18 Things I wish someone told me before I had kids.

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Becoming a mom was one of the scariest yet exciting moments of my life. It was the ending of single-sleep-in-whenever-go-wherever-whenever-I-want life and the start of being a coffee-ran teacher/dictator. Of course, there’s much more to it but if I had to sum it up…

Being a parent is one of those things you can study and read and take as much advice as you can and never be truly ready. You’ll learn. Some will come with instinct. Others will come from hard old fashion lessons.

I’ve gotten strange looks from people because I didn’t do things the way they do it. Or because my kid prefers this over that. I’ve gotten some of the best advice and some of the not-so-great-it-didn’t-work-for-me advice. It’s still always nice to hear what other people have to say. My favorites are the old school ways that were used when my parents were growing up.

I have a lot of friends who are becoming first-time parents and I’m so excited for them. I want everyone to feel the love and joy of having kids. I do understand some people aren’t made to be parents. I used to think I wasn’t going to have kids, myself. Things change. And I’m thankful for the little guys I have.

So, I wanted to give my two cents in the long list of advice from mom to mom to new moms out there. Things I would have liked to hear or things that just make you feel better knowing you’re not the only one going through it. We are all in this together, mommies!

It gets harder before it gets any easier. I’ve only been a mom for a little over 3 years and a step mom for 5 years but I’ll tell you when you’re a first-time mommy, it’s overwhelming. You’re whole life flips and you’re not living for yourself anymore. It “gets easier” only in the sense of they get more independent. But it’s going to always be a challenge every new stage they grow into. So, enjoy forever learning your bean!  I suggest if you’re still in your “selfish years”, DO NOT have a child. It’s bad enough there are so many unwanted children in the world.SONY DSC



Say goodbye to your disposable income.  Some people luck out on the income part and some have to forfeit their once savings/shopping money to their diaper/wipes money. And diapers, wipes, and formula can be expensive especially when you don’t have the money after all your other bills. (We will get to budgeting later.)pexels-photo-shopping

No more peace and quiet. Before my husband and I merged homes, I was living alone in my studio apartment in the city. I had a cozy cute set up enough for me and my cat. I had a bike that I rode almost everywhere, a budget for at the time, small bills which included rent, water, gas, electric, phone, groceries, and savings. Life was sweet. I worked and I was finishing up college. After a rough day of work and all I wanted to do was come home and lay on my bed, I did it. No screaming. No crying (unless I was crying) and no loud thumping. Now? Not so much. For some reason, kids like to scream even if they aren’t hurt. And there’s always something falling or thumping. What are they doing in there?!? May I suggest picking up a wine habit if you have not already?

I’m joking…. or am I?pexels-photo-peace

Best to put away all your valuables and breakables.  Yeah, that kind of goes without really explaining. Kids are curious beings. They are going to touch things, drop them, break them. For the safety of them and the sanity of you, pack them up and put them away or at least out of reach.

You’re going to feel like the bad guy a lot. Do you have a hard time saying “no”? That’s going to change. I use to worry a lot about hurting anyone’s feelings. Not anymore. Why? Because if you don’t put your foot down, it’s only going to get a lot harder. And not telling your kids “no” and setting boundaries is going to set your kids up to be brats. And not those cute big head girl dolls, either. Better nip it in the bud while they are learning. I suggest by the understanding age of 1 1/2 and 2. Do it! Do it now!pexels-photo-sad

Your style is going to change. Were you the most fashionable person everyone knew? Did people invite you to parties just to see what you will wear? Were you the trendsetter of the group? Yea, not much anymore. Not saying it will last. But the first year of your baby’s life, your outfits will consist of comfortable yoga pants, T-shirts, hand bands and whatever you wore yesterday. There’s just not enough time in a day! And you’re not going to have hours to spend in the bathroom applying makeup. Do you know how fast a kid can trash your house? Very, very fast.pexels-photo-motherchildvillage




