The things that have prepared me for motherhood where things I never thought to consider particularly useful. Being a writer has helped me deal with judgmental moms because, well, if you can survive a comment section you can survive anything. Being a former-athlete has helped me deal with the sleepless nights because nothing is as bad as a 5 am, three hour basketball practice. Then, of course, there are the ways being a hot mess prepares you for motherhood, because nothing is as chaotic as parenthood so the less you have your sh*t together, the less sh*t you're likely to lose.
Before I became a mom, I thought over-preparation was the name of the parenting game. I read the books and I did my research and I asked all the questions, taking notes like the diligent student I tried (and failed) to be in college. Yeah, that was all freakin' useless. My kid doesn't give a sh*t about a few chapters in a baby book. Instead, he does his own thing and follows his own rules then makes up other rules that I have to learn on the fly. Kids are crazy, you guys. They're unpredictable and sometimes unnecessarily difficult so, in my experience, if you go into a situation with zero expectations or any idea of what to do, you're less likely to fail. Instead, you'll figure it out as you go and make up your own set of "mom rules" that fit your specific and unique needs and before you know it, you're actually surviving. Sure, you're a mess and exhausted and whatever, but you're surviving.
So let's make a toast (in our "mom-juice" filled sippy cups) to all the former hot messes-turned moms. Who knew that not having the slightest clue as to what you're actually doing, can be the reason why you end up being the best mom ever.
Someone Has Probably Puked In Your Hands Before
Yeah, my son wasn't the first person to throw up on me. In fact, it was my best friend during her 25th birthday party. We were in a cab and she had a little too much "fun" and, before I knew it, she was throwing up and I was catching her puke in my hands while simultaneously consoling her.
If that doesn't prepare you for motherhood, I don't know what will.
You've Probably Spent A Few Mornings Puking, Yourself
Morning sickness is like the worst hangover of your life, stretched out for months at a time. If you've spent a few too many nights praying to the porcelain gods and swearing you'll never touch alcohol again (only to be back at it the next night because, duh, you never learn) at least you know morning sickness is something you can probably "handle."
You Thrive In The Presence Of Chaos...
Organization? A set schedule? Cleanliness? Punctuality? Yeah, you don't really need any of that. You were late to class when you were in college so being late to a pediatrician appointment is no big deal. You were never one to be organized yet you still found a way to turn papers in (and on time, surprisingly) or find your shoes, so an organized diaper bag isn't a necessity. You don't really need a schedule to know where you need to be or when because, well, you'll figure it out or someone will tell you. You'll just be, you know, late.
You thrive in the midst of chaos and, well, there's nothing more chaotic than parenthood.
...And You're Cool, Calm And Collected When Plans Change
It's not that you're apposed to plans, per say. It's just that you're well aware that life doesn't care about your plans. At all. So, when the birth plan goes to sh*t, you just shrug your shoulders and deal. When your kid has a blowout so you're late to whatever it is you're already late for, you just consider it par for the course. There's something to be said for being laid back when everything hits the damn fan, and you're the queen of "laid back."
You Don't Care What Other People Think
You've never been one to hide your faults or flaws or mistakes, so you don't really care if some mom at the playground is giving you the stink eye because you forgot a snack or have a stain smack dab in the middle of your shirt.
Sadly, and thanks to the "mommy wars," not giving a damn about someone else's judgment or shame will take you a long way when you're a mom. Opinions are a'plenty and people will make them known, so the thicker your skin is, the better.
A Pile Of Laundry Or Dirty Dishes (Or Both) Don't Stress You Out
There are only so many hours in the day, so you're not going to care if those hours aren't filled with laundry folding and dish washing. You're not going to take it as an affront to your capabilities as a mom because, hey, you didn't do your laundry all that often in college and you turned out just fine, right?
There are things that matter and there are things that don't. That pile of dishes will still be there in the morning so, as a hot mess, you'll deal with it later and spend time with your kid, now. #Priorities
You're Used To Learning As You Go
I never have any idea what in the hell I'm doing, and motherhood hasn't changed that. If anything, motherhood has just reminded me that I can prepare to the best of my ability, and still feel totally and completely lost.
So, I'm learning as I go, just like I did when I was in college or working two jobs or dating wildly inappropriate people or paying the damn bills that kept showing up at my apartment every month. There's a learning curve to this whole motherhood thing and, well, I have no problem taking my time to figure it out.
You Don't Mind Asking For Help
If it wasn't for my friends and a few select family members, I never would have made it through college. I never would have made it through a move to a big city and a few (read: many) horrible jobs. I never would have survived the many, many breakups I endured and I definitely wouldn't be surviving motherhood the way I am now.
I have learned, as a former, wildly unstable hot mess, how to ask for help because help was usually necessary. The same can be said for my life now. Am I little more put together than I was when I was skipping college classes and staying out way too late? Yes. However, I still need help. I need help when my son is sick or when I'm trying to work and make it home in time to take him to the park or when I just feel overwhelmed. As a hot mess I've learned to rely on other people, and that's why I can confidently say I'm winning at this whole mom thing. Well, today anyway.