Because We Could All Use a Book With the Word “Sane” In the Title

Yesterday I told you about my friend Mary's new book,  A Sane Woman's Guide To Raising a Large Family (you can read my detailed review here).  Want to win an autographed copy?  Just leave a comment below, answering the following question:

What aspect of motherhood has surprised you the most?

(If you're not a mom yet, no worries, just tell us what aspect of motherhood you're looking forward to most.)

I'll draw a random winner on Thursday morning.  (U.S. mailing addresses only, please.) 

287 thoughts on “Because We Could All Use a Book With the Word “Sane” In the Title

  1. Laura says:

    I’ve been most surprised by the number of time I have uttered the sentence “Good job- you hardly peed on the floor at all today!” tied with, “No honey. You have to take off ALL your clothes before you get in the shower”.

  2. se7en says:

    I’m not local but I have to comment – so don’t enter me! I was totally blown away by how much I love my kids. I never expected it to be so complete and for each of them. Completely different to any other love… Really unconditional love without any effort… There isn’t the drag in it, just total all encompassing love!

  3. Jill says:

    Not coming from an overly affectionate family, I can’t believe how many times a day I want to hug, kiss, and cuddle my children. Lucky for me their still little and haven’t figured out they could push me away!

  4. Kelley says:

    I was totally surprised at how tired I could be – but still function b/c I loved them so much it didn’t matter how tired I was.
    And how much I could melt at a smile.

  5. joanna says:

    How much I like it.
    I didn’t want kids. My husband wanted “3 to 8”. I laughed at him and told him two was my limit. Well, now we have 5 daughters (oldest is 7, youngest is almost 3 months old) and I just can’t tell you how much I love it. It just goes to show how God knows you better than you know yourself.

  6. charlotte says:

    That it would be hard to get out of the kitchen. We have four kids and I feel like life is one big meal preparation/clean up. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    The other thing is how fast it would go, I heard that all the time but I did not believe it. I want it to slow down.

  7. Alisha says:

    I don’t have kids yet (hoping to start soon!), but I’m looking forward to just…meeting them. Seeing how a person can be made up of my husband and me and yet be absolutely his or her own self. I’m very curious about that.

  8. Leslie says:

    Clearly, I knew going in that having children would change my life. I don’t think I realized how having them would change EVERYTHING. Until you are are in the thick of it I don’t think you can get how having a child (or children) affects every single teeny tiny aspect of your life. And usually in ways that you don’t expect or see coming.

  9. Melissa @ Drop The Baby Weight says:

    With a 3 year old, a 14-month old, and another one due in September, I have been shocked at just how much I have done in the last year on so little sleep… 5 hours a night max for over a year! Can’t say I like that I don’t get to sleep very much, but I am surprised at how little I need to do basic mothering!

  10. MaryBeth @ FourSillySisters says:

    I always knew I’d love my kids, but I had no idea how great the job of “mom” would be! It is awesome, and I wouldn’t trade a second of it….. even the meal prep, dirty laundry, snotty noses. The hugs, kisses, and snuggles more than make up for the bad stuff.

  11. Pam @ Without Fear says:

    I think my most surprising transition now that everyone is school age is how much more mentally taxing the parenting has become. Toddlerhood is physically taxing, but I think the mental acuity is harder to come by. : )
    BTW, thanks for hosting this giveaway and thanks to Mary as well.

  12. seussgirl says:

    I have 13-month-old twin boys, and I always expected them to be a lot of work. But I underestimated just how FUN they would be! How much JOY they would bring me. And how much I’d LOVE this!

  13. Kelly says:

    I think the thing that has surprised me the most is how busy motherhood is- I had visions of long days spent making bread and hours of reading books. Even though we keep activities outside of the home to a bare minimum, I’m still busy all day long- laundry, cooking and cleaning for a family of 5 takes a lot more time than I thought it would.

  14. suburbanmom says:

    I am surprised at the emotion of it all. Raising 3 children is amazing and the most difficult yet rewarding thing ever! So filled with contradictions. Never a dull moment!

  15. Mama Hen says:

    How fast it would go by. That I would laugh so much. That such little things would bring so much joy. How quickly I can get angry at these children I love so much. It’s all just a whirlwhind isn’t it?

