Every where I go people keep telling me I must be super mom; Nope just really, really fertile! You may call me Myrtle!
Here are some of the things I have learned in the last 3.5 years:
1. Being a mom is hard work.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. (This only applies to moms who have 1 child. After you have 2 you will not get to sleep again. Ever. Just sayin')
3. Join am MOPS group, like yesterday!!!!! (Can't stress this one enough-notice all the exclamation points- Even if you don't make any friends at MOPS *highly unlikely* you will get encouragement from the speakers- and you get to drink your coffee while it's still hot! Whoop whoop!)
4. Let the kids get messy. Kids and cloths both wash. Find some mud and let them play!
5. Your house will be a mess. It was a mess yesterday, it will be a mess tomorrow. Clean the basics and let the rest go.
6. There is enough love to go around! You will think, 'there is no way I could love any kid more then this.' But you will love the next one, and the next one, and the next one....
7. Two words. Cloth Diapers! So easy and saves so much money. I use bumGenius. Check them out here.
8. Your husband still comes first. He was there first and he will be there after the kids are gone. You will give and give and give to your kids all day. Then at the end of the day you will
9. Stay home if you can. These years are short and precious and oh so important.
10. You will get pooped on, spit up on and peed on- some days all before 9am!
11a. Yelling NEVER helps the situation.
11b. Hugging ALWAYS helps the situation.
12. Take you kids where ever you go. Need food? Take them to the store with you. Need cloths? Take them to the store with you. Need to get out of the house, but don't really need anything. Take them to Target with you. No seriously, learn to live your life with your kids. Let them do life with you.
13. Breastfeed if you can. It's cheap, easy and just the right temperature (and oh so good for that little blessing!)
14. Speaking of blessings, kids are a blessing. Even on the days that you want to run away and never return- they are still a blessing.
15. Watch what you say while you are on the phone talking to your girl friends (or under your breath). Funny story. Ready?!..... My hubby and I were having one of those weeks. That Sunday he didn't get up to go to church with us, so I had to take all 3 - we only had 3 kids back then- by myself. The church had put up a large white tent, it was for the youth group but I did not know this. When my almost 3 year old asked why it was there I said, under my breath, "Someone was probably stupid enough to get married." Fast forward a week. Said Child was in the car with my mother in law *you know* the mom of the man I married. She asked Said Child why there was a tent up at our church. Said Child states, "Someone was stupid enough to get married." Watch what you say people- they can hear you!!
16. Laugh. Some days I get into bed and realize I have not laughed all day. The average toddler laughs 150 times a day (I got this statistic from the Internet. I did not do my own research on this, but with 3 toddlers I bet I could!) 150 times in like 12 hours. Make sure you laugh a few times with them!
17. The hardest adjustment to make is to go from no kids to one. Once you have one under your belt you are good to go!
18. Invest in a good stroller. I love my triple Valco Baby. Check it out here.
19. A gourmet dinner of PB&J is just fine- even 3 weeks in a row.
20. Some days success is doing 3 loads of laundry, cooking, a play date and baths. Other days success is that everyone is still breathing.
21. Kids change everything!
22. Strapping 4 kids into car seats sucks. Having to bind, twist and climb over the seats to strap a 'big girl' into the 'big girl' car seat sucks even more. Having kids safe while in the car- priceless!
23. Cell phones were not built to survive bath time. RIP smart phone.
24. The days are long but the years are short. Don't blink.
25. Don't blink, but do breath.
26. Eat the cookie. Sure you have a lot of work to do to get back to 'pre baby' but some days you just need to eat that cookie!
27. If someone offers to help, let them.
28. 'Me time' ain't all it's cracked up to be. Nothing beats 'family time.'
29. Count your blessings, not your frustrations.
30. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
31. Be smart with money! You/your kids do not need brand new of everything- used can be just as good as new but way cheaper.
32. Write down the cute things they say!
33. There is more to this life then this. Teach them about Jesus. Don't know Jesus? Get to know Him, and then teach them about Him!
34. No matter what is going on, there is always a reason to smile at your kids.
35. Learn to say NO to others, learn to say YES to your kids!
36. Read a good book. It's a way to relax and escape the stress of mama/wify-hood, without spending any money!
37. Praise them way, waaaaay more then you correct them!
38. There is a saying, "When I have no where else to go, I get on my knees." Have a tough situation? Start on your knees, don't wait until it's the last place to go!
39. "So Quiet Down Cobwebs...Dust Go To Sleep...I'm Rocking My Baby, And Babies Don't Keep." True, oh so true!
40. It's only a season! 3 months from now things will be so different!
41. Everyone has nap/quiet time at the same time-even mommy!!
42. Life is a garden, dig it! Plant some easy to take care of plants and watch them grow! It's fun to accomplish something and the older kids get to help! Plus you get to eat the fruits (or veggies) of your labor.
43. Each baby is different. Get to know each one. My first 3 hated to be swaddled, #4 loves it! 1,2 and 4 are belly sleepers, #3 hates to be on her tummy....
44. Enjoy the ride!! It's a wild one, but not one you get to do over, so enjoy it now!!