15 Things I’ve Learned About Children Since Having My Own

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I didn’t spend a lot of time around children while I was growing up. I only babysat maybe three times; and, even though I was a dance teacher, 30 minutes a week with a child does not really show you everything about how their little brains work.

I was pretty clueless when my own children came along. Luckily for them, I had changed a diaper before—but if we are being honest, it was only that one time, and I was way beyond 30 years of age. I know…crazy. So, to say I’ve learned a lot from my own children is a bit of an understatement.

I learn something new every day, but I’ve included a list of some of my recent epiphanies below. My kids are still toddlers, so I know there are many more lists like this to come. In the meantime, here are my findings. I’m anxious to hear if you concur.

memphis mom collective children laughing

  1. They take 30 hours to get in the car. Amiright? I once said I was going to create a service where a power-nanny would come and just load your kids and all their crap in the van before school every day. Doesn’t that sound dreamy?
  2. They will put it in their mouth. It=everything.
  3. They are born with an endless supply of snot. Nose. Will. Not. Stop. Running.
  4. There’s a room of evil marketers somewhere conspiring to drive all parents crazy with their billions of seriously addictive tiny toddler toys. I mean, forget about the whole “Small parts—not suitable for children under 3.” EVERY toy we have has three or four or 57 microscopic components.
  5. They create nap addictions. I started taking a little siesta with both my babies when they were born. “Sleep when they sleep,” they say. Well, I’ve been doing that for about four years now, and I CAN’T QUIT YOU, NAPS!!!! Mid-day sleep is one of the most luxurious things in the world.
  6. Fresh diapers are laxatives. Seriously, if you’re wondering if your toddler has pooped today, just change their diaper…and, BAM.
  7. The act of opening something is 46,000 times more important than what’s inside. This goes for doors, boxes, presents, mail, string cheese, bananas, pouches, Happy Meals, etc. You get the point. Now, go watch your unboxing videos. (eyeroll)
  8. They generally suck at crafts. And, now is the time for me to confess to you that if you’ve ever read any of my previous crafting blogs, you should know I had an exceptionally heavy hand in all of the finished products. As do your children’s teachers. They are not painting seascapes at two…they’re just not.
  9. You never know if what’s about to come out of their mouth will be profound or gibberish; so, you have to listen all the time. The same kid who is seriously asking me the difference between wind instruments and string instruments is, in the next moment, giggling and shouting that there is a booty in my refrigerator. Right.
  10. They are notorious sympathy urinators. If one child has to pee at a party, every single other child will too. I guarantee it.
  11. They have turned Pepperidge Farm Goldfish into a sacred cow. Seriously, parents, we keep them in business. And I’m interested to know just how much of the product that is bought ends up getting thrown away. Case in point, I deposit about two gallons of Goldfish into the carwash vacuum every other week.
  12. There is a reason kids have their own toothpaste. So, sue me. I accidently put adult toothpaste on my child’s toothbrush one time. And from his reaction, it burned with the intensity of a thousand suns. So, yes, parents … there is a reason kids have their own toothpaste.
  13. They will only want to play with XYZ toy after you’ve thought to yourself, “Hey, they haven’t played with XYZ toy in two years. I think I can give it away,” and then followed through with this logic. Then, and only then, will the XYZ toy become the alpha and the omega.
  14. You can love them and loathe them in the same moment. Is this not a daily occurrence with toddlers? I’m like, “You’re killin’ me, smalls. Now, get over here and give your momma a hug.”
  15. BONUS: Teachers are amazing creatures. I know this isn’t really about kids…but that’s who taught me this gem. Teachers, no joke, I thank the good lord above that there are people out there like you with the patience, education, drive, and desire to teach our little ones. What an honorable job you have. And I’m sure you have a thousand other lessons to add to this list!

memphis mom collective boys laughing

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Cara is a freelance journalist and strategic communications consultant living in Germantown. Born in Illinois, she moved to Memphis at a young age; and, having moved away a few times for college, graduate school, and other adventures, she likes to joke that she’s moved TO Memphis more times than anyone she knows. Mom to the cutest little boys, Everett (March 2017) and Gavin (October 2018), and wife to Rob, who works as a financial planner, Cara is adjusting to her new gig as a stay-at-home mom after almost 20 years as a magazine editor and corporate communications practitioner. When not “momming” or consulting, Cara spends her time volunteering with the Junior League of Memphis, where she served on the Board of Directors for several years. Admittedly, Cara has an unreal obsession with escape rooms, an unhealthy addiction to Frappuccinos, and an uncontrollable desire to correct every grammar and punctuation mistake she sees. Learn more about Cara at https://carasievers.weebly.com/.

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