Looking back on the last nine months of #momlife, I am blown away by how little I actually knew going into this whole thing.  As a researcher by nature, I rarely go into a situation unprepared,  so throughout pregnancy, I studied up.  I read a huge stack of books, took a baby care class at the hospital, and spent time with my niece and nephew.  I knew, of course, that I’d learn a lot on the job when I had a baby, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard.  I was a babysitter in high school, so I already had plenty of experience, right?  Wrong!  Here are ten things no one told me about being a mom (plus some photos from my daughter’s newborn shoot because I can’t believe she is already 9 months old).

1. Part of your job is to pick someone’s boogers.

Sure, I registered for the suction bulb and the NoseFrida, but it hit me as I was trying to fish a boog out of my newborn’s tiny nostril with my too-big pinkie that the snot of another human being will be an ongoing concern for the next chapter of my life.

2. You will never sleep in again.  Ever.

Even if my child magically sleeps past 6 am, my beagles have already learned that they go outside at 5:30 am and wake me up accordingly. If I were allowed to sleep as long as I wanted (which hasn’t happened in at least 9 months), I have absolutely no idea what time I’d wake up.

3. Mom Bod

I was extremely lucky (?) in that losing the pregnancy weight wasn’t very difficult for me (thank you, colic…). I was not prepared, however, for my new mom bod, and I certainly was not aware that a “saggy bellybutton” would ever be on my list of personal concerns. I am proud of what my body has accomplished and couldn’t be any happier to have my sweet baby girl, but I am also delighted that high-waisted and one-piece swimsuits are in style.

4. You will look forward all day to finally having some alone time.  When you finally get it, you will just look at pictures of your kid the whole time.

Sometimes I even consider waking her back up…

5.  What did we even talk about before?

I remember having conversations about topics other than my children, but I cannot for the life of me remember what those conversations were about (probably my dogs TBH).

6. Changing a diaper is like wrestling an alligator.

And the stakes are extremely high.  Just wait, you newborn moms, just wait.

7. You are no longer the star of your life.  You are the supporting actress.

And there is no other role I’d rather have.

8. You will receive the creepiest/sweetest dental examinations.

Every time I nurse my daughter, she sticks her hands in my mouth and feels around.  Sometimes she even scratches me with her little baby talons that I am always too afraid to cut.  Yeah, babies are strange.

9. Some days you go straight from coffee to wine, and that is ok.

No judgment here.

10. Time has never gone by so quickly.

I would give anything to pause this moment, keep her tiny, because how could it possibly get any better than this?