Becoming a mother is a wonderful, but challenging experience. In order to help expectant moms be better prepared, a helpful glossary is below for reference.
The ABCs of Motherhood
Anxiety: The experience of creating the most absurd worst-case scenarios in your head and then obsessing about them. Examples include worrying about the possible long-term side effects of the non-organic vegetables you served at dinner, and wondering if television really does rot the brain. These thoughts can occur at any given moment, though usually right as you are about to fall asleep.
Bedtime: The nightly routine in which you utilize your expert negotiation skills. Potty? Check. Water? Check. Bedtime story? Check. Now, please just go the *bleep* to sleep.
Cloth Diapering: A polarizing topic, promoted among the crunchy mom community. If washing poopy undergarments is not your cup of tea, this is not for you.
Dirty Diapers (all varieties): Because so much pee and poop. So, so much. You may find yourself pondering how that volume of excrement can come out of such a tiny person.
Ear Infections: It will happen. Think of it as a milestone of sorts.
Finding Food in Furniture: It is always delightful to find last month’s snack in between your couch cushions. Just hope that the snack was Cheerios and not bananas.
Google Searches: Because someone, somewhere, has been through it before, whatever it is. Friend or foe, this tool is at your disposal even in the wee morning hours.
Hugs: There will be so many wonderful hugs. Nothing is better than those little arms wrapped tightly around your waist or those chubby, baby fingers pinching your neck fat. Add in those wet, open-mouth cheek kisses, and you are golden.
Instruction Manual: A handy step-by-step how-to guide—that unfortunately does not come with a baby. Like all of us, you will just make it up as you go along.
Juggling: A skill that all moms must master to handle the daily demands of kids, work, home, and personal hygiene. It takes time, but you will eventually reach expert level.
Keeping Up With Housework: Difficult and at times nearly impossible, but it will get done. Prioritize the most important things first. As long as you are not leaving breadcrumb trails for rodents, the other stuff can wait.
Love: I don’t mean to get mushy, but the love between a mommy and her baby is the most awesome thing around. No joke here.
Mealtime: The daily struggle which is dinner. If your child eats their meal without you bribing them, it’s a win. If they eat it with you bribing them, it’s still a win. Just eat.
Nose Frida: Because nothing says “love” like sucking the boogers out of your baby’s nose with your mouth.
Online Mom Groups: With these come the good, the bad, and the judgy, but we join anyway.
Playdates: The social get-togethers that are usually more for mommies than children. A good opportunity for adult interaction. We heart playdates.
Questions: Once your kids can talk, these will be incessant. Examples: “Where is my [fill in the blank]?”, “Can I watch [fill in the blank]?”, “Why can’t I put that [fill in the blank] in the/my [fill in the blank]?”.
Repeating Yourself: Because repeating yourself, repeating yourself, and repeating yourself.
Sleep: Much like Bigfoot, sleep is elusive, especially in the early months of motherhood. You will meet again. I promise. (Sleep, I mean. A meeting with Bigfoot cannot be guaranteed.)
Terrible Twos/Threes/Fours, etc.: Because there will be a phase in which your angelic child enjoys acting like a little anarchist. I am told it gets better. *waiting*
Unrealistic Expectations: In mommyhood, we place these on ourselves as we try to be perfect in every way. Remember that not everything needs to be Pinterest-worthy. Art museum quality lunch displays? Uh-uh. Hand-crafted St. Patrick’s Day gifts? Nope.
Vacuum: Free, safe, and effective baby sleep-aid. I have never loved that noise so much.
Washing Bottles: The worst. So many bottles.
Xasperation: (OK, I’m cheating a little here): The feeling when you’ve had all you can stand and you can’t stands no more. Mommies need breaks too. Deep breath. Glass of wine. Tomorrow is a new day.
Yelling: Because we all do it sometimes. It’s OK to admit it.
Zombie: Some long, rough nights will leave you functioning like the walking dead. That’s what caffeine and nap time are for.
Please keep this reference tool handy in case a refresher is needed. Good luck and Godspeed.
This post originally appeared on ScaryMommy. It has been reprinted with permission.