The ability to go back in time would make parenting so much easier.
We could go back five minutes, for example, and not leave the toddler unattended with a sharpie.
We could rewind long enough to pack those extra baby wipes on that trip to the park that ended with a diaper blowout so extreme, the baby rode home in nothing but a diaper under the car seat buckles.
If I could go back in time, I would make a stop to talk to myself before I had kids.
I would allow Pre-Kid Katie to ask questions and hopefully my answers wouldn’t scare her into tying her tubes.
Here’s how I think the conversation would go:
Pre-Kid Katie: Honestly, how painful is labor? Are the movies trying to scare me, or is that accurate?
Mom Katie: It’s the worst, most excruciating pain you will never remember.
You won’t scream and lob obscenities at your husband, but you will mutter some pretty brutal curse words through gritted teeth.
Contractions are the worst. Pushing is the worst. Postpartum recovery is the worst.
Yet somehow you were willing to go through it more than once, so obviously you can handle it.
The smell of your new baby’s head, Katie, causes pain amnesia.
PKK: How many kids will we have? Does a second baby get the short end of the stick?
I’m terrified a second baby won’t feel as loved as the first.
MK: Calm down. You are a middle child and you know your parents love you.
Parents don’t get a limited amount of love that you somehow have to slice into pie pieces and divide among your children.
Your heart fills with love for your first baby. And then grows like the Grinch’s to create even more love for a second baby.
I imagine by a third baby your love tank will runneth over.
PKK: What about planning for all this stuff? Does life get ridiculously unorganized?
MK: Hahaha! I forgot that Pinterest hasn’t been invented yet.
Don’t worry, you will have all the meal planning, birthday party ideas, baby care guides and diaper bag checklists you will ever need at your fingertips.
PKK: How does your husband do with the kids? Are you two a team?
MK: We are definitely a team. But somehow we are playing different sports.
Your husband will parent differently than you. He will fold the laundry differently.
He will have his own method for giving the kids a bath.
These ways are not wrong. They are just different.
Start repeating this mantra and life will be much easier as you both adapt to parenthood.
As long as you agree on the big things, let the daily differences go.
PKK: How gross are babies? Do you ever get used to changing dirty diapers?
MK: In the future, you will catch vomit in your bare hands.
Your daughter will attempt to force feed you boogers from her own nose.
You will end up scrubbing toddler poop off the walls and windows, and once you somehow end up with infant poop inside your pants pocket.
Kids are disgusting.
But somehow their kisses, cuddles, smiles and “I love you’s” weigh more than the dirty diapers and the endless soiled laundry.
The scales are rigged, and the love is always heavier.
You might change a few things if given the chance, but you certainly won’t let the gross stop you from experiencing the wonderful.
Watch ABC36 News at Noon on the first Monday of every month to see Katie review her favorite products for mom and baby.