10 things no one told you about parenting

Becoming a parent will change your life completely, even in ways you didn't think possible. Here are just a few of the many unexpected stresses and challenges you'll face in this beautiful new phase of your life.

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  • Becoming a parent changes your life in just about every meaningful way. In some cases you will feel prepared for the changes coming, but more often than not you will find out no one warned you about the unexpected changes. This is a short list of just a few of the ways you'll discover new challenges as a parent.

  • 10. You will learn to appreciate the little things

  • Things you spent your whole life not noticing or appreciating suddenly become so much more valuable like a jacket with lots of pockets, strollers with cupholders, diaper changing stations in public restrooms, spacious and sensible cars, reliable dishwashers or sales at your grocery store will make you genuinely happy.

  • 9. Bodily fluids will become part of everyday vocabulary and life

  • It starts predictably with changing diapers, but soon you discover the incredible amount of spit up your child can unleash or how far they can launch projectile poop. Soon enough you are dealing with bedwetting, vomiting in the car, and so much more. Before you know it, those words will slip casually off your tongue and easily become part of everyday conversation. ProTip: buy sanitizer in bulk.

  • 8. Crying will happen — a lot

  • As your children get older, you will realize a crying or frustrated child isn't a sign of failure as a parent but merely a child learning how to communicate and interact with the world. Repeat after me: "I. Can. Do. This." You will both make it! You will be there for them when they really need it and you will get better and better at realizing when that should happen.

  • 7. You will forget nearly everything you learned in school

  • It will be difficult to help your kids with homework as they get older. It is a right of passage for parents to realize how little they remember from their high school math classes. This can be a huge pain for parents. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources—including apps—that make math and homework easy and fun.

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  • 6. Your TV and movie viewing habits will change completely

  • Before long, you will find yourself seasons behind on the cool new TV show everyone is talking about or deciding to skip the movie about a tragic kidnapping. You will see your Netflix queue slowly taken over with children's programming, and you will become a world-class Disney scholar thanks to endless repeat viewings.

  • 5. Your definition of "clean" will become much more flexible

  • Skip the feelings of guilt and lean into your lifestyle as a parent. Prioritize your time and do what is most important. You will soon see having a spotless home become less critical.

  • 4. Simple outings will become a thing of the past

  • Nothing is simple anymore. You will find out soon enough how much of an expedition it is to go anywhere with children. As a result you will become much more efficient at planning your day while also finding new joy in a simple day at home.

  • 3. Your greatest joy will come watching your children make new milestones and achievements.

  • It can be bittersweet realizing how quickly your children grow up, but you will be surprised at how much you'll enjoy seeing them reach their goals and try new things.

  • 2. You will become your parents

  • Somewhere deep in the corners of your mind are buried what your mother would yell when the family was late or your father's lecture about the importance of eating vegetables. Warning: when you least expect it, you will hear those same "lessons" coming from your own mouth.

  • 1. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much love you will feel for your child

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  • There will be days when your patience is gone, you will be sleep deprived and will not know what to do. But beneath it all, you will always love your children. Hold on to the feelings of deep love you have for your children. It is unlike anything you have never experienced before.

  • Parenting has many unexpected ups and downs, but through it all, you will find a world of incredible joy.

  • Primal Math is here to alleviate some of the stress of parenting by providing a simple solution to helping children develop their natural abilities to do math. To make math easy and much more fun, check out the new Zombie Fish Bits app for kids.

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Preston Wittwer is a freelance editor and writer.

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