Do NOT get a new pet when your baby is only a few weeks or months old.  I mainly mean dogs. Especially puppies. They are basically kids themselves. If you’re still getting used to new mommy life, better not get a dog yet. I know you’ve probably seen those moms jogging with a baby in a stroller, dog on a leash in other hand and seem to have their life together. Truth is, she probably had that dog way before her baby got here. Which makes all the difference.pexels-photo-familywithpet

No more get up and go when you want.  Remember when you were sitting at your place alone, bored and your friend calls and say “Hi! Green Day just annouced they are going on tour and there’s a chance to win free tickets at the game bar, wanna come???” “Heck yeah! That sounds like fun! Let me go grab my wallet and …oh yeah, find a sitter on short notice. Uh, maybe you should go without me?” Yeah…that’s your life for at least until they are in school, independent and want to hang with anyone but you.Happiness of young Asian woman lying with blanket on bed in the

You’re going to always be on “borrowed time”. When I first heard the saying “borrowed time” I wondered what exactly did that mean. Well, since I’ve become a parent, I’m always on borrowed time. Meaning, whenever I go to a store or any place I want to take my time at, I can’t. Because at any moment now, my child will cry, scream, need to be changed or be ready to be fed. (I breast feed exclusively) Which means I have to stop what I’m doing and tend to my baby. You can make the baby wait, though I wouldn’t suggest because the screams only get louder and you will be embarrassed. Trust me, even though people know babies cry and whatnot, it’s still embarrassing when your baby is crying in public. So, you will learn how to get things done fast! (which isn’t really a bad thing.)pexels-photo-child-mom

You have to “forfeit” most of your things.  When my son started eating solids and real food, that was big trouble for me. Why? Because that means whatever I eat, he wants or has to have some even if he has the same exact thing on his plate. But no, mommy’s food is better I guess. And if you’re attached to your phone, he’s going to want that, too. Monkey see monkey do. So be careful of what you do in front of the little one. Boy, they learn quick! (mostly the things you don’t want them to learn.) Beware!

You’re going to need a roomier car.  You might get away with keeping that fiat with your fresh newborn but please believe me when I say, baby things are big and bulky. Which leads to having to upgrade your car. There’s a reason why mini vans are so popular with the soccer mom community. pexels-photo-minivandriving

Your love life will change…slightly.  This one is a touchy one. With so many scenarios, it’s hard to pinpoint what would really happen because each situation is different. If you’re married or have a partner, things are going to change a little. But it’s up to you if they get better or worst. That’s where communication and making time for each other really matters. You’ll find yourself having to sneak around being frisky when the kids are away or sleeping instead of being spontaneous. It just makes the little time you do have together even more special.pexels-photo-couplewithwine

Your house will be messier than ever! If you were already somewhat of a slob before kids, prepare to not even be able to move around in your living space. Yes, it does get that bad. Why? Babies have the most gadgets that tend to be big and bulky. You think you might not need it and can get by without it (and maybe you could) but it does make life so much easier with a swing that turns a full 360 or a bouncer that keeps them occupied while you attempt to clean. And with older kids, they tend to have “tunnel vision” and short attention spans. While you’ve just straightened up the living room, little Timmy wants to play with trucks. Oh, wait! There’s a crayon on the floor, let’s color on daddy’s work papers. Hold up! I’m hungry. Let’s eat a cookie but drop half of it on the floor and step on it so crumbs are mashed in the carpet. Yeah…your work is never done.


Yeah…your work is never done. I used to like to hide under the blankets until I felt like getting up and conquering the world again. Can’t do that anymore either unless I want my house to be caught on fire. pexels-photo-sleepingoncouch

Everyone has an opinion.  When the news that I was with child first got out to the world, everyone was excited but everyone also had some sort of advice or opinion. Even those who did not have any children of their own but felt that they had a better opinion than I would since they used to babysit or have a lot of little cousins, nieces, and nephews. It’s totally different when it’s your own. Trust me. You can keep someone else’s kid all day long, but if that kid isn’t living with you full time and you’re not responsible for its well-being, it’s a little different. How? You can’t give these kids back to their parents when they are yours. You have to make arrangements to get a break.

