19. Sometimes, you will just close the door to that nasty bathroom and walk away. That’s OK.
20. You will worry way too much that you are spoiling your kids. Conversely, you will worry way too much that you are not spending enough time with your kids. If you are worried about both of these things, almost simultaneously, the truth is probably in the sweet spot … right in the middle.
21. Never, ever research medical conditions on the Internet before first talking to an actual doctor. No momma needs that kind of drama.
22. One day, you will look at your child and realize you are staring him in the eye. Not looking down. Not bending over. Just looking him in the eye. You will feel an odd mix of awe and loss.
23. No matter what the gender of your children, never leave your make-up out while your little ones are under the age of 9. Just trust me on this.
24. Get to know coffee. Make it your friend. Love it and it will love you back.
25. Get used to saying I’m sorry to your child. You will mess up. You will mess up a lot.
26. You will love more intensely than you ever thought possible. You will grieve more intensely than you ever thought possible. You will make mistakes worse than you ever thought possible. You will matter more to these children than you ever thought possible.
27. Get used to nakedness, lots of it. There is a stretch of time where your child will love nothing more than to show you (and possibly others, in public) what they’ve got, any chance they get.
28. The nakedness thing will be replaced by total and complete privacy. Then you will find yourself trying to discretely peek to see if hair is now growing in places it previously did not.
29. If you are married, love your husband, even if it seems sometimes like he doesn’t love you back. Let your children see how much you love him. Tell them all the time how much you love him. He needs to hear it and so do they.
30. Build forts. They are a pain to clean up, but build them just the same. In time, you will remember those forts more fondly than they do.
31. Every once in a while, surprise them with ice cream or cake for dinner. They will survive the lack of nutrition, you’ll be the hero and you won’t have to cook.
32. Your floors (especially the area in the corners) will be dirtier than you ever imagined. You will stress about this for some time. Then you will let it go.
33. When your child spills something, and.they.will, try to react with grace (even if you just scrubbed that floor). We all make mistakes, and some children have more dexterity than others. A simple, “Oops. Let’s get the towel and clean this up together,” will do.
34. Sleep? Never, ever count on it. Then, it’s like a wonderful surprise when it actually happens.
35. At the end of the day, when you are beating yourself up for all the things you didn’t do, and all the things you wish you hadn’t done, stop. Stop and start to list the blessings. Every single day we have with our children is a gift. Just ask any momma who has lost her child, whose arms ache to hold her baby one last time. She will tell you. Even the bad stuff, is wonderful. Even the messy and the crazy and the awful and the gut wrenching, is beautiful. This, more than anything else on this list, has been my greatest lesson as a momma so far.
No matter how sad or dark or grieved or messed up or crazy it feels, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. There is always hope. There is always love.