Okay great yeah we know what to expect when we’re expecting…but what about after that? What about after the cute snuggles, the sleepless nights, the sleep regressions and diaper rash, colic and baby led weaning? How about weird kid stuff? Well, mine are 5 and 8 now so I am here to impart my sacred knowledge on those eager enough to seek it. The stuff I wish my friends with older kids told me!

  • Don’t buy white-okay we should know this from the baby stage, but this should carry on into the kid stage as well. White socks? White undies? Just, don’t. Because they will run through grass and mud without their shoes on, because you think they’re wiping well enough…and well, there are just stains everywhere. They will always use clothes as napkins no matter how many actual literal napkins are set before them. So just buy the colors, save yourself the agony of stain removal.
  • Just say yes-to all the things. Technology, junk food, TV-they name it, they get it. Well, kinda. Of course I mean this within reason. But of course before I was a mother my kids would never have anything made of sugar or would hold a screen in their precious hands. But now I realize everything is healthy in moderation. Why? For one, SANITY. How else am I going to fill all these hours in the damned day if I have to entertain them myself? They aren’t old enough yet to go anywhere or hang out alone in their rooms. So for a few minutes in the day they watch a screen, once or twice a day they get a treat, all in the name of my mind being at ease. I do set arbitrary rules for food like “no cookies for breakfast but have the sugary cereal” but I need to let my kid know moms in charge here.
  • Buy lots of band-aids-just trust me on this one
  • Meal planning will be your never ending nightmare and best friend-I hate meal planning. I feel like all I do on Saturday morning is stand next to the fridge at the white board, marker in hand, coming up with the list of the meals for the week. But I know if I don’t do this, I will hate myself later. During the week all I have to do is look at the list and choose, I know all the ingredients will be in the fridge and I just have to pull them out and throw them together. Saves me agony during the work week, but I can’t say I’ve ever grown to love it. You can see my meal planning post here.

I prefer to take selfies in front of the menu board instead rather than meal plan if that tells you anything
  • You may not sleep again, or at least for a really long time-Congrats if your baby slept through the night at 6 months! Both of my kids did! And then stopped shortly thereafter for various reasons. My son had night terrors until he was 3. Actually his last one was on the night before his sister was born. My daughter never wanted to go to bed, or stay asleep, she was just happy as a lark staying up until 9 or 10, so sadly we had to stop her naps just after she turned 3. And even now at age 5 she still tip toes down the stairs because she isn’t tired, or pokes her head into our bedroom at 5 a.m. to see what we are up to. My sleep has never been the same.
  • Babies aren’t fun-Maybe its just be but I am not a baby person. Sure they were cute at that age, but being able to go places without having to haul a baby bag around is much more enjoyable. We can play board games, we can teach them jokes, they make us laugh, go to restaurants without the worry of one of them throwing a tantrum…well most of the time. But I very much prefer having children who can interact and no one warned me during those difficult long nights of caring for a fussy baby that some day I would totally forget about all that and have fun taunting my kids when I beat them at board games!

There’s so much more to be said both good and bad, but mostly good, to what there is after the first few years-probably several volumes worth! From what I now hear from parents with pre-teens and teens the worst is yet to come…yikes! But right now, in this moment, I think I FINALLY understand when people say they miss these years.