02/01/2014 03:22 am ET Updated Apr 02, 2014

No One Tells You

Rachael Clarke

No one tells you that you'll feel delirious at times. That you'll eat fast food. That your garden will go untended. That your house will be a mess. That you'll schedule your life around bottle feedings.

No one tells you that you'll shower with the curtain open, do silly dances, sing songs about diapers and their contents. That you'll eat while sitting on the kitchen floor, clear out indescribables between fingers and folds, clip nails in haste while she's sleeping.

No one tells you just how much laundry you'll do, how many bottles you'll wash, how many diapers you'll change. How much formula you'll buy, how many wipes you'll fly through.

No one tells you just how much you'll love her, how you'll sacrifice everything for her, how you'll suddenly understand the meaning of priceless.

No one tells you how much you'll grow, how you'll realize that you were recently so self-absorbed.

No one tells you how many times you'll kiss her feet, smell her hair, check on her while she's sleeping. How tightly she'll hold your hand, how you'll admire her every gesture. No one tells you that you won't mind when she spits up on you, pees on you, screams in your ear, wakes you up at 2:30 a.m.. That she'll get sick for a month. That she'll have diarrhea for days. That she'll suddenly refuse to drink her bottle. That she'll get a stubborn diaper rash.

No one tells you that she'll turn book pages with her feet, that her favorite toy will be a stuffed octopus. That she'll love bath time, that she'll hate tummy time, that she'll try to eat everything. That she'll rarely sit still, that she'll love to reach for her feet, inspect your hands. That she'll be very talkative, morning, noon and night.

No one tells you that she'll freeze time with her eyes, with her smile, with her existence. And yet, life will be a blur.

To those who haven't yet had their little one, let me tell you: It will be. It will be a crazy, beautiful, precious, once-in-a-lifetime blur. Take pictures. Take deep breaths. Laugh it off. Let it go. Be silly. Be open. Be strong. Be brave. Be patient. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Ask for help. Take things one day at a time. Embrace every moment. Let your world turn upside-down. And enjoy the ride.

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