It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I became a mommy. I've been a lifeguard, a coach, a teacher, a wife, but mommy has been the most trying, but most rewarding of all my job titles. But enough with the schmaltz, here's a list of what I've learned...and what no one wants to tell you about having a baby.
1. It's best to never utter the phrase "I'll never..." or "my child will never..." while pregnant or not yet a parent. In fact, "I never" is only to be used in a drinking game. For instance, "my child will never watch TV before they're 5" or "my child will never drink formula" were both used, quite regularly, by myself. Looking back now, it's a wonder M's first words weren't "Oprah" or "Enfamil." Additionally, it's best not to look at a screaming child in a grocery story and think of how your child would never do that. God hears you, laughs, and then gives you a child who does the same thing as you desperately search for a pacifier/graham cracker/animal tranquilizer in your diaper bag.
2. While you are pregnant, people tell you many lies, such as "breastfeeding makes you lose the baby weight" and "babies sleep for 20 hours a day." If anyone told you the truth, which is "breastfeeding may burn calories, but since you are still eating like a water buffalo and are too tired to get off the couch it won't matter" and "babies sleep for 10 minute spurts at really inconvenient times, like when you are trying to stuff your painful, engorged boob in their mouth or when you are taking them for professional pictures," you would probably throw your pregnant self off a bridge.
3. Your body changes in unbelievable, unpredictable ways. I had acne and dandruff right after Captain Destructo was born. It was super hot. Also, I was excited about pregnant boobs, but no one told me the flip side-when you stop breastfeeding they look like deflated water balloons.
4. Regular human principles do not apply to babies. Just because you sleep more on nights when you skip a nap or stay up late does not mean they will. In fact, they will sleep less, wake up earlier and be grouchy for the next few days. Also, it is possible for a baby to down a 6 oz bottle (of breastmilk of course, I would never, ever give my baby formula!), throw it up frat-boy style, and be hungry immediately after.
I'm sure I have so much more to learn, but the first year really has been incredible. God has blessed me with a husband who loves and takes great care of me, and a beautiful, healthy daughter, who has a bruise on her forehead, a cut on her lip where she tried to shove a piece of glass in her mouth, and who ate half a crayon in the bathtub. Eat your heart out, June Cleaver.