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Baby Steps, Mom Steps: 5 Motherhood Surprises

16 April 2010 44 Comments

Five Things You Won’t Read in the Baby Books

  • Babies don’t have nails. They have little tiny claws…like cats. Little tiny claws that they won’t let you cut. In order to cut those claws, you need to distract them, attempt to cut them while they sleep (but why would you risk waking them up?), have 2 adults hold down your little bundle of joy, or something more inventive.
  • The inevitable “poop explosion”. You know, those times when the diaper couldn’t hold the load and it ended up all over everything? I was in a clothing store once and this poor woman’s little girl had just had her very first explosion. I was there with a friend and between the two of us we were able to supply her with enough wipes and a new diaper to clean her up. Fortunately she was able to buy a new outfit. I’m pretty sure she tossed the old out right there!
  • I have a boy. A son. My pride and joy. It was okay that he peed on me and our baby nurse who was schooled and prepared for this. It wasn’t okay when he peed on our TV. And the cat. And in the cat’s water bowl. All of this while he laid on his back while his pee arced over his head and landed behind him. This came as a surprise to me.
  • Postpartum depression. Or even “the baby blues”. I took a breast feeding class, a parenting class, a CPR class, and a birthing class. In NONE of these did this subject even come up! Hell-Ooo! It happens ALL THE TIME! It’s not something to be ashamed of and it should at least be brought up!
  • The amazing ability of babies to make you smile ear to ear with just a look, a coo, or a word. The pride you feel when you hear them say their first word or see them take their first step. The fact that your phone is filled with pictures and videos to a point where you have to delete some to make room for more. The habit you got into of going into their bedroom every night after they’re asleep to touch, or even just to look, one more time before you turn in for the night. This also came as a surprise to me.

Lauren is a mom, wife, BornFree Ambassador, and former architect living in New York. She describes herself as being quite a bit like Phoebe from “Friends” with a little Monica thrown in. Her blog “Baby Steps. Mom Steps” is a regular column on BornFreeMom.com

In the comments below share one thing about parenthood that truly surprised you!

One person will win a BornFree Tote and Training cup!

View the prize: http://www.newbornfree.com/BPA-Free-Cups/Training-Cups-142543/941602-BornFree-Trainer-Cup/ProductInfo.aspx


  • Regina H. said:

    I knew I would love my princess. But I never knew just how instantly it would happen, or how MUCH I would love her. It’s amazing!

  • Jessica said:

    Motherhoood is amazing, yes it has its ups and downs but its all so worth it. My son is now 7 months old and every little thing he does puts a smile on my face. Every milestone is a memory that I will cherish forever.

  • Marci said:

    motherhood is truely a blessing, but i think in order to survive you must have a sense of humor. After all don’t kids say the darnest things.

  • angela tuttle said:

    What truly surprised me about parenthood is that no matter how prepared you think you are after having your first your second will be just as big of a challenge and mystery as the first!

  • katie blowers said:

    i think what suprised me about motherhood is the love shared between mother and child. i never realized how much i would love my own children. i worked in a daycare setting and loved those kids but i know its different with your own of course. i just never knew how strong the bond is. i had a emergency c section with my first because my heart rate dropped and so did his because of an epidural. so ever since that day we have been close. i had to have a c with my daughter as well. hers was a planned one, unlike my son. i am close with her too since i was so scared of death the second time. both kids are so amazing to watch. i think the biggest suprise is that motherhood is the best part of life and the hardest job you will ever love!

  • Elizabeth Smith said:

    I was most surprised by how readily I gave up work. I understand that not all women can or would want to because different things work for different people. I was always super independent and never pictured myself staying home for years on end. But, here I am, completely fulfilled…except when I occasionally long for an adult to talk to a bit more often during the day. :)

  • Julianne said:

    I was surprised that no one told me that I might not be “in love” with my son right after delivery. After an awful delivery, I didn’t have much to do with my son in the hospital or the first few days when we got home. I nursed him, other than that, my husband took care of him. Maybe it was postpartum, but thankfully it didn’t last long!! I had a huge meltdown when my husband went back to work and was TERRIFIED to be alone with my newborn, but I survived, and grew to adore my son in the weeks to come. I guess I always loved my son, even in my belly, but I cannot even begin to describe the amount of overflowing love that fills my heart to this day! Everyday, I grow to love him more Even when I think my heart could not possibly be able to hold anymore affection for that little boy–he melts my heart all over again! LOVE that boy!!

