I love my kids. Do not misunderstand me. Please.
I would give my life for them.
I cannot imagine what life would have been like if any one of them were not here.
Read this as humor. mkay?
My littlest little brother was born my junior year of high school. I took a child development class while mom was pregnant. I took a couple of the night shifts for feeding him because he was up every hour with chronic ear infections and colic. I had a very realistic view of what parenthood was like, or so I thought.
To the best of my ability, I was well aware of what was coming when we found out we were expecting. I don’t think anyone really “gets” it until they have a child that is their 100% responsibility 24/7. It is the “buck stops with you” feeling that can’t be explained. Aside from that, I felt fully prepared.
If I could go back in time, and tell my 20-something-self some thing about parenting that no one told me, I’d tell her to turn on every TV and every radio and every gadget and play a different channel at random volumes (some very loud) non-stop for 16 hours. Then I’d tell her to do that while cleaning the house, working, watching TV, talking on the phone, or taking a shower because THAT is what parenting sounds like.
Even when we only had one child, there was a constant hum of sound from someone or somewhere. We have four now, and it seems as soon as I get one quiet and settled two more show up with either a problem or strong desire to do something noisy right under my feet. If it isn’t the kids, then there is some animal squawking or barking or banging bowls.
Most days, I roll with the crazy soundtrack of our life. Other days, like yesterday, I curl up in my chair, hands over my ears, and try to hide my tears from the kids. The over-stimulation overwhelms me and I break down.
I was prepared for poop, toys, whining, and sleepless nights. I wasn’t prepared for the noise, or my inability to deal with that noise.
What aspect of parenting took you by surprise?