This week I will celebrate my tenth year of marriage. I cannot believe how the decade has passed so quickly. Seems like just yesterday I was skinny and ridiculously naive. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea that ten years later I would be a stay at home mother of four. Four is no joke.
I think back to that gorgeous 30-year-old (This is my story. You stay out of it). What would I say to her now if I could? What would I warn her about or try to prepare her for? Ohhh I can think of a thing or two.
1. Wear your bikini. Wear it every chance you get. Wear it to the grocery store. You will miss it one day.
2. Sleep in on weekends. You wake to see sunlight softly spilling into your bedroom and you roll over to make sure that it is not all just a dream. You see your new husband still asleep, lying there next to you……then for heaven’s sake ROLL BACK OVER AND GO BACK TO SLEEP. It will not be the last time that HE rests like a baby, but your days are numbered.
3. Walk through your house. Look at the unmarked baseboards and walls. Admire all of your shiny windows and mirrors. Stare at your stylish furniture and spotless carpet. Take a mental picture. Then sell the house and everything in it because four little people are going to ruin everything that you own.
4. The next thing you can sell is that cute little sports car sitting out in the driveway. Begin your search for a used church bus or something of equal mass. Four kids and all of their stuff is going to take some room.
5. Go sit in your bathroom with the door wide open. Do you hear how quiet it is in there? I know you don’t believe me now but soon you will not be able to sit on a toilet, without a little person standing next to you, asking you if you’re pooping. Every single time that you go to the bathroom. Even if you lock the door. There is always at least one who will get in there.
6. Go out to eat with your husband. Enjoy a lovely dinner and hours of uninterrupted conversation. Stare at all of the people eating with their small children. Laugh at them now because that is going to be you. Your meals will evolve into the things nightmares are made. You are going to feel like you are out with a herd of farm animals, who are eating from a trough. The chaos, bickering, spillage, noise and repeated bathroom trips will make you long for the days of feeling…. sane. You will wonder if everyone in the restaurant is staring at you. That’s because they will be.
7. Take a vacation for two. Go to a kid free resort if you can. There is going to come a day when a family vacation will be the equivalent of mobilizing troops. You will pack up the entire house, stuff it into your small church bus and head to a destination where kids are in charge. You will be there with all of the other defeated parents, so at least you will blend in nicely.
8. STAY AWAY FROM MCDONALDS. You will spend hours at the McDonald’s play place, begging your little one to please come down and not make you climb up there after him. You know when you make this meaningless threat that there is absolutely no way that your rear end will fit through that tube. You know it and so does your kid. You are now involved in a hostile standoff. You.will.not.win.
9. Go look in the mirror. See how clean your clothes are? Being clean used to be effortless. After kids your once pristine attire will have toothpaste and peanut butter smeared all over it. You will become a magnet for dirty fingers and even dirtier noses. Don’t worry though because it will happen so often that you’ll stop noticing after a while. The moms that you hang out with will just be glad that it’s not their clothes. Yet.
10. Last but not least spend time with your girlfriends. Meet for coffee. Talk about the latest fashion trends, all while wearing pants with an actual zipper and not an elastic waistband. Wear makeup down to perfectly lined lips. One day soon enough you will only get together with your friends for playdates. This is where you get together with the notion of letting kids play while the mommies catch up. This is never what happens though. Instead of sitting and talking to the other moms, you will spend all of your time chasing your kids around. Half way through the playdate you will realize that not only did you forget your make up but also your bra. That’s okay, people hardly noticed.
I tell you this not to scare you, 30-year-old gorgeous self. I want you to be prepared. Enjoy the short time that you have as a family of two. Life is certainly going to change. Kids take over your life. You say it won’t happen to you but it will.
There is one more thing that I should tell you I suppose. Be prepared to kiss your heart goodbye. There is no love like the love that you will have for your children. When you look into their eyes you will actually believe that anything is possible. You won’t even care how much your life has changed.
You will worry yourself sick and work yourself half to death trying to raise them. But those precious moments when they say ” I love you, Mom” or put their little hand into yours, those are the moments when you will remember exactly why you became a mother.
You will fail many, many times. You will let them down. You will beat yourself up. All of your stuff will be ruined and all of your cool points long gone. But at the end of the day, they will love you just the way you are. The greatest title that you will ever wear is that of Mom.