  • angela m said:

    i was truly surprised on how instantly i fell in love with my daughter

  • Megan Franco said:

    I am still in the pregnancy stage. In less than 2 months I will be bringing my first into the world. I know I was surprised about a lot of things about being pregnant. I knew it would be uncomfortable, but I didn’t know how much I would love it. Especially feeling his movement within me brings me so much joy. I am very excited to learn and experience motherhood.

  • Jen Boydon said:

    I never knew how much my life would revolve around his nap times.
    My son loves his Born Free training cup!

  • kristen said:

    Well what has surprised me the most is really how much they drain you I knew it was going to be hard but no one can ever prepare you for parenthood it is something that is learned with every passing day! Every day has it’s ups and downs but my little girl I would do absolutely anything for~!!!

  • Jen said:

    What I love most is being able to sit back at night when the kids are sleeping and it’s quiet (finally), I look around at all the toys on the floor and the mess in the rooms and laugh at it all. I look at the mess as the evidence that we had a great day, including the fingernails and poop!

  • Christine F said:

    I loved motherhood with the first one and was scared when the second came. But my worries went away when the second came and love it with both of them. With both it is great to see through their eyes the smallest thing like a plane in the air and they think it is the most awesome thing on earth.

  • Mel1010 said:

    I knew motherhood would be tough but what an adjustment!

  • Joyce said:

    This article made me cry. THat is one thing that surprised me about motherhood. YOU CRY AT EVERYTHING! I am still baffled that I love another person so much that I created another living being with them. It baffles me even more that I love that living being I made even more when I barely know him and I loved him when he was microscopic.

  • Joyce said:

    I shared!

  • Wendy said:

    I was told that colic was really that common and my odds of getting a cry baby were slim. Liars.

  • Christine said:

    You never know how much the little bundle of joy is going to change your life :) I love and hate seeing her get so big…….it is so neat to be able to stay home.

  • Wendy said:

    oops–that colic WASN’T that common…

  • Heather T said:

    since my first experience was w/ pre-teen stepdaughters i would say that knowing you will need more patience than you ever dreamed…especially when back to school shopping for clothes with teen girls….takes lots of patience and lots of caffeine :)

  • Amanda Owens said:

    The instant instinct to love and protect the very second you see them for the first time. I adored my child while it was in my belly but I didn’t know my mothers instincts would kick in so quickly.

  • ANNA M said:

    Motherhood is Awesome and Such a Blessing, Im a Mother of 7 Myself, and The Youngest was Born In Dec……..

    HEAVENANDUS7 From Twitter

  • Melissa H said:

    Being a mommy is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world. I am a mommy of 2 little ones and it is so much fun! I hope to be a mommy of four some day!

  • ashley said:

    I was shocked that after only 48 hours I found myself at home with newborn, tired and sore. I look back and can’t believe the hospital released a tiny 6 pound baby into my arms who in reality (even after all the classes) knew nothing! Motherhood came naturally but trial and error worked too!

  • elizabeth hounshell said:

    One thing that truly surprised me about parenthood was the incredible bond that has been created between my husband and I by our daughter. We just sit and look at her and are amazed. We both care about that little girl so much and it’s such a great feeling!

  • Karen said:

    My goodness, all of the above (except the boy peeing, but that’s cause I have a girl) surprised me. :-) I think my biggest surprise (happening even as I type) is how much I can love someone who kept me up all night long, and how, even though I know I will barely be able to function today, I view it as 100% worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat. My girl is my all, and no matter what the cost — sleep, money, heartache — I would give it times 100 for her.

  • Carlee said:

    So funny how we can all identify with the things you say! I have a daughter, so the peeing thing is a little different for us, but still a threat- she has doused the changing table without us knowing it! We had to change her clothes, down to the socks, and even had to sterilize the pacifier!

