You've heard them say that parenting isn't for sissies. And that is the truth! But most people spend too much time playing up things like childbirth (which is over fast) and not enough time talking about the rest of the experience. Which lasts anywhere from a few weeks to several decades. Here are a few of the absolute hardest things about being a mother:
Car seats are a necessary evil. Which is why the manufacturers make them so difficult. From the permanently twisted straps to the seat cover that can't be removed without the help of an engineering degree, car seats will haunt and torture you for several years per child. You will look back one day and realize that you spent more than a decade buckling, trying to unbuckle, and carrying car seats that turn 6 pound babies into 30 babies. You will have another child and realize that new car seats won't fit in your old car. You will learn to hate car seats.
If you love having the picture perfect home, you should consider a cat rather than a baby. Once that bundle of joy comes home, you will be amazed at how something so small can make such big messes. You will never have an empty laundry hamper again. There will always be at least one dirty spoon. There will be crumbs in carpet and sticky spots on the hard floors. But you won't be able to clean them because you will be on your knees trying to scrub dried carrots from the crevices of the high chair, and cursing the guy who designed a baby product that can't be driven through a car wash.
Normal people take naps when they are sleepy. Children just run faster. And even if you are a math genius you will never be able to figure out the algorithm for successfully timing naps and bedtimes so that they benefit everyone in the house. Instead, bed time will involve chasing, screaming, threatening, begging, wrangling, bribery, and finally you will go to sleep listening to the sounds of maniacal laughter coming from the nursery.
Grocery shopping is a pain. Shopping with one kid is a challenge. Shopping with two or more children, an infant carrier, nappy bags and still figuring out how to fit two weeks worth of groceries in the cart is a feat worthy of a gold medal. Making it through the check-out without a single tantrum, with everything on the list (and nothing extra) is a miracle, and managing to get all of the groceries and the children into the car without breaking any eggs or losing a shoe (sock, pacifier, can of tomatoes, phone, keys, etc.) is impossible.
Whether you hire a sitter, or your kid is just going to stay with Grandma for a few hours, your imagination will start to work and will rival any horror movie ever made. In the time it takes you to drive 30 minutes to your dinner destination, you are sure that there has already been fire, flood, famine, serial killers, haunted dolls, and werewolves. One unanswered phone call will send you into a panic, and you will be ready to call in the military. Later, you will find out the biggest emergency of the night was a leaky nappy or a loose tooth or a sheet of math homework, and you will be relieved. For a few minutes. Until the next time you need to leave your children with a sitter. And you will find yourself checking the moon before you make plans...just in case. Of werewolves.