As the oldest of six, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from parenthood. I had observed my mom through five pregnancies, my project management skills were top notch, and by the time I got pregnant for the first time, I had already been chronically tired for the better part of 11 years. I was humble enough to realize that I didn’t, and couldn’t, know everything. And yet, five years after finding out I’d be someone’s mother I am discovering that there is a lot I maybe should have expected and did not expect. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, but it is a list of things that I had never really put thought into before and I am willing to bet surprised you too.
- You will spend more time thinking about bowel movements – yours and others – than you ever thought reasonable or possible.
- You will suddenly realize that all those polished people with a successful career and family are not so polished and struggle as much as you do.
- While it’s great to have a plan, your ability to accept that things are not going according to it is pretty incredible.
- The confidence that comes with keeping another human being alive gives you confidence you never thought was possible.
- Realizing that skills you’ve honed professionally, or read about in school, have applications outside the paid work sphere will help you feel like a boss. Even on days when you dropped your kids off and then realized you have milk in your hair somehow.
Those are my big ones. Are there things, positive or negative, that surprised you about becoming a parent? I’d love to talk about it in the comments below!