Despite your preparations, there are just some things you don’t realize until you have a baby. Having a baby is one of those things that you have to experience for yourself; it can’t be explained to you. Every baby is different and every experience is different. I know, because I was totally shocked with some of the things that I didn’t know until I had a baby. Just to give you a head's up, here is a look at some of the things you don’t realize until you have a baby yourself.
1. Sleep Deprivation
One of the first things you don’t realize until you have a baby is what sleep deprivation really is. Sure, you have heard people say to enjoy your sleep before baby arrives, or that sleep will never be the same, but you really just don’t realize what sleep deprivation is until that baby actually arrives. For me, it was a lack of sleep that I had never realized before, and that sleep deprivation really impacted my life for quite a while. But, you do learn to adjust after a while – and it does get better.
2. Diaper Changes
Sure, I knew that babies needed their diapers changed a lot, but I didn’t realize just how much “a lot” was until I had my own baby. Wow! Newborns, especially, need to have their diapers changed on a constant basis. With my little guy, I felt like I was changing his diaper every 20 minutes the first month of his life. Make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes and diaper cream on hand!
3. Schedule Changes
Before I had a baby, I could stay up until midnight and beyond easily and sleep until 10:00 on the weekends. Boy, did my schedule change once I had a baby. Now, I am lucky if I can stay up until 10:00 at night and 8:00 is sleeping in on the weekends! But, this change actually isn’t all that bad. You get to have some awesome moments with your little one during those hours.
4. Naps Are the BEST
Nap time really is the best time ever – not only for your little one, but for you, too. When my little one goes down, I get to attend to things that I can’t while he is awake. I work from home, so I can get a lot of work done while he’s napping. If I’m not working, I can do some gardening, clean the house, read a book, or take a nap myself when my guy is sleeping.
5. Playing is FUN!
As an adult, you lose your ability to play with toys. Well, when you have a baby, you learn how to play with toys and have fun with them again.
6. The Little Things Count
All those things that you easily take for granted, like taking a walk, stomping in puddles, seeing a butterfly or seeing a fire engine rolling down the road, all matter again – and are super exciting – when you have a kid.
7. The Magic
Kids believe in magic, and as an adult, you kind of forget about that magic. When you have a baby, you can see that magic and believe in it again. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies, dragons and tons of other things become real again. It’s truly amazing to experience.
8. How Precious Alone Time is
Most people who have children will tell you that as much as they love their children and want to be around most all the time, having just an hour to yourself can really give you some much needed alone time. Going for a walk, taking yourself shopping, having a nice bubble bath, or even just going to the grocery store alone are all great ways to get a little alone time. When you have kids, you're usually busy with them most of the time. A few times a week, try to squeeze in some much needed alone time for your sanity's sake.
9. How Giving You Are
Having kids requires you to be more giving than you ever thought possible. You'll give money, time, forgiveness, understanding, love and most importantly, life lessons to your kids that maybe you never even thought were possible. Be proud of that! It's what being a mother is all about.
10. Why Cooking is Important
Maybe until now, you've relied on frozen meals and fast food or sandwiches to get you by. Well, once you have a baby, that will change. You'll probably have to learn how to cook, prepare meals for your children and even your husband if you're married. Cooking is important since it teaches you skills, keeps you healthier, and can even save you money. It's also great to teach your little ones how to cook too, once they're old enough.
11. How Precious Life is
Having children will make you realize just how precious life is. Just the birth of a baby alone can teach you how much of a miracle the human life truly is. Yet, beyond that, it teaches you to appreciate every single day. As you watch your baby grow incredibly fast, you'll realize that every moment counts.
12. The Need to Multitask
When you have a baby, you'll probably have to cook with your little one on your hip, change diapers while on the phone, get ready while feeding your baby breakfast some mornings, and many other multi-tasking jobs you never even imagined. Laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even just putting on your makeup will no longer be single handed tasks, so be prepared to become quite the multitasking queen in your home from here on out!
13. How Expensive It is
I'm sure you already know, but children are not cheap, especially babies. They require clothes, formula, food, medical attention and many other costs that you might not have considered yet. Before you have a baby, make sure you can afford to have one, and after you have one, design your budget around ways to take care of your little one.There are also wonderful aid programs out there if you're single or married and have a low income, so be sure to investigate all your options.
14. How Influential You Are
Until you have a baby, you might not have thought about just how much you influence another life. All that changes when you have children. Not only will your baby look up to you, but they will also mimic things you do, and look to you for how to act. Be sure to be a good role model however you can.
15. How Grateful They Make You
Babies have a way of making a mother feel so loved and so grateful. A precious life that belongs to you that was created by you will look up to you in so many ways, and also make you extremely grateful for such an amazing gift. You won't just appreciate your baby and life more in general, but you'll also learn to appreciate other small things too, especially about yourself and your body for the gift it has given you in your baby.
16. How to Live in a Mess
When you have children, you'll probably have to let go of any OCD needs you have to keep your house spotless all the time. You can still maintain a tidy home, but toys, bottles, blankets, etc. will probably become mainstays that lie around your home a good bit of the time. Plus, you'll be so busy with your little one and life, that you'll lose the need for everything to look perfect all the time.
17. How Fun They Are
Lastly, having a baby can be a lot of fun, and you'll realize just how fun they can make your life if you embrace it. You'll get to do new things, get to influence a person's life in this world and get to experience growing up all over again through your children. Be prepared for one of the wildest and most fun, rides of your life!
Having baby really does change your life. Sure, some of these changes aren’t exactly desirable (sleep deprivation), but most of them are simply amazing. So, what things did you not realize until you had a baby?