More things I didn’t know about kids and being a mom…

July 18, 2011

Dear Max

I’ve often said that NOTHING can prepare one for parenthood. Yeah, the books, the antenatal classes and the magazine articles can help, but you never quite know until you’re there – being pooped on, worrying about a sick child, or trying to get by on four hours of sleep.

And how are we to know? And who is ever going to be honest and write in a book that the smell of milk vomit lingers for many hours, or that when your toddler is having a tantrum in a shopping centre, you pretty much wish you could hide in a shelf, preferably among the comfort chocolates, so no one could look at you and judge.

So, in the spirit of honesty on this blog, and because I’m dying for other moms to share their things, I’m laying it down: the things I never knew, and those things they’ll never teach us at antenatal classes:

– That having a bubble bath uninterrupted would be one of life’s greatest treats
– That there is nothing more frustrating that a whining child who you don’t know how to placate
– That it will hurt when your child doesn’t come running to you first
– That it will hurt when you leave for work and your child cries
– That it will hurt and gladden when you leave your child, and they wave you goodbye and blow kisses
– That you’ll not only worry about what the world might do to your child, but what your child will do to and for the world
– That things will get broken and messy
– That it will sometimes be hard to give your kid the best
– That it will sometimes be hard to even know what is best for your kid
– That mother’s guilt is as inevitable as your child’s snot and tears
– That sometimes there will be snot, and you won’t even care to wipe it properly
– That sometimes you’ll think longingly of the days when you didn’t have children
– That often you’ll wonder how empty life was without children
– That motherhood hurts

But love is the one thing I always knew. And I’ve never waivered on that


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  • Sharon

    Great post! One week before Ava starts school & my greatest current worry, which I never imagined worrying about, is how other children will hurt, disappoint & be spiteful to her! It hurts me so much to even think about & never once crossed my mind till a few weeks ago!

    July 18, 2011 at 7:53 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Omg. Now I have something else to worry about 🙂 (have a great hol, btw!)

      July 18, 2011 at 7:57 am Reply
  • Iheartpolkadots

    That a smile at 3 in the morning can make it worth while to get out of bed and lose out on some sleep.

    That watching you become independant should make me happy but actually makes me sad. Especially when I am now getting chased out of the bathroom when you go potty.

    That my car would be turned into a warzone of toys, wetwipes and sometimes a dodgy bottle that rolled under the seat!

    July 18, 2011 at 9:33 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      These are great! I should have added them… (especially the 3am one!) 🙂

      July 18, 2011 at 11:02 am Reply
  • cat@juggling act

    That sometimes I would wish they grow up faster and other times I would wish I can grind time to a halt and just keep them moment.

    That sleep deprivation will be the toughest thing I have ever dealt with. But We have had more than the usual of this. Ugh, today I am just done with being tired.

    July 18, 2011 at 9:46 am Reply
  • Sally

    What a lovely post and so, so true. I have just had a night of very little sleep – as my little man who is 5 is battling with his molars. Needless to say I am officially stuffed today – but in the end it is worth it. xxx

    July 18, 2011 at 11:09 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      OMG – hope things go smoother with the teething…

      July 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm Reply
  • Sam Choles

    Things you never knew —
    — That your toddler will not lie there all smiling and happy while you change his nappy (baby product packaging should be up for false advertising!)
    — That changing a nappy in a public toilet or at a friend’s house could be listed as one of the most stressful things ever
    — That their babyhood is over in a flash and you feel like you’ve had your eyes closed for 15 months
    — That toys are a waste of money – a plastic bottle with lid, a spoon, YOUR car keys and YOUR cell phone are just fine
    — That those child harness things eventually look very appealing and less cruel when you’re chasing your child around a church or shopping mall
    — That children are the most heartbreaking and heartgrowing gifts you will ever receive and that we forget the trauma — otherwise many more of us would be only children.

    July 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Absolutely spot on! I think we should write a book…

      July 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm Reply
  • vanessa

    -also no matter what i do – cause there is NO time for gym- I cant fit into my old jeans
    -cold coffee and tea are now a given
    -how nb it is not to miss vacinations- the sister and my husband made that clear
    -playing hide n seek can be so fun
    -ive learnt so much from kiddies tv- about the world and animals

    July 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      I find it impossible to believe you aren’t in your old jeans! 🙂

      July 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm Reply
  • sue stuart

    That you can be as tense/stressed/angry about something they’ve done, and they can turn around, give you a smile or a kiss, and your heart just melts all over again. And that they constntly surprise you at just how much they know/understand.

    July 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Well said Sue. Sometimes I think Max is smarter than I am!

      July 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm Reply
  • Shannon

    That in the span of a year he will go from leaning his head on your shoulder to being tall enough for you to lean your head on his. (For mine, this was from 13 to 14.)

    That when that happens, you will remember how at 6 he sometimes still wanted to be carried on the hip and you were so OVER IT because YOU ARE A BIG BOY NOW, but maybe he wasn’t really *so* big and now you wouldn’t mind being able to hold him in your lap again.

    That your greatest talent will become your ability to keep a straight face when he decides to rock cornrows, or to cultivate an Afro, or relax his hair like he’s Al Sharpton–or you can decide to get unending delight out of his sartorial decisions and laugh hysterically. That’s the route I usually go. 🙂

    July 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm Reply
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