Mother’s Day is Sunday. Don’t forget because nobody can guilt you with deadly precision quite like your mother or the mother of your children: remember that.

I have given a lot of thought to the role of mother lately, mostly because I’m now 15 years in and none the wiser. Still, I thought maybe I’d impart some of my hard-earned wisdom to the future mommies of the world. Not to dissuade them, you understand, I would never do that (cough); no, more like caution them about the realities ahead.

Right out of the gate, let’s set the record straight about childbirth. It hurts. A lot. And by hurt I mean, excruciating isn’t an adequate adjective to describe it. Not even close. Anyone who tells you different should come off your Facebook friend list immediately. Liars.
And you will remember it, because that one act makes you truly appreciate how strong you are and will make you humble all at the same time. You will discover your super power. Unfortunately, sleep is your kryptonite.

Life is not a paper towel commercial. If your child spills juice all over your kitchen counter and floor, or splatters apple sauce at a velocity that coats your cabinets, you are not going to smile cheerfully while you clean it up. Oh heck, no. You are going to lose your ever-loving mind and say naughty words that junior will later repeat at preschool, because it doesn’t matter how many sponge pockets are packed into that sheet of paper towel, you are going to sop up that mess while hovering on the edge of a breakdown. You may even cry.

Eventually, you will let the dog lick the floor. I don’t care if you are married to the dog whisperer himself, if junior drops spaghetti on the floor, you too will turn a blind eye. There is no shame in that.

Appreciate your bladder now; you’ll miss it. And remember, as much fun as the backyard trampoline looks, if you jump on, chances are you will pee your pants.

Accept that the romantic relationship with your spouse will change and not always for the better. Children will get sick, they will jump in your bed and make you sick too, and I can assure you that all the hormones in the world will be muted after one good bout of the flu. Life is messy. Hand him the paper towels next time.

The truth is, all relationships have dry spells. Kids just ensure the romantic drought goes from a sandbox to more like the Sahara Desert. Don’t buy the hype that everyone else’s relationship has more hot romance than yours either. It’s a myth perpetuated by fakers. But if you want to get out of the sandbox, expect to work at it. In other words, be nice to the grandparents and ask them to take the kids for the night. They’ll deny it, but they too have been to the desert.

Trust your instincts. Never allow anyone to make you second guess what you inherently know about your unique child. Trust me. This one I learned the hard way.

Expect to be changed. You will not be who you were before that child enters your world. Your heart has never known a love like this, and no one can prepare you for the power of it.

Stock up on paper towels.