Some people have really great advice! Some people will come across as judging as if your parenting skills lack in some areas. It’s ok. It’s your child. You’re the boss. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Last time you checked, were they supplying your child the proper care and necessities they need? I didn’t think so. Moving on!pexels-photo-peopletalking

Strangers love babies.  If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like random people talking to you or getting in your personal space, maybe rethink going to crowded public places with your baby. They will come. They will want to see your baby. They will talk to you. They might even try to touch your baby’s foot. Best thing to do is not be a jerk and just smile. It’ll be all over before you know it. pexels-photo-guylookingannoyed

Grandparents will either be your life saver or worst enemy.  I’ve seen some grandparents that would spoil their grandbabies rotten. Even if that means going against the parent’s wishes. On a flip side, I’ve seen some grandparents who felt that they are your kids and they didn’t have any fun making them, so they aren’t going to make things easier for you. It’s not completely black and white, there is a gray area but overall, I think it’s a blessing to have grandparents period. pexels-photo-grandparents

Holidays will mean something completely different. Before, holidays meant going over to your family’s houses to eat and relax and maybe get a few gifts. (Depending on what holiday). Now, it’s all about the kids! Christmas? You’re going out of your way to get them all these big presents that they are only going to play with a few times and forget they had it until a friend comes over and wants to play. It sounds chaotic but once you see their excited little faces open their gifts, you forget about all the debt you got into trying to give them this stuff or how you wanted to teach them to be grateful and that the holidays are about giving not getting. Oh, well. Maybe we will try Easter. pexels-photo-holidayfamily

Even though it sounds bad, you’re going to love it at the end of the day.  It may sound like I’m complaining a lot about my babies, but truth is, I enjoy every moment of it. From the spitting up in my mouth (yes, in my mouth), to head butting me, to late nights and early morning, to being asked the same questions over and over, it’s exhausting but rewarding. When my little guys hug me with their little hands or say “I love you” or kiss me, it’s the best feeling in the world. I love kissing those soft baby cheeks and changing those tiny diapers. I love reading stories and folding their little clothes. These moments go by incredibly quick and just when you’re getting used to this stage of their life, they are now approaching a new one.

So, hold them while you can. Those hassles will turn into memories of when they depended on you. Remember that baby smell. And don’t be lazy. Get out and about with your kids. Let them explore the world. It’s old to you but exciting to them. pexels-photo-sweetfamily

Until next time. Love with all your heart.

 

My advice to my children



One of the many things I am proud of in my life thus far is my kids. (including my step kids and god kids). Children are amazing beings. Yes, they can be annoying and disobedient but it’s all a learning experience, right?

One thing kids have taught me is patience and how to exciting the world really is. For someone seeing it for the first time, it’s so amazing. We take those simplicities for granted.

One thing I really want to do is make the world a better place for the kids. And one thing I notice, with technology booming the way it is and is showing no sign of stopping, it’s getting a little difficult for the young generation to know how to do things the “old” way.

Let’s be honest. With all man-made things, they are destined to mess up or break or need repair one time or another, right?



Now, let’s say your dish washer clunks out. Do you know how to properly hand wash your dishes? As funny as it sounds, there are kids out there who don’t know how to do it.

Now, this is not a post about how to properly load a dishwasher or how to change a flat tire, though I have seen so many youngins (including myself) not know how to do something that could save you headache and money.

If I had to give any of my children or anyone’s kids in general advice before they step off into the real world it would be this:

Be kind to others. It’s hard enough making friends. It doesn’t get any easier once you’re an adult and have to with some of these people.sunset-hands-love-woman

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Network. Just knowing what your peers do for a living and keeping contact with them can be better than going to college itself! (Nah, you probably should still get your degree anyway since a lot of employers look for that!)pexels-photo-374592



Learn how to budget. There’s going to be a time where your parents aren’t going to always be there for you to pick up the slack. So, the adult thing to do is to stand on your own two feet. Which means, learn how to use your money accordingly. So, the whole “wants and needs” thing comes in handy. (Do you really need to go to a concert on a Tuesday night when you have a phone bill due on Friday?)

