10 Warnings Every Parent Should Have Before Having Kids


It never ceases to amaze me that children do not come with an instruction manual or a warning label; I mean, seriously. There is no other being in the world that can make you feel absolutely insanely and certifiably crazy in the same moment you feel so much joy and adoration and love – something that powerful should come with instructions and a warning label. It does not. What it does come with, however, is a list of warnings from other mothers and fathers and grandmothers and people who seem to want new moms to feel this sense of worry and fear throughout the duration of the pregnancies. I have four kids, and I heard the same things throughout all three of my pregnancies (more so with the twins than my previous two pregnancies). You’ll never sleep again, you better get in all the date nights you can now because once you have kids that’s over, you’ll lose your friends, you’ll never travel again; life as you know it is over.

Guess what mamas, and mothers-to-be? False. Perhaps, for some, this is the truth. But as a mother for more than seven years, with four kids (7, 4 and 1.5-year-old twins) I am here to tell you that this is just not true. Sure, kids need to come with warning labels, but not the ones that others like to give you. Here’s the real warning label list for new mothers.

Get amazing birth control

Ladies, you are never, ever going to find your husband more attractive, sexier and more appealing than when he’s a new father. Get the good birth control because you are going to be all over him like you don’t even know, and waiting the six recommended weeks is a trying and difficult chore (but wait!). I gave birth three times to four babies, and my husband morphs into this handsome God-like man with a little baby in his arms that just gets sexier and sexier every night when he takes over bath time, changes diapers or gets up at 3 am with a little girl who had a bad dream and wants her daddy to come in her room and make sure it’s safe. It’s love, ladies – and it’s going to require really good birth control.

Splurge on exceptional waterproof mascara

From this day forward, for better or worse, you will cry about everything. You will cry all types of tears, from frustrated tears to overjoyed tears to sad tears to mad tears. Your kids will make you feel enraged and then feel sad and then feel amazing. They have this power, and you will cry. You will cry over lost teeth, first steps, sweet smiles and television shows in which you used to love but now watching a child get hurt kills you. You’ll need the good mascara.

Babies do sleep through the night

Look; I can only speak from what I know and I know this. I have four kids, including twins, and every one of them was sleeping through the night before they were a month old (half even sooner than that) and I didn’t do anything special. We just let them sleep. We are not masters of the universe, nor did we let them cry in bed. We put them to bed at bedtime, they went to sleep, they slept all night, we did not complain. And yes, we did lie to our doctor about feeding them all every 3 hours throughout the night (what? They were all gaining weight and healthy, so whatever!).

You’ll need diapers of your own

Oh, yes. This is what no one tells you and you should know. You’re about to push a baby out of a very small body part. And while the epidural will ensure you feel not a darn thing the entire time, you will still bleed for days and days and possibly weeks, and you will spend the first two or three days wearing your own special kind of diaper to stop the excessive flow. My husband had to help me change mine every single time, and that was a bonding experience (please note the sarcasm there) we were not expecting the first time around.

Date nights are more fun

Finally, you get this man you married all to yourself for a few hours, and it will never be as enjoyable as it is when you have kids waiting at home. There is something so special about this time you cannot have anytime you want that makes the evening so much more enjoyable. Enjoy it, plan it, live it. And honey, do it as often as possible. My husband and I try to have date night at least twice a month so that we can stay connected and romantic, and set a good example of what a happy marriage looks like for our sweet kiddos.

You’ll have an even crazier social life

“Your life is over,” is not accurate. Unless you like to party until 7 am, get drunk and go crazy on a regular basis, your life is not over. It’s just beginning. You’re about to have play dates, games, practices and so many things to do that you will wish your social life was over so that you have one second to yourself in the evenings. Life’s only just getting busy, ladies.

You’ll be tired, but not because your baby isn’t sleeping

You’ll be tired because that 10 hours you sleep at night is not enough to keep you feeling good from the other 14 hours a day in which you never sit down ever, not even once. I’m just saying.

You will shower every day

I don’t know why people like to say that they don’t shower regularly with a baby. When I hear a mother say she doesn’t get to shower and hasn’t in days, I’m not going to lie; I find her lazy. I have four kids and I am able to wake up every morning, shower, shave, blow dry and straighten my hair and put on my makeup. And then I get to sit down and have coffee for a while before everyone wakes up. Even when the kids are awake, I still shower. It’s called waking up before them, bringing them into the bathroom with you or letting your husband handle them for a bit while you take the time you need. But you will shower, fear not.

You will get your body back

Along the lines of not showering, I find that women who like to tell other women that they’ll never get their bodies back are kind of hateful. Mine came back after four kids, every single time, without me doing too much. Sure, it was softer than before and it required that I had to do more exercise than before to tighten it all back up, but I don’t know anyone in my circle of friends (and there are dozens of mothers and dozens and dozens of kids) that didn’t get her body back. Some had to work harder for it than others but if you want it, it’s yours.

You won’t be a hot mess

I will never forget the day that I ran into an old high school acquaintance while pregnant with my twins. She is a friend online, and she said to me, “I’m not going to lie, when I found out you were having twins I was a little bit petty and excited because you are going to get fat and look like crap now!” with a laugh and a passive aggressive hug. I was offended. Why do people think that having kids automatically makes you a mess? It won’t, and don’t let that scare you. Mothers are beautiful, and you don’t have to feel like a shell of your former self just because you have kids. It’s called makeup and a hair brush, and it can be used and done in just a few minute’s time.

It might sound vain, but I feel happier and more productive when I look good – because I feel good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel good, so don’t let the comments of others make you feel that you are suppose to look a certain way or forgo certain things just because you’re a mother. Do your hair, put on the lipstick and rock your new mama look to the fullest, ladies.

And an additional warning – give yourself an additional half hour for every trip you take (outside of getting a baby ready to go and in and out of the car) for all the comments and questions and excitement from strangers.

Photo by Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy via Getty Images


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