To be honest, I wasn't fully prepared to be a parent. I hadn't read the books, nor did I do any research on them due to certain reasons. I only started reading parenting books AFTER my son was born. Therefore I didn't really know what to expect, but I do have four younger siblings that I helped around with, so I thought I knew a thing or two.
I was kidding myself - I actually knew nothing. Going from being single to a single mom was really something else. I knew I had to give up on a lot of things, but I never knew that there were things that I'd do that I wouldn't do for any other kid or person.
I mean, from the day your baby is born, you can forget about sleeping in (amongst other things..) until he's 15. My son is 15, and it is only now that I get those occasions when I can sleep in.
Over the years, here are 12 things that I never did for myself nor for anyone, for that matter of fact, but then this boy came into my life, and that was it!
1 - Queue for 45 minutes to get a table at a favourite restaurant - done this many times, and I don't think it'll stop anytime soon! I wouldn't bother if it wasn't for HIM.
2 - Go to 8 different convenient stores in a single car drive to buy as many bottles of his favourite beverage.
3 - Watch soccer matches on TV at 4 am so that he has company to share his team's hits and misses - and I hate sports!
4 - Go on a sports holiday just to watch his favourite soccer teams play. I would have never thought I'd see the day that I would do something like this, but I did. It was his birthday. He enjoyed himself and surprisingly, so did I!
5 - Cook - I NEVER cooked before I became a parent. After I had a child? I was scouring for recipes, buying proper kitchen utensils and cooking up a storm (he'd probably beg to differ on the storm bit...)
6 - Reading ingredients list. I never cared before, now? I kick myself if I forget to bring my reading glasses grocery shopping! I spend quite some time reading labels. Grocery stores are like a library to me.
7 - Catch trajectory vomit with my hands. I mean, why? So that his bed won't be totally consumed by vomit?? It was useless anyway.
8 - Suck snot out of his nose with my mouth. Don't judge. It was disgusting but totally necessary - I was ill-prepared!
9 - Sleep on his pee spot, so he gets the dry side of the bed. Too lazy and exhausted to deal with changing sheets in the middle of the night! And yes, I practised co-sleeping.
10 - Rush to the hospital without any footwear - literally, I was barefoot and didn't realise it until I was waiting for medication. It was the first time he had a fever, and I obviously panicked.
11 - Hours of cartoons. I can't even remember watching cartoons when I was a kid like I did with my boy. And watching Lion King and Cars on repeat all day, every day?! I even memorised all the characters from Ben 10 - I was pretty proud of myself.
12 - Stay up all night to finish prepare his flashcards. I was leaving for a 1-week work trip, and he had exams during the same week. I didn't know how else to help him, so I stayed up the night before my flight to prepare flashcards for 2 subjects so he could use them to help him study and prepare for his exams.
Knowing that I'm pretty set in my ways, my son is always telling me that I have to go out of my comfort zone to truly experience life. Looking at the list above now, I think I've had my fair share of going out of my comfort zone!!
It's funny how true that children have a way to turn your life around. They make you do things that you won't normally do. So even when I feel overwhelmed, exhausted or unequipped to deal with the trials of raising a kid, I am thankful for every single day of my life as a parent.