Priories! Goes hand and hand with budgeting. You’re going to find yourself hanging out with friends and thinking to yourself, “I can buy $20 worth of $4 shots because that’s a good deal” but not think about tomorrow when you need a sandwich at lunch between classes. No meal plan? Ooooh…maybe $4 shots wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Learn how to shop. Shopping isn’t just for girls! You’re going to need food and clothes and supplies. And don’t be a “brand snob”. Fruity sugar O’s is just as good as Fruit Loops and will save you a couple more cents that can go towards more food! Doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds up!pexels-photo-264636

Grow up. There’s nothing wrong with handling your own and having your own at 20. You’re legal. You can buy things and work for what you want. Why not take advantage of it? Because God forbid that if something happened to your family, who will really have your back? The world is cold and you’re only going to learn the hard way. Learn to stand on your own two feet while you don’t necessarily have to before you have no choice but to stand on your own two feet.pexels-photo-266023

Own up to your mistakes. We are human. And that means we make mistakes. A LOT of them. That doesn’t make you a bad person unless you are intentionally doing these things. If so, shame on you! So, if you make a mistake or hurt someone, just tell the truth. Be honest. Own up to it. It’s better than trying to come up with a lie that you’re going to have to remember later.woman-dropped-fail-failure

Go to college fresh! Meaning, I would cut ties with that high school boyfriend or girlfriend. As harsh as it sounds, trust me, you’ll thank me later. I learned the hard way. When you go to a new place like college for the first time, you’re in a new world full of people who have the same interest or things in common with you versus coming from high school with a lot of people who didn’t and were trying to figure out who they are themselves. You might find someone who is way more “perfect” than say current S.O.S. And long distant relationship sucks! Not saying it can’t be done. Just saying it’s very hard. Don’t do this to yourself. College is supposed to be the best years of your life. Make it count!

Take every opportunity you can and don’t let no one hold you back! (not even your parents!) I say this and I mean it. If you have an opportunity to travel the world for a year, DO IT. If you have the opportunity to meet some important people that will open doors for you, DO IT. Don’t worry about mom and dad. They will be there waiting. It’s their job to worry. And don’t let your lover hold you back either. Some of the opportunities you will get will only come once in a lifetime and not doing so because of someone else’s selfish reasons is not fair to you and just plain silly. Because to be quite honest, if the shoe was on the other foot, they will do the same and not think twice! So, do it!

Take help that is offered. People are more willing to help a struggling college student than a regular adult. Sad but true. I guess in their eyes, it’s a young adult who is trying to make their way through life and help themselves and not asking for handouts. If you’re an adult not in school, they will figure you should have already had it all figured out and you’re just being lazy. So, if you’re trying to get an intern somewhere, let it be known you’re a student and you’re trying. And work hard at what you do because someone is always watching!pexels-photo

Remember your family. Of course, no one has the perfect ideal family. But family is everything. They are who make you and will be there when all things fall down. Sometimes, you’re lucky to find a friend who is just like family and will be there for you no matter what. Hold them close and hold them tight. So, if your friends want to check out the new bar in town but your nana is having a birthday dinner at your parent’s house, I would suggest you show Nana a little love and catch up with your friends later. Because Nana lived her life and seen a lot and you never know when the last dinner with her will be. So any opportunity is a good opportunity. Plus, there’s always going to be a new hip bar opening up or some cool hang out spot or concert that will be happening. Choose wisely.

Last but not least, make time. You never truly realize how much time you have until you don’t really have much time left at all. What I mean is, being a parent, changed my life. I used to think I didn’t have enough time in a day to do anything while I was still young, in college, and kid-free. But when I had my kids, I realized I had more time than I thought and I took that for granted. All those days of sleeping in or surfing the web or going out with the girls. I could have used that to do better. But at that time, I felt I didn’t have much time. There was never enough time in a day. And now, there’s really never enough time (or money).pexels-photo-100733

That’s just my little advice that I have to offer from what I’ve learned and seen through out the years. In hopes of helping someone be a better person. I really hope my sons will take this advice and use it. Some regrets are a part of life but I would still much rather have as least as possible.

