Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Five Things No One Prepares You For Parenthood

Tonight there was a chick walking around the gym wearing shorts, an oversized white t-shirt and a winter stocking cap, carrying an open party size bag of Cheetohs. If there was anyone I'd like to walk up and say hi to, it was that girl. Amazing.


So Jordan has been traveling for work quite a bit lately, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love all the extra girl time I'm getting with Syd. She's become such a hilarious little best friend of mine, and even though of course she has her Sour Patch Kid moments (like chucking her shoe out the car window perhaps), she's such a good little girl.

Today I was having lunch with Syd at this fun bar-restaurant, and as we were walking out Sydney was waving and saying goodbye to everyone and everything---and I mean everything. "Byeee, people! Byeeee, tables! Byeeee, pizza!" She's so sweet and funny. But as we were passing by this one particular table, this woman decided it was her responsibility to give me a parenting lesson: "You know, you really shouldn't teach your daughter to talk to everyone."

First reaction: "I'll cut you."

Second reaction: "You do realize she's waving goodbye to a chair, not conversing with terrorists, right? And you do see that she's holding my hand, right?"

Third (and actual reaction I gave): "Have a good day," as I smiled awkwardly.

I've heard of complete strangers giving people parenting advice before, but I was totally speechless and blown away by this lady's boldness. I was taken aback by how abrasive her comment was, especially since I was holding Sydney's hand and it wasn't like she had wandered up to a group of strangers. I was totally unprepared for this lady and her comment; I really didn't realize people actually did that. That said, here are my top five things I was also totally unprepared for as a mama:

1. Receiving unsolicited advice: see above. But I've also realized majority of the time (key word being majority) people really don't mean any harm and are just trying to help (and more than likely tactfulness evades them). Once we got back to the car, I realized I probably should start teaching Sydney a little bit about stranger danger--because homegirl has none. She's not super outgoing but she definitely isn't afraid of people, and given the wrong circumstance it could potentially become a pretty dangerous situation. So, point noted, lady. But to be honest, no one really knows what they're doing. Sure, there are specialists, therapists, professionals and know-it-alls, but the bottom line is no one knows your child better than you. So while I guess it's good practice to keep an open-mind to articles and advice, be confident with your own motherly/fatherly instincts and trust yourself to know what's best for your own kiddos.

Grilled chicken and steamed broccoli for lunch, so at least I was doing something right today.

2. Parenthood is a constant ebb and flow of getting it right and screwing it up. When you finally start to really feel your groove in whatever stage your child(ren) is/are in, BAM---they change it up and you're clueless all over again. We've finally figured out how to handle Sydney's tantrums before they really start and pretty much awarded ourselves Parents of the Year, and now suddenly she's started sassing off with her mouth. "NO, Mommy, don't YOU tell ME no," she says with her chubby finger pointed at me. And when I say shit, I get, "Mommy, NO. Don't say that. NAUGHTY." Ohh-kayyy, Miss Goody-Goody. (I mean, I never accidentally swear in front of her.)

Telling me she's not going to school and demanding Paw Patrol and Cheerios instead.

3. Your marriage will also be a constant ebb and flow. Fact of the matter is that children change e v e r y t h i n g. When I was pregnant, Jordan and I made a pact to assimilate Sydney into our lives, not us assimilate to her life. While I think we've done a pretty good job at staying true to who we are as a couple, now as a family, I think we were a bit naive to think we could hike a 14er with Sydney last summer, ha. (This summer, though? Different story!) But I think in realizing how much our lives were affected in almost every single way with Sydney, we also had to kind of figure out how to be as husband and wife as parents. Something I know I've personally struggled with is making my marriage the number one priority. I kept thinking, "But Sydney's just a baby---shouldn't she be my number one?" What evidence suggests is if you and your spouse make and keep each other as your first priorities, everything else in your lives will inevitably succumb to the love and respect you hold for each other and flourish as well. I'm no marriage counselor, but I do know my marriage--and ergo my parenting style and Sydney's well being--has become better by putting more focus on that sweet, hilarious, incredibly smart and sexy husband of mine.

4. Time flies faster than you can even begin to comprehend. No, I'm not kidding on that one---and parents of kids already, you know exactly what I'm talking about. When Sydney was a newborn, I'd hear people claim they didn't remember their babies being that small, and I totally thought that was just something people said---but whenever I hold a newborn, I can't help but say the same thing. I really can't remember Sydney being that tiny and fragile! And when people told/tell me to cherish all the moments right now, I used to roll my eyes (because do I really want to remember scraping a screaming, pancaked-out toddler off Target's floor?) until time started flying so quickly that I now cherish the reminders to cherish the moments.

5. You will truly learn what unconditional love is---and your heart will grow bigger than it ever has before. #truth

Mother's Day 2016 // My heart.

Hope all the wonderful mamas out there had the best Mother's Day!



  1. This is one of my favorite things I have ever read!!

    1. Jackie, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for your words and for taking the time to read. :-) xoxo


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