This is what I wish someone had told me about motherhood before having children

Millennials, take note!

5 days ago

Being a mother is one of life's greatest gifts, but any new mother will tell you that nothing *quite* prepares you for the biggest role of your life.

We asked Michelle Kennedy, founder of Peanut, the Tinder style app connecting mums and mums-to-be that's been dubbed the 'millennial Mumsnet', to share nine ways life has changed for her since becoming a mother - and the things she wishes someone had've told her about parenthood before she welcomed her little one.

1. I am no longer grossed out by bodily fluids. I am the most squeamish person. All of a sudden, my tolerance for poop, bogies and sick have increased tenfold. Nothing screams tolerance like being able to deal with scrapping an unidentified ‘blob’ off your Celine trousers like Motherhood.

2. I see the world differently. Fin looks at the world with the most incredible innocence. His questions are grounding and enlightening. He doesn’t understand inequality, and yet his own sense of what is unfair or wrong is so strong, it reminds me everyday how impactful we are, and society is, on children’s view of the world.

3. Balance is Bullsh*t. There was so much narrative surrounding ‘balance’ when I was pregnant. I genuinely believed it was possible to be the perfect mother, employee, wife, daughter, friend, and still have ‘time for me’. No surprise then, it’s not. When I wasn’t achieving the mystical balance, I felt like I was failing. As soon as I started to understand that life is about juggling, everything changed. I became much kinder to myself, and realistic about what I could do. Sometimes i’m an amazing mommy, sometimes I am killing it at work, it rarely happens all at once, and that, is ok.

4. I understand the term ‘heartache’. When I travel away from Fin, I physically get pains. Weird, but true. I didn’t ever expect that. I wonder if it will ever change.

5. There is no right way to mother. I remember I used to have wild ideas about motherhood. I wouldn’t only have organic toys, I would always wear heels, I would NEVER let my child eat junk food. I don’t know where these ideas came from, and I have let them go. You have to.

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6. Motherhood has changed the way I approach work. I am more empathetic. I want to understand people’s frustrations, I want to listen more. Motherhood creates a patience in you that is invaluable in the workplace.

7. It’s important to me that Fin understands the work I do. I want him to see me working hard, and understand why. I want him to expect and respect that you can do anything you want in life, if you work hard, and take the knocks when they come. But you also stay humble and kind.

8. It will ALWAYS upset you when another child hurts yours. I never appreciated how hard it must have been for my own mum when I told her about another child being cruel to me, or hurting me. I appreciate that more and more.

9. Toddler truths hurt. There is nothing like a little person to tell you exactly how it is. Still, nothing prepares you for the “mama, do you have a moustache”. Loudly. In a public place.