Until next time! Enjoy life!

Balancing two small children

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For some, kids aren’t such a scary thing. I mean, they are little humans who are constantly learning. What’s so scary about that? A lot. A whole lot. Especially if you’re like me. One minute, you’re single, living in your own (clean) space, eating your own food without anyone begging and drinking late and sleeping in. Then, BAM! You’re married, with two kids and a dog trying to figure out why can’t you get your child to eat something other than chicken nuggets or how many glasses of wine can you really drink and still manage to wake up at a decent hour the next day. *sigh*


I know it sounds like I’m complaining but I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’m married to my best friend who is a truly amazing man and also nailed the husband thing down to a T. I’m lucky I found someone like that before I turned 30. (I’m 30 now. lol) I have two wonderful, smart, healthy baby boys that are so great and four step sons that make being a step parent not so scary at all anymore. How lucky am I? And now we have a dog which is super awesome. She loves my sons, even though the oldest seems to make her regret coming home with us. pexels-photo-familywithpet

So, with all that being said, why would the thought of balancing two kids seem so hard? If they are older, then nothing, really. But if they are, hmm let’s say 2 years old and 3 months old…then you’re kinda asking for it. And it’s not all bad but it’s different. It’s a challenge. You will be tired. But you’ll be so in love at the end of the day. I know I am.

With my first son, I didn’t know what to expect. Even reading books like “what to expect” and reading many blogs from other experienced mommies, I was still left thinking, “what have I’ve gotten myself into?”. Whereas I wasn’t really the most kid friendly (kids confused the crap out of me!) I definitely knew I wanted to be a mom one day. I wanted to experience the joy and pain of having your own. Understand the love between a mother and her child. Share something as intimate as a little you with someone you love.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I can’t say I was jumping for joy. I was in my prime, finally enjoying my 20s after getting out of a very bad relationship. I was having the time of my life with my (at the time) boyfriend. Then next thing you know, I’m sitting on a toilet seat texting my brother and crying my eyes out.

Not now! I can’t possibly be a mom now! I still have so much to do!

But it was true and the only choice I had was to grow up and learn to be a mom. The pregnancy journey was an interesting one, to say the least, but enjoyable. It was exciting. It was new. It happened so fast! But after my little guy was born, I was in love. He had my heart.

Fast forward 2 years later, I find out I’m pregnant again. I didn’t cry this time. But more of a “well, I hope I can handle this.” I’ve seen so many other women with young children around the same age and they make it look so effortless. They are all pros! How can I be like that?

I look back on my first son’s early months and I forgot all the small details that I’m now experiencing with my new little one. And I feel so guilty.

How could you forget when your son first laughed? or How many diapers you’ve gone through the first few months? I’m terrible.

Now, I’m finding myself reliving infant life while figuring out toddler life and it’s exhausting. I barely have time to do anything to my hair. (I now understand why so many moms cut their hair short.)pexels-photo-85599

I’m now figuring out as I go, how to balance two small children at the same time. I’ve noticed, if you keep the oldest busy with something and try not to be all over the infant (because they do get jealous), then it’s not as hard as you would think. Though, I do have those days where nothing goes right.

There’s going to be those moments of struggle when no one wants to go to bed and all you want to do is go to bed. There’s going to be days where it seems like there’s no way of making anyone happy. There’s a lot of emotional struggle through it all. Being a parent is definitely not for the weak!pexels-photo-103127

As time moves on, things do somehow, get easier. Soon, your kids will be independent and go to school and you’ll be asking yourself, “Where did the time go?” So for me, I try to enjoy every little thing. The hard stuff and the easy stuff. Because life is so short and your kids do grow fast.

Spit up in hair, sweats and all, I’m proud to be a mommy of two!

Until next time, enjoy those little moments.

The Complete Guide on what to pack in your diaper bag!

When I got the exciting (yet horrifying) news that I was expecting my first bundle of joy, I was bursting with so many different emotions that I thought I was going to have a nervous break down. I’m sure a lot of women go through the same.



