You wish you knew sleepless nights turn into sleepless years.
Before we have a baby, we think we know what staying up with a baby will be like. Most of us have stayed up all night, either during college finals or a slumber party in 4th grade. Well, staying up with a crying baby is absolutely nothing like staying up with a text book or a bunch of friends. In fact it is not really “staying up”. It’s learning to sleep sitting up with a baby perched on your breast or sleep in ½ hour increments and hope you are coherent the next day to read the washing machine dial.
After the baby stage you are hit with the teething toddler, nightmare prone preschooler, school age ‘don’t wanna go to bed’ negotiator and eventually lie in bed wide eyed waiting for your teenager to get home.
As parents we figure out we won’t have a good night sleep anytime soon until the kids 25thth birthday.
You wish you knew most everything is a stage.
From the baby who eats every two hours, to the teenager who is semi-conscious for only two hours a day, kids go thru stages.
Somewhere along the line you realize you just manage the stage until you are through it. The toddler temper tantrums last until the sassy threes kick in. Eventually Johnny will eat his vegetables and not just eat pasta at every meal. And Susie will eventually stop wearing her pink tights to bed every night. Your third grader will eventually work out all the social struggles he endures every day.
Many experienced parents will tell you, “He won’t walk down the high school graduation line with a pacifier in his mouth”. Well, it’s true. All kids one way or another, lose the pacifier, graduate to a big kids bed, sleep through the night and become potty trained. I promise your tween and teenager will remove the cell phone from their hand long enough to actually graduate from high school.
Most of parenting is a stage. Though, I am still wondering when the sibling rivalry stage will end.
You wish you knew time speeds up the older they get.
When you are struggling through the first six years full of bottles, diapers, spit up, temper tantrums and sassy three year olds, you think it will never end. You will never have time of your own again.
Kindergarten starts and before you know it you are sitting in a folding chair watching them graduate. It’s a proven scientific fact that as soon as your kids hit kindergarten the clocks move faster. One day you wake up and you don’t need to make lunches anymore or drive carpool. There won’t be a dead spot on the grass from the wading pool or extremely loud noises coming from their rooms. All of the sudden there isn’t much clutter and the loads of laundry have dwindled down to almost nothing.
It will all be quiet. So, take time to smell the backpacks once in a while, you’ll be glad you did.