Join Club Momme for exclusive access to giveaways, discounts and more!

Sign up
Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.

Close

What You Thought Motherhood Would Be Like vs. What It's Actually Like

Photograph by Twenty20

The funniest thing in the world just might be someone without kids sharing their "wisdom" on how they will be upon becoming a parent. It's amazing how awesome and well-behaved both you and your kids are in your own little fantasy world of how you'll parent when you're not actually a parent, isn't it?

You think motherhood is going to be one way and that you'll always get big fat A-pluses on all your motherhood "assignments," but then reality gives you a beat down like nobody's business.

BIRTH

Expectation:

You thought you’d go all natural with childbirth.

Reality:

Meanwhile, that birth hurt like a mutha and the anesthesiologist became your BFF. Epidurals FTW.

BABY SLEEP

Expectation:

Your baby will sleep in their crib! You would never let your kid sleep in your bed. What are those novice parents talking about? You'll show them!

Reality:

Your toddler owns your half of the bed. You own a quarter ... with the family dog.

YOUR OWN SLEEP

Expectation:

You’ll sleep when the baby sleeps. Every mother knows it's important to get that shut-eye when the baby isn't awake.

Reality:

You’re boob-deep in laundry piles and haven’t had a nap since the '90s, when Felicity still had her long curly hair and hadn't yet stirred the sh*t pot with her short curly crop.

SCREEN TIME

Expectation:

You’ll never let your kid watch YouTube at all. Ever! Don't parents know what children can find on there? Come on, people, stop being slackers! Do something with your child!

Reality:

Your kid navigates YouTube and skips the paid ads like a pro. They may or may not have a YouTube pilot in the making.

BABY WILL NOT BOTHER ANYONE IN PUBLIC

Expectation:

You’ll never bring your kid to a remotely grown-up restaurant. Isn't that what Friendly's is for? And, please, bring your kid to a nail salon?! Get a babysitter, people!

Reality:

Your local fancy restaurant has a special pasta dish for your picky 3-year-old. Your preschooler points out your manicurist’s mistakes and says, "Watch those cuticles, lady."

YOU'LL STILL LOOK PUT TOGETHER

Expectation:

You’ll wear adult clothes and shower, even after the baby is born. Your makeup will be on fleek and you won't walk around with half your nail polish chipped off your fingers. You'll be a hot mama!

Reality:

Your armpits resemble those of the '60s Woodstock era. You haven’t seen your big-girl clothes since pre-pregnancy. Your manicure is done by your toddler, who believes that rainbow is the best shade of polish.

Your parents laugh as they watch you try to parent a kid that's exactly like you.

ARTS & CRAFTS

Expectation:

You'll be the best Pinterest mom out there. You'll provide STEM activities each day. You'll be the best, most natural teacher for your child and won't slack in this department.

Reality:

You cry when it comes time to making school party favors and wish it were the good old days when you just brought in fattening cupcakes and said, "Voila! Party time." You hide in the bathroom with a book and tell your kids to find something to do with themselves.

I'LL BE BETTER THAN MY PARENTS WERE

Expectation:

You won't make the same mistakes your parents made. You paid attention during your childhood. You'll learn from their failures, that's for damn sure.

Reality:

Your parents laugh as they watch you try to parent a kid that's exactly like you. They rejoice in karma. You sound exactly like them, ad nauseam.

MY KID WILL ALWAYS LOOKS AWESOME

Expectation:

No way is my kid leaving the house without socks in the winter. No way is my kid going to school in pajamas. No way will I let my kid look like her head got tangled in a bush. I'll be a good parent and make sure my kid is dressed and groomed appropriately.

Reality:

You let your child wear shorts in winter. You adjust to the sight of your preschooler's mix-and-match clothes that never match. You encourage your tween boy to shower and then cower in disgust when you realize he hasn't in days. You forget it's school picture day and your kid shows up with peanut butter and snot on their face.

TANTRUMS

Expectation:

Your kid will behave, always—but especially in public. There will be no screaming, crying or fits. Ever. Nope! If that happens, you're sending your kid to a military school or a sweatshop—whichever is easiest.

Reality:

Your kid tells you, literally or metaphorically, to go eff yourself in public. Your child cries, screams and terrorizes the crap out of shoppers in Target. At least one stranger in your child's lifetime wishes to cover his or her mouth with duct tape. You wish to spontaneously die at this moment.

More from kids