    One thing I never read about was that the worry never goes away. You do all this worrying before they’re born, because you can’t see them. You know, “Is she alright in there?” or “Was that a hiccup or a neurological issue?” or “Were those REALLY ten toes on the sonogram, or is it possible they miscounted?” You always figure that once you can see them you won’t have to worry so much anymore…and that’s a completely false idea. Once I had my daughter it changed to this constant fear that she will suddenly stop breathing, that she will choke, that she will hurt herself…

  • Colleen Morse said:

    I loved reading this! It’s so true, all of it!
    I have two little boys (almost 4 years, and 8 months). From the fingernails to the poop explosions to wanting to look at your precious children one more time before turning out the lights.

    I think the part about the boys peeing on everything is true too. My first son actually got some in his eye once….but mainly walls, mommy, and various other things. Let me tell you, that never stops as they get older.

    Great post! Thanks for the smile!

  • Dawn said:

    I never knew how much power I would have as a mommy! My 10 month old son will scream bloody murder when he’s teething or over tired. My husband tries so hard, but my son just keeps crying. But when mommy walks in the room, he reaches out for me and stops crying the minute I pick him up. The bond children have with their mother just amazes me!

  • Erin said:

    Very well said ! All of these things came to a suprise to me as well. Personally, I think there should be an actual post-partum class ! I know that nobody can be prepared entirely for those first few days/weeks at home but it would be great if there was a little more focus/talk about baby blues and at least half of the things mentioned above. If anything maybe just to help moms feel a little less clueless or alone.

  • Leslie S said:

    The capacity to love a child is amazing to me. The capacity to love subsequent children is even more amazing. Your heart just grows bigger with each one! I could spend hours watching them play, grow and sleep.

  • Cherie said:

    Claws are right! If I don’t keep my little guys nails trimmed at least every other day…we both look like we own 10 kittens! I have been very lucky though, Oliver lets me cut his nails, no problem!

  • Liz said:

    It’s amazing how my day may be so horrible however I see my sons sweet little face and with his wonderful loving little smile makes my heart melt along with the stress of the day. He truly makes my heart swell. I feel it burn with love, emotion, happiness, pride and so many feelings it’s hard to describe.

  • Jennifer said:

    I was never really prepared for or warned about the pain that I would experince when my milk finally came in. But all in all every up and down has been worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

  • Tabitha said:

    Very true…I actually changed an explosion in Baby Depot on one of the changing tables that was for sale, didn’t want to risk it getting worse by going to the other side of the store for the restrooms. I found clipping her nails while she eats is the easiest.

  • Sarah N said:

    I had my baby’s bassinet and crib all set up and she didn’t end up using them at all! She was just one of those babies that needed to be with mommy all the time. Now our crib is a big laundry basket!

  • Karen B said:

    I was surprised how much love you have for your children. You know you will love them, but it is to the ends of the earth and back around again. I was also surprised by how much being a Mom truly suited me and it’s by far the best accomplishment in my life-my boys!

  • Julie A. said:

    What I was suprised to find out about parenthood is that teething can be an emotionally and physically exhausting experience. I had hears that some babies have no problem teething and other do, but didn’t think too much of it. Now my son is almost 8 months and has been in so much pain that has been hard on all of us. He has been such a good baby, so teething very much caught my husband and I off guard. We are praying for a first tooth or teeth any day now and also praying that we get a better teething experience with the next one:)

  • Renee said:

    At every diaper change I’d tell my son “momma” pronounce it and mouth the word to him..so when the time came that he start to babble..his first word was indeed..”momma” I was so estatic! Babies are so smart and alert, just because they can’t speak doesn’t mean they don’t understand!! I love my son!

  • Colleen said:

    I couldn’t believe how my heart melted every time my children said “I love you, Mommy” unsolicited. I still get teary. :)

  • nancy said:

    No amount of preparation or classes will ever prepare a mother for a complicated delivery and giving birth to a child with disabilities, i had a complicated pregnancy and even with all the extra ultrasounds and specialists, my son’s spinal deformity went unnoticed until after the csection. Seeing your child in nicu with tubes in his nose and hooked up to monitors, they dont teach you this stuff.

  • Lexy said:

    I might be a little different in saying I was truly surprised at how hard it is. I’ve never in my life had to make decisions for another human being every single day…just hoping you’re making the right choices. In saying that it is the single most rewarding thing I have ever done as well.

  • Yesica Bravo said:

    I must be a pro at cutting baby nails because I cut my son’s nails while he’s awake with no problem. I do it like once a week. I even cut my cousin’s baby’s nails because she was scared.

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