5 Years of Motherhood: 5 Lessons Learned

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Image via Tracy Jensen

Parenting provides a lot of wisdom that can only be learned in the trenches. In honor of Mother's Day this coming weekend, I thought I would share five parenting lessons that I have learned in the past five years. I hope you will add your own in the comments as well!

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Image via iStock

1. Berber carpet was created for parents.

I'll be honest. Before I had kids, I had always considered Berber to be the saddest version of carpeting. It's not soft, and it doesn't have that plush, inviting appeal of other carpet.

Do you know why? Berber is too busy being awesome. Stains wipe up easily. When your child spills rubber cement, there's nothing to get matted down. It is easy to steam clean. It repels everything with which my kids have tried to destroy it in the past five years. 

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Image via Flickr/ Christine Szeto

2. Experienced parents will leave you in the dark.

When you are expecting your first child, you know (to some degree) two things: You won't sleep with a newborn, and you can bank on the “terrible twos.” But beyond that, the early years are shrouded in mystery. No one told me—or any parent I've met so far—that year three can be more difficult than two, or that four is frightening because your kids have learned to reason and argue. I never knew I would feel so duped by the parents who have gone before me.

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Image via iStock

3. Clothing fit has nothing to do with number on the scale anymore.

Pre-pregnancy clothes should vaporize during delivery—gone from the house so you don't have to deal with them. Yes, you can make it back into pre-pregnancy clothes, but for most of us, the fit won't be the same as time goes on. From what I have seen (especially after adding kid #2 into the mix), my body has changed and just continues to change. While the number on the scale may stay the same, the way clothes fit is vastly different, and accordingly, so is the list of stores where I shop.

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{ MORE: If You Can Put up With a Man, You Can Raise a Baby }

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Image via iStock

4. Your car will never be clean again.

I thought my car's appearance would improve when I graduated from spit-up and Cheerios. However, at that point, my kids were able to get into the car independently. That meant more mud from their climbing antics, as opposed to when I would neatly set them in the car (only getting mud on myself). At ages four and five, we have now moved on to crumbs from traveling dinners eaten while on the way to soccer practice. 

{ MORE: 5 Family Activities in Honor of Memorial Day }

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Image via Tracy Jensen

5. Your kids will develop their personalities so quickly … and will never slow down.

You come home from the hospital with helpless little beings, and soon they become these awesome little people that give you the best laughs, snuggles, smiles, and angst of your life. Enjoy each stage as much as you can, because all too soon, they are too big to fit into our laps for an extra snuggle!

Whether you are expecting your first, or your kids are out of the nest, happy Mother's Day!

{ MORE: 5 Funny Books That Will Make Your Preschooler Laugh Out Loud }

What are your favorite gems learned along the way?

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5 Years of Motherhood: 5 Lessons Learned

Tracy Jensen is a writer, marketer, mother, fundraiser, marathoner, and music lover. A working, single mom of two kids ages six and five, she is notorious for doing things the hard way. In addition to writing for EverydayFamily, she survives suburban exile by blogging about life’s foibles at It Builds Character. She can be found at night ignoring the dishes and playing on Twitter. ... More

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