When you're pregnant with your first, people like to say vague things like "oh, you're life is about to change." I always wanted to respond with something sarcastic, but (generally) held my tongue.
Even when people aren't being vague, they'll mention how hard parenting is in the contexts of diapers and spit up. They'll talk about how expensive babies are and how your car will never be clean again.
They don't mention the day you'll be rocking your toddler, trying desperately to get her to sleep, when she twists her head a little bit and bites your collarbone *hard* for no discernible reason.
They don't tell you about the days that you put running clothes on and throw the jogging stroller in the car first thing in the morning, just to go to sleep with those clothes still on and that stroller unused that night.
They don't tell you that you will celebrate each of your kid's successes as they were your own... and feel the sting of their failures.
They don't tell you that some days, you will have so many things going on in your head that you won't be able to find your car keys... even though they're hanging right where they're supposed to.
They don't tell you that isolation can hit hard when you're a stay at home mom, and that you have to make serious efforts to get out and speak with someone over the age of 20.
They don't tell you that sometimes your serious efforts will be failures... that your picnic lunch will be cancelled when your three-year old gets sick. That your trip to the playground to burn off steam will end in tears when your toddler is pushed down by another kid. That sometimes... your best isn't good enough.
They don't tell you how much you will love your kid. But really, how could they? You can't explain it.
They don't tell you that you will covet your little girl's wardrobe.
They don't tell you that some days you will want to check yourself into the looney bin just to get a break.
They don't tell you that everyone has a perfect way to parent, but that there are no perfect parents.
They don't tell you that parenting is the hardest thing you will ever do, but that you will never doubt it's worth.