LIE NUMBER ONE:
ENJOY THEM NOW WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG, SOMEDAY YOU WILL MISS THESE MOMENTS.
1) Enjoy them now when they are young because you will miss these moments: Once upon a time I had little children. Children who created messes and got into things. I now fondly recall an incident known as “the mysterious vomiter incident of 1994.” When I walked into the room, it was apparent that someone had vomited in the middle of the night, but no one seemed sick. I couldn’t find puke in anyone’s bed. Where was that smell coming from?
Upon further investigation, it was in the corner all over the giant stuffed panda bear and the Indians baseball cap. Two children shared a room. Both denied vomiting. To this day, over 20+ years later, no one admits to being the MVP (mysterious vomit producer).
Are these the moments I would miss? Would I go back and do this all over again? Absolutely NOT!
And then there are the other lies we tell.
LIE NUMBER TWO:
I REMEMBER HOW WONDERFUL IT WAS HAVING LITTLE ONES IN THE HOUSE.
2) I remember how wonderful it was having little ones in the house
Those lies (statements) are usually made by an older woman or man fondly recalling their days with toddlers and young children. But if we are totally honest about the toddler years, they are hard. Having small children is stressful. You are constantly without sleep, you sometimes don’t shower or don’t shower well because you are rushing through the shower before disaster strikes.
If you are one of the lucky ones with an active child that gets into things, you are probably pushed to your limit day after day. These children are not bad children, they are not disobedient children (yes they may disobey you, but really their time span for remembering is about 30 seconds. And did you really tell them they couldn’t play with nail polish? You probably said not to play with your lipstick. No matter what your feelings on when you walk in the room and see 5 lbs. of flour coating the couches, the walls, and the dog, these are not evil children. These children are adventurers. They are curious and filled with wonder. They are little scientists exploring every nook and cranny in their environment including the top of the refrigerator and inside your medicine cabinet.
It wasn’t until I had child number 4 that I could laugh at some of the antics of children without getting upset. What changed with child number four? When I had my fourth child, my children were ages 14, 12, 9 and a newborn. My older children gave me a perspective that I didn’t have before. I knew children don’t stay little forever, and I learned my children’s hearts. These are things you can’t know when your child is 2. But applying what I had learned about my older children, helped me to be a better parent to my younger children.
When older moms tell you to enjoy your children when they are young, we are not saying that your life is easy. We know how hard it really is, but we also have the perspective of time.
LIE NUMBER 3:
BREASTFEEDING IS EASY AND WONDERFUL. BREASTFEEDING IS SUCH A GREAT BONDING EXPERIENCE.
3) Breastfeeding is such a wonderful experience. In truth, the early days of breastfeeding are miserable. I remember taking off all my clothes, sitting in bed with a towel wrapped around myself while I nursed the baby because the flow of milk in the other breast wouldn’t stop coming. It was like Hoover Dam had just let loose. As I got more experienced, I did try to collect the milk from the other breast to save for later, but that was years into this social experiment called parenting.
Things I experienced as a breastfeeding mom:
- Mastitis (multiple times)
- Blocked milk ducts
- Cracked nipples
- Being bitten
- Leakage, leakage, leakage
- Eliminating dairy – no one told me the milk protein passes through to the breast milk
- Stares and comments – my absolute favorite comment was “Can’t you just feed them at home?”
No I would not go back and do it again. I am glad to be done with diapers, leaking breasts, sore nipples, burp clothes, the constant smell of sour milk, and diaper bags. Sick babies and toddlers are the absolute worst. You have no clue what is wrong and feel so helpless. And they get sick in the middle of the night. Do you call the doctor? Wait it out until morning?
AND THEN THERE IS THE VOMIT. We all know the sound of vomit in the middle of the night. No parent misses the stage where children throw up in their cribs. The only thing worse than sick children in the middle of the night is sick children during holidays.
LIE NUMBER 4:
HOLIDAYS WITH LITTLE CHILDREN ARE SO MUCH FUN.
4) Holidays with little ones are so much fun.
The holidays where most of your tree is undecorated, the garland is halfway across the room, and the rest of the tree has plastic ornaments that you don’t care about. And your Christmas card list is no where to be seen until after Christmas when you find it tucked under the couch. Staying up all night to wrap presents and hiding them so good that you forget where you put them. Wrapping or putting together presents on Christmas Eve and waking up before God gets up after getting 2 hours of sleep. You will not experience holidays seen in Christmas commercials and Hallmark movies. No, your Christmas will look more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
LIE NUMBER 5:
IT WILL GET EASIER
5) It will get easier when. . . In my experience this has not been the case. As you have more children, life gets more complicated. There is never an easier time as before children. If you are now a parent, your life will never be like it was. That is a good thing, but gone are the days when you only had yourself to think about. Now you have little mouths to feed, but later there will be bigger bodies in your house (they eat more when they are bigger). You will have to deal with all the same crap that you dealt with when you were in middle school or high school, but now it hurts 10X more. Watching your teen/young adult child go through loneliness, heartbreak, bad prom dates, career decisions, sleepless nights with their own children, etc. is never easier.
I am beyond thankful that I have been blessed with five children. I will not have another child. Chances are excellent that ship has sailed unless God performs a miracle of Biblical proportion. But I can think fondly on the good moments – the sweet toddler falling asleep on my lap as I read a book. The baby nestling her head against me. The four year old who questioned everything with such curiosity. The library trips, the singing in the car, the little hand holding onto mine as we crossed the street. And as a I look into the faces of my grandchildren, I can remember my own children smiling up at me. The added bonus is that I don’t have to have these memories at 3 AM.
But momma, I see you. I see you tired, I see you exhausted, and I see you too proud to ask for help. You remind me of me. And I say a little prayer that when you tuck your children in bed at night, you can say past the messy house to realize what a blessing they are at every age.
Do you have any lies to add to this list? What are some lies you’ve heard or told that help perpetuate the species? Comment below!
A Mother’s Random Thoughts