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Local Moms Chat Back: What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Mom

What do you wish you had known about motherhood before you became a mom? We posed the question to Colorado Parent readers and received responses ranging from practical to sentimental to downright funny.

Motherhood: it’s the ultimate learning experience. Whether you are still figuring out what each of your baby’s cries mean or learning how to give your teen space as he heads off for college, motherhood is a never-ending classroom full of trials, successes, PB and J-smudged fingers, and sometimes, colossal failures. Here’s what you told us you wish you had known before you held your little one in your arms for the very first time.

“I wish I had known just how hard it would be to make time to just be me—not Mom, not spouse, not maid, not cook, nor chauffeur—just me.” —Opal Hilty, Arvada
Mom of one, age 13

“It’s critical to get a firm, calm but reasonable handle on your rules and guidelines as a parent early on. If you let the kids begin to manipulate you, even when they are very young, they’ll know they can do it forever—lesson learned the hard way.” —Courtney Drake-McDonough, Denver
Mom of four, ages 19, 21, 25, and 27

“That my life will change forever and that it will be all about them the minute they come into our life.” —Ellie Titarenko, Lakewood
Mom of two, ages 7 and 10

“All diapers are not created equally!” —Lisa Thompson, Lakewood
Mom of one, age 10 months

“I wish I had been prepared for the mental load that comes with mothering. We all know the love is huge and all-encompassing, and the mental load just as huge and encompassing as well.” —Renee Schoenbeck, Longmont
Mom of one, age 2

“I wish I had known how much more I would fall in love with my husband. While we made the commitment to love and cherish each other I never knew just what those words meant until I became a mother to our son. Creating this little human brought us so close.” —Amanda Maxwell, Denver
Mom of one, age 4

“It’s hard to put into perspective, but the world as you know it will never look the same.” —Lyndsey Winton, Lafayette
Mom of one, age 4 months

“Although I saw friends and family struggle, I don’t think I truly appreciated how life altering having little people in your house can be. I knew that having kids changed your lifestyle and that it would be hard, I just wasn’t prepared for how much motherhood changes you at the core in terms of your outlook on life, your values, and your ability to multitask. It is truly the hardest, most tiring work I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.” —Kristin Banek, Aurora
Mom of three, ages 3, 9, and 15

“I wish I had known motherhood would be the most fulfilling and worst paying job I’d ever have.”
—Connie Weiss, Golden
Mom of two, ages 11 and 12

“You need to be kind to dad! This is difficult for him, too. And the poor guy has no maternal instincts (or oxytocin) to help him along!” —Julia Baker Hansen, Denver
Mom of two, ages 1 and 5

“I wish somebody had warned me about how much I was going to love my children. I was in graduate school when I had my first, and had been planning to work full-time in an office setting. Then, when I saw my firstborn’s face in the delivery room, I couldn’t image being away from him all day, and my career ambitions changed dramatically.” —Jamie Siebrase, Denver
Mom of two, ages 5 and 7

“Free time will become a luxury once you become a mom. But the trade-off is worth it, for sure.” —Tracey Ferrara, Westminster
Mom of one, age 1

“I read this in a parenting book some years ago but it has stuck with me: Don’t take too much credit for how your kids act/turn out, but also don’t take too much blame. They are individuals separate from me, and while I play a role in shaping them, I do not and cannot control them.” —Lydia Rueger, Arvada
Mom of two, ages 9 and 13

“This will challenge your marriage in ways you never thought possible. Making a real true effort to keep the spark alive must be put forth from both spouses in order to preserve and maintain the balance and happiness of your relationship.” —Brooke Mirville, Lakewood
Mom of two, ages 1 and 3

“I wish I knew that tough love was just as tough on me as it was on my children.” —Margaret Myers, Aurora
Mom of two, ages 25 and 32

“I wish I had known that everything will work out in the end. It took me a long time to relax into being a mother, and realize that perfection is unattainable, and unnecessary!” —Kelly Smith, Littleton
Mom of two, ages 19 and 22

“How hard it is to explain the questions my kids ask in such a manner that is understandable to wondering little brains.” —Cheryl Herrera, Denver
Mom of five, ages 8 months, 2, 7, 9, and 17

“I thought parents knew everything. I found out they are just ordinary people doing their very best. Also, our bodies are really, really amazing and do weird things. Like what you thought was just a mole, ummm nope, that’s a third nipple that will produce milk.” —Jana Massenburg, Glencoe
Mom of four, ages 4, 8, 13, and 15

“That you always feel alone, but also have a huge network of support!” —Molly Buttitta, Denver
Mom of two, ages 1 and 3

“Before we have children, most of us have some notion that: ‘I’ll make my children follow THIS rule.’ And: ‘I will enforce THIS schedule with my kids.’ Or the ever-popular: ‘I would never let my kid do THAT’ edict. Then you have said children and realize it’s really hard to parent these little people, who are born with their own ideas, temperament, and opinions. Don’t get me wrong; I love being a mom. But it’s a constant test of my character, mettle, and stamina. And I’ll admit I take a tiny bit (maybe a lot) of pleasure in hearing non-parents or soon-to-be parents declaring, ‘When I’m a parent, my kids will (FILL IN BLANK).’ I can only smirk and nod. ‘Uh huh. Get back to me on that.’” —Heather Mundt, Longmont
Mom of two, ages 9 and 11

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