First, another funny craigslist headline: "have you been mean to convert your old home videos to dvd?"
I went to bed one night, later than usual (ie the crack of dawn instead of 3:00 am), and thought, "If my life were a fantasy novel....." before I fell asleep. The thought developed during the night, and I woke up thinking that the mommy was the princess raised by commoners, now sent off into the world to find the Castle of the King where she belongs, required to bring some of her own little princes and princesses along for the journey. And bedtime is thus: The evil wizard says, "I know you are tired from your day's travels, and you may now start toward bed. But before you can sleep, you must complete these ten impossible challenges." And he always throws in an extra one or two just after you've brushed the crumbs out of your bed (last night it was a whole muffin, tucked way down by my feet) but before you go to sleep. The next night, the challenges are similar, but, mysteriously, just as hard to accomplish.
I have learned a few things with three-and-a-half kidlets hovering around. For example:
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, someone eventually will drink out of the toilet. And it won't kill them.
Toothpaste gets permanent marker off smooth surfaces--coat it on thick and let it sit for 10 minutes, and the marker wipes off. Doesn't work as well on textured surfaces, though.
Alcohol takes permanent marker off walls. It also takes paint off walls.
Doctors know a lot, but not always more than a mother's instincts. Even great doctors are sometimes wrong.
No matter how late church is, it is next to impossible to get there on time.
Sneezing at the table is always messy.
The best high chair/table/eating area for a sitting baby is the open dishwasher door. It washes itself.
Just plan for someone to spill something at each meal. (Why doesn't someone make a terrycloth tablecloth? Or, even better, an absorbent disposable tablecloth? One that somehow attaches to the table--tape? Elastic?--so that nobody pulls it off or shifts it around. Yet another use for worn bath towels.....)
Sharp tools are magnets for one year olds.
No matter how many tape measures/pairs of scissors/pens you have, you will only be able to find them when you DON'T need them.
When you DO find the tape measures/pairs of scissors/pens, there will always be one less than you need for everyone to join in and help.
There is a reason thousands of mothers have rocked their babies to sleep for thousands of years--and gotten up in the night with them.
Babies have an irritating cry for a reason, and it's not to irritate you into anger or neglect.
Kids prefer permanent markers. I don't know why. You'd think the smell would dissuade them...
You can make someone go to bed. You can't make them sleep.
Instead of a rug on the floor by the sink, use a large beach towel. Then you have something ready to clean up spills all over the kitchen that's already on the floor, and it's easy to wash and replace.
Always look into the oven/toilet/toaster/sink/your bed/etc. before you use it. You never know what will be there.
You can't watch everyone all the time, so you have to learn to trust your kids.
If you never fill your own needs, you can't fill theirs, either.
If you want some time without someone touching you or demanding your attention, attend to the kid's needs when they ask, and they won't be so clingy. The more you push them away, the more demanding they are. Then go to the library and get them a few videos, put the VCR in a different room, and enjoy your alone time--it will be short.
One baby is less work than two. One kid is MORE work than two. Two kids is more work than three. At some point this breaks down, I'm sure, but at least they entertain each other!
If you feed them, they will be happy.
Your environment exists to serve you. Stop serving it instead.
If you want your kids to get a testimony, read the Book of Mormon to them.
The second most important tool a mommy has is the ability to look at a situation and figure out a solution--not based on what other people do, what magazines say, what her mother did, or anything else.
The first most important tool is the Spirit.
Mommy's job is not decorating, picking up clutter, making the house pretty for everyone else, or "measuring up." Mommy's job is to nurture, which means to look after the children's mental, emotional, and physical health in a way that helps them grow. In other words, feed, clothe, and teach. Everything else is extraneous.
And Most of All, I've learned that being a mommy is worth far more than any career or hobby I gave up to have kids.