing their child’s bowl movements and getting all up close and personal with stuff that should really be kept private. Yeah, sorry, it’s going to happen.

Finding extra limbs (or at least needing them)
Keeping up with kids will keep you on your toes, and you’ll learn how much you can do with one hand, why God gave women hips, and how to rock the Bjorn. Don’t worry, soon it will be like second nature and that’s about the time your second one will come along and take your skills to the next level.

 

Getting to be a child again
Your dreams have come true. You can rediscover all your favorite things from childhood without looking ridiculous doing it. So swing as high as you want and go trick or treating; it’s ok.

 

Discovering new levels of exhaustion
Oh sure, you’ve heard about how the baby will wake you up at night, but there’s more. Even once your baby is sleeping through the night, you might still find it difficult to get to bed at a reasonable hour because you have so much to do after you put them down. And when you get home exhausted after a long day (family outing, work, road trip, etc.), all you want to do is just sit down and unwind… sorry, you have kids to tend to. One of my favorites is that kids usually wake up about the same time everyday, so if your child is a morning person, that means your weekends start at the crack of dawn… yea! It’s hard sometimes, but don’t worry, you’ll make it through it and you’ll be ok.

 

Worrying 
Oh the endless things that parents can find to worry about. Is this normal? Is that normal? Most likely yes. You might even find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to make sure your baby is still breathing. Yep, that’s normal too.

 

Clothes, toys, stuff for days…
Even the parents that try to go minimalist (I do recommend giving it your best shot) seem to end up with endless kids’ stuff. It will take over your house and take over your life, so when you see that large Fisher Price kitchen or workbench that is so adorable, just say no.

 

Learning all about your weaknesses (and what will push you over the edge)
No one knows how to push your buttons like your kids. You may not know what all your weaknesses are now, but rest assured that you will find out. Some ugly sides of you may come out when you’re exhausted and your patience has been pushed to the limit. Before you beat yourself up, just remember that perfect parents do not exist. Being a parent will challenge you to be a better person, so when you get challenged, try to think opportunity for growth… although maybe not right in that moment ;).

 

Uncovering reserves of patience you never knew you had
Children can be very demanding, so as a parent you may find you’re constantly working to overcome your selfish desires and be there for your child even when it’s hard. Believe it or not, it won’t take too long before you discover that patience is the virtue you never knew you had. And on the days when you can’t find it… keep on digging… it’s in there somewhere.

 

Laundry! Cleaning! 
Oh the spot cleaning, the multiple outfit days, the clothes they’re constantly growing out of… yeah, it’s crazy. So tap into your domestic skills, and cross your fingers that your child is not a tornado of destruction: taking your house from clean to messy in 5 seconds flat (you would not believe!).

 

A date night feels like a weekend away used to and a weekend away feels like a week long vacation used to
You love family time, but every now again you need a little one on one time with your spouse. Don’t worry that getting out together is much harder than it used to be- that just means you are able to really savor the time and make a couple hours feel like days- talk about bang for your buck!

 

Seeing yourself reflected in someone else
Whether or not your child looks like you or seems to have your personality, you’ll find that they imitate the things you do and say. So clean up your act, and then enjoy seeing yourself in miniature form– I bet you’ll find you’re a lot cuter that way.

 

You have the most important responsibility in the world
What could be more important than shaping the life of a child? It is a huge responsibility but also a beautiful gift.

Being willing to do almost anything or give up almost anything to take care of your child in the way you see as best
Every parent has certain ideals that are an important to them in raising their children. Maybe they want to stay home with their kids, or perhaps they want their children to attend private school. Whatever your particular ideal, you’ll be surprised how much of what was previously important to you, you’re now more than willing to give up for your child.

 

Loving that little person more than you could ever imagine loving someone… even more than you love yourself
This is the miracle, and this is what it’s all about. The love you feel for your child is so powerful it’s life changing. When you look at your baby you’ll find yourself thinking something along the lines of, “he’s so amazing I can’t believe he’s mine.”

 

Your life has totally changed, and even on the days when it’s hard, you wouldn’t have it any other way 
Becoming a parent is more difficult than you can imagine, but it’s also so much better than you can imagine as well. And yes, you can handle it. Those first months are so tough because you’re exhausted, the crying is making you crazy, and your life has been flipped on its head. You feel like it’ll never get better, but it will. In fact, it won’t be long before you can’t imagine life without your child. Every hard moment will end up being balanced out by moments that are perfect, precious, and priceless.

 

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