What I Know Now

29 Jun

There are lots of things I wish I would’ve known before becoming a mom. Like:

Having a baby changes everything. Relationships, time management, hobbies, meals, sleep, everything. Forever.

Most of my working memory will become consumed by picture book text and kids song lyrics.

Sometimes I will love my son, but not necessarily like him. And that’s ok.

I have to say ridiculous things like “we do not put sticks in our noses” and keep a straight face.

While most babies sleep through the night by four months, some (mine) are not good sleepers and will have night-wakings for the first few years of life.

Half-chewed food from my son’s plate is called “lunch.”

The dentist’s chair is the closest I’ll get to time off.

I can spend a whole day trying to teach Mister to say something I want him to say, but he picks up what I don’t want him to say on the first try.

Exercise is a luxury. Exercise alone is a dream.

I’ll learn all the long ways home just to sit by myself for a few minutes longer.

I’ll love motherhood more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life. And sometimes I’ll dislike it just as much.

Here is a funny take on this: (I disagree with #16. Especially when he was young, people still looked at me like I was crazy for talking to my son. But he’s got a gigantic (yes, he knows that word) vocabulary and maybe me talking to him early has something to do with it.)


There are things about writing that I wish I would’ve known too. Here are some:

The whole process is very revealing and educational.

Writing, from idea to publication and beyond, is hard work!

Publication is about more than good writing. There are lots of other factors I can’t see or control.

The muse is nosy. She digs into areas that were off-limits.

No matter how good I feel about a first draft, the subsequent drafts will always be better.

Writers need a “platform” from which to market work even prior to publication.

Picture books are sometimes harder to write than longer works because each word is of vital importance.

Each writer has to find his or her own style through reading, writing, asking for critique, writing, researching, writing and writing.

I might write my whole life and still never tell “my story.” If I’m lucky, I’ll find it sooner rather than later.

The writing community is so supportive, despite the stiff competition.

Please share what you wish you would’ve known about becoming a parent or a writer in the comments. And keep writing, writing, and writing!



Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Why Write?


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3 responses to “What I Know Now

  1. Lisa

    July 1, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Beth, I dream of motherhood… Something that aludes me yet. Your blog kinda scares me now! I just want to ask… Do you have any regrets? I can assume what you would say based on your writing. I guess it is the hardest thing in life – but yet the most rewarding?

    • cocoanqueso

      July 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I’m sorry. I don’t mean to scare hopeful moms. These are just the things I wish I knew. I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but I had kind of a romantic view of motherhood. That is so not how it is! When Mister was born, my cousin sent me a card that said “welcome to the best, hardest job there is.” She got it exactly right. Like anything that is worth achieving, it is hard work, but the rewards are great. I don’t know how to answer your regrets question. I regret how much I didn’t know about having a baby, but the only way I could’ve learned is by having one. I regret not seeing how things in my past would change after having Mister, but again, I probably wouldn’t have known that either.

      • cocoanqueso

        July 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

        I guess I can sum it up this way: I love being a mom. It is an experience I’d want for any woman who is open to it. But it does require a level of selflessness and patience beyond most other things in life. Best of luck to you, and should you become a mother, I will gladly welcome you to the “hardest, best” job too!


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