29 Truths About Parenthood You Only Learn Once You Have Kids
"I wish I knew that daycare would cost more than my actual mortgage."
1. "I wish someone told me that you'll always love your kids, but you won't always like them."
2. "I wish I'd known how toxic comparing yourself to that one mom on Instagram is. Your baby is doing great, and so are you!"
3. "That being a parent means having spidey-senses that alert you when your kid is about to pee on you, but also sleep deprivation that makes you too slow and powerless to stop it."
4. "I wish I knew daycare would cost more than my actual mortgage."
5. "That I would willingly put unimaginable things into my mouth."
6. "I wish I hadn't beaten myself up so much in the beginning about not being able to breastfeed. It's such a small part of the baby's life in the grand scheme of things. My formula-fed son is smart and healthy, and I know now that I am not a failure."
7. "I wish someone had told me how long it might take to feel like myself again."
8. "That Google is evil. The amount of sleep I lost worrying that my infant had some life-threatening rash was ridiculous. Trust your doctor and more seasoned parents instead."
9. "That my living room would never be clean again, because even after you clean up, it only takes about three minutes for your little tornado to totally mess it up again."
10. "I wish I realized I'd never poop alone again. Ever."
11. "No one tells you all the crazy things that happen to your body. Yes, there's mastitis, excessive sweating, and insane hormones — but I mostly wish someone would have told me how strong and powerful I'd feel."
12. "I wish I'd known just how much my parents loved me. Once I became a mom...I knew."
13. "That bedtime is a constant battle that can never be won."
14. "That your kids will inherit the best things about you...AND the worst."
15. "That you might have postpartum depression and not even realize it."
16. "That I would question every decision I make. No matter how confident I feel at the time, there's always that moment later when I wonder if I did the right thing, or if what I did will screw my kid up."
17. "That the instant you drop them off at Grandma's house because they're driving you to insanity...you'll miss them."
18. "I wish I had known that even if you give them all your love, advice, and teachings, your kid might still become an asshole."
19. "That I would post those annoying posts on Facebook gushing about how my kids are the best things that ever happened to me...just like all the parents before me."
20. "That everything is a phase, and the worst ones usually pass."
21. "That 'vacation' when you have kids can be even more intense and stressful than working. Sometimes I actually want to go back to work, where no one needs me to constantly take them to the bathroom."
22. "I wish I had known to trust my instincts as a mother. Turns out, that instinct is stronger than any doctor's recommendation."
23. "I never expected that I would literally forget to eat some days."
24. "How much I would value alone time. Before I had kids, I loved being out and about, surrounded by friends and family. Now I would much rather spend my free time all alone in a quiet home."
25. "I didn't realize that close friends might have very different parenting styles, which might cause tension or even the re-evaluation of some of those friendships."
26. "That parenting is bittersweet. That I would suddenly think about my own mortality so much more often and — as much as I love watching my kids grow — wish there were a pause button on life."
27. "That there would never be enough time in the day again."
28. "I wish I had known that I was actually going to be good at it, and that it was going to be the greatest thing I've ever done."
29. "I wish I'd known that tiny humans aren't much different than drunk people. They pee everywhere, fall down a lot, vomit unpredictably, and say really funny things that they'll never remember."
Some responses have been edited for clarity and length.