1. Fruit snacks are actually candy. They will gain you nothing but dirty looks from other moms at the park.
2. Schools, doctor offices, amusement park rides, and sometimes complete strangers will ask you your child's birthday. Sometimes you will forget. Please try not to be so hard on yourself when this happens. You will also forget your own birthday in the haze that descends after having children.
3. Until a child is 2 years old, other moms expect you to tell them that child's age in months. You, Dads and other people will find this weird. It is weird. And don't be ashamed if you have to do math in your head and it takes 10 minutes. If that mom is that curious, she can wait.
3. Regarding number 3, when asked how old your first child is, you will respond "16 months, 14 days, and 6 and a half hours." When asked how old your second child is, you will respond "a year and some change." When asked how old your third child is, you will say "I'm not really sure, what year is it?" When asked how old any child after that is, you will laugh manically and it will scare the person away. This is all perfectly normal, so no worries.
4. You will have endless reserves of strength. Your patience will be less endless, but it will replenish during the night, so that is cool.
5. Snow Days will lose a little of their magic.
6. Christmas will lose none of its magic.
7. I hope you like sticky things because everything you own is about to become sticky. And no one can identify the origin of the sticky, so that is pretty gross if you think too much about it.
8. You will judge other moms. You will feel bad about it. Try not to feel too bad; it is just proof that you are human. Tact indicates that you try to keep it in your head or in the ear of an equally gossipy and understanding friend.
9. No one likes the toys that make noise. Don't buy these. When the batteries start to die, they will spontaneously go off and you will think it is a ghost and freak yourself, and your sleeping spouse, out.
10. Children do not understand the phrase "that is too much ketchup." There is also no child translation for "that is too much glitter," "capes don't really make you fly," and "not right now, Mommy is going to the bathroom."
11. You will think childbirth is the worst pain imaginable. You will realize that you are wrong the first time your child is sick and you can't do anything to make them feel better but hold them and listen to them cry.
12. The words "oh, whew, it's just pee" will enter your vocabulary.
13. You will get to feel 13-years-old again when you go to the children's museum and there is a playgroup there and everyone has an adult to talk to but you, and your children will suddenly be incredibly independent and you are stuck there standing near the water fountain smiling hopefully at other moms who avoid your eye contact. You will cry when you get to the car. Go buy the big bar of chocolate, call someone who loves you, and remind yourself that you will live to playdate another day. It has happened to the best of us.
14. You will lick your hand and smooth down your child's cowlick. I don't care what you said before you had children; it is gonna happen.
15. You will also wipe your child's nose with your own sleeve. See number 14.
16. At any given moment you will be asked "Do whales have teeth?" "How big is China?" "Where do babies come from?" "How did Grandma get so old?" "What is on that lady's face?" "Why is the Hulk green?" "How old is the earth?" "Why can't I have any soda?"
17. To answer number 16, you could invest in a smartphone, but I'll help you out at little here. The answers are "There are some toothed whales. Non-toothed whales are called Baleen whales and they actually have plates with bristles instead of teeth." "China is 3.748 million sq miles or 9.707 million km." "Go ask your Dad." "From raising children." "Shush." "If your child is a nerd, answer that the original Hulk was supposed to be gray but due to printing issues, they decided on green, which they attribute to his exposure to gamma rays. No, gamma rays aren't green, but Stan Lee likes alliteration almost as much as Awkward Mom. If your child is not a nerd, tell him/her that the Hulk is green because he eats lots of vegetables." "The earth is 4.6 billion years old unless you are a creationist. Then, the earth is somewhere between 5700-10000 years old. Alter as your faith dictates." "Because I say so."
18. It really does go too fast. They do tell you this one, but they don't tell you that it isn't like a "your face will freeze like that" or "nice girls don't wear leather pants" or "your Uncle Steve had the same thing happen to him once, it's totally true." No, what is totally true is that it really does go too fast.
19. You will get fecal matter on yourself on occasion. Yes, that is gross, but you will live. You are strong.
20. P & G ads know exactly what they are doing. You know it too, but you will still cry.
21. You will spend a lot of time fantasizing about what your children are going to be like and what they are going to accomplish in life. You will daydream about this stuff at red lights, in line at the bank, while trying to sleep, while exercising, during commercials, and randomly throughout your day. This is normal. Your children will routinely shatter and obliterate these fantasies by being about 12000% more awesome than you could have ever thought possible. This too is normal.
22. Picture taking gets really difficult.
23. Like really difficult.
24. But it's totally worth it.
25. It's actually all totally worth it.
Please share with your soon-to-be-mom friends. No one should be shamed at the park or stuck with talking toys. Let's all be sisters here, ladies.