This was the moment that I wasn’t quite ready for, for my life was about to change drastically in the course for 9 months! What have I’ve gotten myself into??

Stacking up on boo-koos amounts of books, blogs and other fun reading material from what to wear to what kind of food to eat to what color the nursery should be. (Phew!) I’ve learned the hard way even though I felt I was overly prepared. Truthfully, nothing will really prepare you other than experience. Because one person’s experience could be so much more different than yours. They could have the most perfect and well behaved child, where you get this wild child from Uranus. You could follow all the books and instruction manuals to life and life will still throw a curve ball that you didn’t quite plan for. Isn’t that lovely?

So, one of the things that worried me the most after little baby arrived was what on earth do you suppose to put in this huge diaper bag? Do you really need that much space? Does it have to be that big? Do you suppose to overpack? What if I don’t pack enough?


I had a friend tell me that when my child gets older, the load will lessen. And she was right.

Ok, so what do you suppose to put in those diaper bags??

Most importantly, DIAPERS!! I recommend 10-12 diapers. You just never know! And plenty of wipes. I say a full pack. You never know what will happen and you can use wipes for more than just wiping tushy!

(I’m a “honest mom”. I enjoy most of Honest products, so you’ll see them here and there.)

Burp rags will almost save your life especially if you have a little one with acid reflux.

2-3 outfits or bodysuits because boy they can mess up a change of clothes really quick!

3 blankets. If it’s cold outside, let’s say 4 or 5.

A good stain remover, travel size or in a travel container. Trust me, blow outs are so messy and especially with breastfed babies, the stains are darn near impossible to get out! Better get a head start if you’re not getting home any time soon.

Plastic trash bags or Disposable sacks. Yes, they aren’t the most eco-friendly but you need somewhere to put those soiled diapers and wipes.

First-Aid kit. Wal-Mart sells these little travel sized first aid kits that includes alcohol wipes, bandaids, first aid creme and gauze for less than a dollar and they do come in handy. You just never know!

An extra set of clothes for you. Even though the spit up dries up after a while and it’s not that bad (it smells, though), maybe you’re going to a special event and the baby just puked out half of his life on your new silk blouse. (why are you wearing silk with a newborn?) So, You’re gonna need back up! Always have a back up plan!


Medicines– Depending on how old your newborn is, I’m speaking based on the first few months (0-5 months) you probably want to bring diaper rash cream, gripe water, bug stray, sunblock, Tylenol, a plastic syringe, a thermometer and a few bibs.

2 pairs of socks and 2 hats.

2 bottles, (if you’re breastfeeding, I suggest a cooler to keep fresh pumped milk cool. Shelf life of breastmilk can be tricky.) I usually just breastfeed in public. Put a cloth over him or let my shirt cover most of my boob. I’m feeding my child, not trying to attract pervs!

Snacks for you! Thinking things like dried fruit, granola, water bottle.

A little book to read and a few small toys. Sometimes, you’re going to need to distract your baby. And especially when they are at the grabbing things stage, you’re going to need to keep them occupied!

I also may suggest a little book to keep medical records in. For example, a small address book you can write days and shot records or keep up with prescriptions.

I think I covered it all. Phew! That’s a lot! So, to answer those questions above. Yes, you need all that space. A big bag. Better safe than sorry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out of the house with the kids and the little one messed up his clothes within the first 5 mins of arriving. And me, foolishly leaving home without an extra outfit. (TJ Maxx to the rescue!) Getting a new outfit might not sound too bad unless you’re on a tight budget.



So, just prepare for all of life’s hiccups and learn to enjoy them. Those little moments go so quick. Those chubby cheeks and chunky legs won’t stay that way for long, and those cute coos & sweet giggles will turn into questions that you don’t know the answer to. Soon, they’ll be going to school and making friends and before you know it, they will be going off to college or whatever they choose to do. Then, when you see that smile on their face and feel that tight hug, you’ll know you’ve done a good job.

You rock.

Until next time. 🙂 Be sweet and enjoy the simple things, like packing your diaper bag!