I have found out over the years that there are a lot of things that my Mom didn't tell me about motherhood. So, I wanted to tell you, so that you don't have to find it out the hard way. Here are the top 5 surprises I've had, so far:
1) Your children all have distinct personalities and all respond differently to the same type of discipline. So, you may have to adjust each child's "punishment" accordingly. For example, I thought I had parenting down pat when my first son responded well to time-outs. But, when my second son came along, he just laughed at time-out. He literally laughed while he was in time-out. You could imagine my confusion and lack of confidence at that point. However, after much trial and error I have found what works for him.
2) Kids are smarter than you think. My son, at 3 years old, told me that his Dad said he could do something if it was okay with me. So, I said that he could do what he asked. Well, turns out his Dad told him he couldn't. I don't fall for that any more.
3) You will see, clean and smell a lot of things you never thought you would. Most moms could earn a nursing degree with the experience they gain from parenting.
4) Only you can speak up for your child! You cannot trust the pediatrician or teachers to know and/or do what is best for your child. You are your child's advocate and only you know what is best for your child. Listen to your parenting instincts and ask questions!
5) Parenting is a lot harder than anyone expects. You will have to repeat yourself over and over again. You have to go above and beyond. You will be pushed to the edge of your sanity and you will still have to hold it all together for the sake of your children. There are no breaks in motherhood.
But, although motherhood is full of surprises, it is all worth it when you hear your kids say "I love you Mommy!" with a kiss and a hug. Can life get any better?