I was tagged by my friend Becky, and since she's pretty tough, I thought I better do it. Here are some of the things motherhood has taught me. Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list because I would be way too embarrassed about all the things I didn't know beforehand. Anyways...
10. Plan to throw out any preconceived ideas of what your child will look/act/progress/be like. It's never quite how you pictured it. Mostly it's great, but sometimes you see your kid licking the snot coming out of her nose and think "Did I really contribute to that?" Also, make no concrete parenting decisions before you've met your child. I have a whole book on Mothering My Nursing Toddler that was deemed useless when Tot mercilessly weaned herself at 10 months.
9. Count yourself lucky if you and your husband have different squick factors. Mine is blood and Dave's is puke. Between the two of us, we've got the big kid messes covered. Which is good, because these things happen much more often than you think. If you are squicked out by everything, well, sorry 'bout your luck.
8. You will be suddenly able to distinguish your child's dirty diaper smell from any other kid's in the room. It's a gross power, but a power none the less.
7. You can go without sleep for years if you really need to. Personally, I haven't slept eight hours (with no interruptions) regularly (more than 3 days in a row) in almost four years. However, I've also developed a small tick in my left eye and sometimes forget direct objects.
6. You will sometimes look back at yourself, before you had kids, and wonder how you could have ever thought yourself happy without these little people in your life. You will also look at this same period of time with just your and your husband and wonder why, why, you didn't appreciate it (even if you totally did, you'd just appreciate it differently now).
5. Your favorite foods of yore will find themselves back in vogue. Suddenly, Mac & Cheese totally tastes delicious again. Vienna Sausages hold a certain appeal. And darned if that Apple & Plum baby food doesn't taste like a tiny smoothie.
4. There will be days when you sit back and wish you didn't know so much about so many people's bathroom habits. There will also be days you wish your kids didn't want to know everything about your bathroom habits.
3. Buying clothes second hand is the best thing I do that I wish I did earlier. You can get brand new/almost new clothing for less than half of what it would cost at a regular store. Think of all those baby clothes that you got at your shower in giant sizes, only to put them away and forget about them until they look like doll clothes next to your child. Buy second hand while your kid doesn't know the difference. Use the money to buy M&M's. Much more practical.
2. Your definition of "dirty" will change dramatically. Pacifier on the ground? Lick it and Stick it, we always say.
1. No one wakes up the day after they have a baby and suddenly transform into Donna Reed. Cut yourself some slack. It takes years for people to settle into their "Mommy Groove" and it's totally by trial and error. You try different schedules, different ways of accomplishing the same things over and over again until you find a way that works for you. And sometimes, something that used to work when you had an 8 month old doesn't work now that you have a 2 1/2 year old and an eight month old. Being a mom is all about adapting to your circumstances while picking the things you won't change. It's a hard balance to walk, and sometimes you screw up, but you'll find your way. It just takes a little time.