You can't know until you know:
- that birthday parties are crazy!You have no idea what you're in for with regard to birthday parties. For you first timers let me tell you that things snowball rather quickly. A few friends quickly becomes 5 friends, plus parents and siblings and before you know it you have a bonafide shindig on your hands. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, it can be fun, but you might not anticipate the intensity of a child's birthday party. Kids lose their minds completely. There is laughter, squeals of delight, running, and injuries---there is always an injury.
- that illness is a lifestyle.You will become sick for several years, unceasingly. Multiply this by 7 with each additional child. I like to call this the preschool sampler. So far this fall we have had at least one member of the family with a cough since September. Seriously. Currently there are 4 members of our family with a cough.
- that your kids will make you laugh every single day. Children are hilarious. From the first grunting red faced poo to the time your four year old asks, "How do I look?" You reply, "You look awesome." Then she corrects you with, "and beautiful!" Seriously, these kids are clowns and every single day is better for it.
- that watching your kids sleep is an actual past time. I call it baby gazing. I love to watch the quiet sleep of my own children. Sure, any kid asleep is adorable, but it gets old. Your own kids on the other hand, you could stare for ages, and you will.
- that your kids will make you furious. A totally different fury than any other you've felt before because it is mixed with super love, let's just call it fury love. What I mean here is that this beautiful child you care for every day will be generally ungrateful and you're mostly OK with it until the day that they start to question your authority and boldly tell you, "NO!" You'll try reason and nothing will work. They may throw a senseless fit and at some point you'll hit a wall. You'll be looking down at this tiny little person with their own ideas and opinions and you'll be simultaneously furious and charmed, it's weird.
- that sleep isn't quite as necessary as you thought. Sure, it's great, but you really get used to a lack of sleep. It isn't ideal, but you can function and not act like a total psycho.
- that you are more capable and stronger than you realized. From powering through your own illness to care for your kids to holding back tears of worry as you wait for results at the hospital, you are strong enough to keep it together for your kids.
- that being a mother doesn't mean that you have to wear mom jeans or walk around like a zombie. Ten minutes is all it takes to get yourself to a point of presentable, 20 and you can even toss in a shower. I make it a point to dress and put on makeup each and every morning, keeps me feeling human.
- that you need to work on yourself in order to be a good parent. Your efforts to grow as a person will make a huge statement to your children. Cordelia is always interested in my new hobbies and efforts; I suspect it will be the same with Elise.