35 (Very Specific) Things I've Learned as a Parent

Being a new parent is intense. It is a time where you experience your highest highs and lowest lows, yet inevitably look back at the experience with nothing but the fondest of memories. Over the last few weeks, I came to the somewhat sad realization that Aaron and I aren’t “new parents” anymore. That’s not to say we feel like we’ve got this parenting thing down (because we don’t), but our little boy is a year and a half and we’re no longer blindly navigating the world of diapers, poop and sleep. In fact, the other day I was at Target offering sippy cup advice to a new mom. Even though it was a quick 1 minute interaction, it felt strange to be the giver of parenting advice (if you count opinions on sippy cups as advice). But it got me thinking about the things I’ve learned over the past year a half. Here’s my list:

  1. Your little one will have nights where he really wants you to read to him, but definitely doesn’t want you to touch the book.

  2. Brushing a one year olds teeth is tough and sometimes you’ll casually forget to do it.

  3. You will fall in love with your partner each morning the baby wakes up and he says “I’ve got it, go back to sleep”.

  4. Being the recipient of an open mouthed face slobber means your little one is giving kisses. It took my mother-in-law pointing this out to make me realize what Max was doing. Before that the act felt more like a Facehugger attack from the movie Alien (if you are a child of the early 80s, you get that).

  5. Going to bed later never means waking up later. It’s not logical, but it’s something I was told time and time again before I became a mom, but never understood until I had a little one of my own.

  6. Don’t choose a Halloween costume that centers around a head piece. Although adorable, there is no way it will stay on for long. Last year we managed to snap a photo of Max before he ripped the lion head off.

    First halloween.

  7. Your little one eating vegetables is a dream they tell you can happen in your prenatal classes. Next time around our expectations will be lower.

  8. Holding a baby is no joke on your lower back.

  9. For a long time, when your little one “jumps”, his feet won’t actually leave the ground.

  10. These disposable stick-on placemats are the greatest thing and they making eating out so much easier.

  11. Making mom friends is really hard.

  12. A carseat protector seat cover is a must have. It will keep your car clean once your little one’s legs are long enough to start kicking the seat.

  13. Roomba can entertain your child for hours. See Max’s 2nd word

    Kids love Roomba.

  14. Onsie closure hierarchy: Zipper > Snaps > > > buttons (should not exist).

  15. You will almost never sleep when the baby sleeps, no matter how many times people tell you to.

  16. The first time your little one sleeps through the night, you will write about it in your diary (or blog). If you don’t have a diary, you will start one.

  17. When I was pregnant, so many people told me I would get used to poop and while it’s true that I talk about it a lot more, I’m still totally grossed out by it.

  18. Snow days are no longer the lazy Netflix binge sessions they once were.

  19. Your little one will want you to read his favorite book multiple times in a row (these are the books I currently have memorized)

  20. There will be days when you have dinner at 5:30. And days when you go to bed while it’s still light outside.

  21. Car seats take up a lot of space, so if your “big car” is a Ford Focus, it is too small.

  22. You probably thought your days of laughing at farts was over, but your little one will reignite that hysteria in you.

  23. When your little one inevitably does something dangerous and falls, there is a pretty good chance he didn’t learn from it and will do it again.

  24. It takes twice as long to prep for the pool than the time you will spend there. Here “pool” can be replaced with basically any activity.

  25. Expecting nothing to get crossed off your to-do list then crossing off one thing is so much better than expecting everything to get crossed off your to-do list and crossing 9 out of 10 things off.

  26. Pajama day at school will feel like a treat for the whole family.

  27. The same trick will make your little one laugh over and over again, so save your new material.

  28. Sometimes kids are jerks. It’s okay if you don’t love every second of being a parent.

  29. Your house is never going to be as clean as it was before you had kids. The sooner you accept this, the happier you will be.

  30. When your little one sees a food they like during dinner, it guarantees they won’t eat what’s in front of them.

  31. Exhaustion will bring out the worst in you.

  32. Your white shirts will get stained, and some (a lot of) days you’ll leave the house without realizing it.

  33. There is a much bigger chance your little one will eat a piece of food they find on the ground than the meal you took time to prepare.

  34. Food sticks to eyelashes.

  35. Feeling your little one relax in your arms after a meltdown will melt your heart every time.

I’d love to know what’s on your list!