7 Things I Didn't Really Appreciate Before Becoming a Parent

7 things I appreciate as a mom 7 things I appreciate as a mom They say the grass is greener on the other side. Well on the side of motherhood, the lawn is covered with toys, missing sippy cups, and half-finished snacks. Pre-motherhood, life is pretty sweet. But once you cross over and have a little bundle of joy of your own, you realize that things you previously took for granted, are so much more amazing than you ever gave them credit for. Here's a look at a few things that I never had a full appreciation for prior to becoming a mom.

1. Wipes
Prior to being a mom, I foolishly used to think that wipes were meant to wipe babies' bums. Now that I'm the other side of motherhood, I use wipes for everything and always have some close at hand. Besides their usual line of work, I use them to spiff up my dashboard, blot out spills from clothing, or as a quick clean up after a meal - face, highchair tray, floor, ceiling, etc.

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2. Carpool lanes
I'm convinced the carpool lane was created specifically for moms. Typically one of my kids needs to get home ASAP for a nap, to use the bathroom, or I'm late for and appointment! Feels so good to zoom past the traffic. And by "zoom", I mean drive by at the appropriate speed limit.

3. Drive thrus
Taking my kids in and out of their car seats adds a good chunk of time to our outings. Sometimes it takes more time to load and unload the cars than the time it takes to complete a particular errand. I love being able to whiz through a drive thru to pick up medicine when they're sick, take care of bank transactions, and pick up an occasional iced coffee to keep me going. Now if only my favorite big box store would offer a drive thru, I'd be set.

4. Priority boarding
I hate the process of traveling. The lines, the waiting, the fatigue, it's all a pain. Being able to board early helps me situate the kids on the plane to possibly help alleviate tantrums mid-flight. Plus it's a bonus for fellow passengers that I'm not passing the aisles with kids arguing over who gets to sit next to the window, stopping at every seat to get first dibs.

5. Sleep
Quite possibly the number one thing I didn't fully appreciate or take advantage of. I wish there were a way to have built up a sleep reserve prior to having children. Sometimes I'm so desperate for just a 10-minute nap that I'd pay top dollar to get those few minutes of rest during a wildly hectic day. To all those soon-to-be mamas out there, sleep now or forever forget your peace.

6. Posed Family Pictures
I thought you hold up a camera, tell them "say cheese", and the rest is a snap. My children, hate, hate, taking pictures. Every image is a struggle. We probably go through dozens of frames before we finally get one somewhat useable image. More often than not, I'm only able to capture only one image because I told my kids, "Okay, just one picture". I suppose I should start saying, "Just one picture where you are not crossing your eyes, sticking out your tongue, throwing up peace signs, distracted by the clouds, or crying, 'I don't want to take a picture'."

7. My Mom
I always thought being a mom wasn't that hard. As soon as I felt my very first growing pain while pregnant with my first, I broke down and cried. I called my mom and begged her to forgive me for all the hard times I had ever given to her as a baby and well into my teen years - and beyond. With three little girls behind me, I now fully understand all the hard work - the blood, sweat, and tears - that go into raising children. And for that, I truly love and appreciate my mother for everything she's done and continues to do.

- By Amnah Ibrahim

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