  16. Jessica says:

    I started out just wanting two kids. It has surprised me that I have recently changed my mind and have decided I wouldn’t mind having 3-4 kids! Being a mom is a great purpose. My husband said “let’s take it one kid at a time”. I think it surprised him too!

  17. Cindy says:

    The thing that has surprised me the most is how selfless it has made me. I have seen how I can put my children before me. It has helped me in so many ways not only with my relationship with my children, but with everyone else as well.

  18. Kimberly says:

    I surprised most by how quickly my baby boys became young men. At 18 and 14 years old, they are becoming more and more independant. I want my babies back! Well, maybe in a few years, I’ll get grandchildren.

  19. Megan says:

    Naive alert coming on: I thought it would be easier since I stay home with them. I thought relational issues would only be serious if I left them in someone else’s care most of the day.
    I was wrong.

  20. Rachel says:

    I am most surprised by how much they love one another. I always said I wanted to have “at least” three kids so they could play together. I had my third almost a year ago and sure enough, they love each so much its amazing. It also makes my job easier because they keep each toher busy. I definitely would love it if the Lord gave me a few more πŸ™‚

  21. Victoria says:

    I knew parenting would be a full time job. I just didn’t realize HOW FULL TIME it really is! Even when everyone is in bed you are still thinking about your next move!

  22. Jill says:

    I was surpised at how heart breaking mothering can be. How you heart almost tears in half when other kids are mean to your child, or when your child is sick and you just weep for them. It’s like living with your heart outside your body as a mother. Wonderful and Terrifying at the same time.

  23. takemetomaui says:

    I am surprised at how God can take the little moments, the simplest of comments from one of my kids, and completely change my heart with it. I am a newlywed and have inherited four more kids in addition to my own two. I can’t believe how much work it is!!!

  24. RLR says:

    I was completely amazed by how my 9 to 5 job was knocked down a few spots on my priority list the MOMENT the pregnancy test came back positive. I NEVER imagined myself as a SAHM, but I’m so fortunate that I have the opportunity to be home (or at preschool, the park, or playdates) with my kids. Yes, that job went WAY down in the rankings!

  25. Sharon says:

    I have learned more from my daughter in her short eight years than I have learned in all of my life. She has taught me that time has no emergency brake. Before having her, I was a bit on the OCD side when it came to my house and everything being “so perfect”. I have learned that the dishes will be there later, the laundry can be folded after her bedtime, and some of our most precious moments are when we are watching our children and they don’t even know it.

  26. Kristin says:

    How incredibly strong my love would be…I was not a baby person and I didn’t realize how much I would love my own babies. That and how angry you can get too! 😦

  27. Gretchen nelson says:

    How hard it can be. But yet how one hug, one kiss, or one little “I love you”, can make me forget all that hard work and be so thankful that I have the best job in the world!
    Gretchen N.
    gretnel@hotmail.com

  28. Lynn says:

    Nothing prepared me for parenting a middle schooler. I’ve been surprised at how much of the crummy stuff I had buried in my own past, has been drug back in front of me as my son goes through middle school and I watch and remember.
    I’ve also been wonderfully delighted now that I understand what it means to love three different people sooooooo much. But yet, I do love them all differently.

  29. Angie says:

    How much fun boys are! Being a really girly girl, and an only child, I just didn’t know what I would do with a boy–let alone three! Four, if you count the one I married, which is often the biggest ringleader of them all! πŸ˜‰ But they are so great, and I thank God for them every day!!!

  30. Kari says:

    This one is so hard because most of motherhood has surprised me. One aspect that has shocked me is how you can have these set ideals on issues, parenting, or anything that might possibly have to do with your family, but when you have that little one in your arms, things start to change. Deep held beliefs become something you really think about and look at differently.
    For me it was an entire world shattering change. My faith became much deeper and I gained new understanding of my Heavenly Father. My views on “those” parents who did things such as cloth diaper, stopped using plastic, and so on changed from “hippie freak” to “pretty smart people”. My views on medical advice changed from “the doctor is always right” to “I want a partner in my children’s healthcare, one who listens to me and takes my thoughts seriously”. My views on medicines went from “if it hurts, take a pill, why live with discomfort” to “this isn’t so bad really, let’s wait and see or take a homeopathic item that works just as good”. The list goes on and on and on and on. My children have changed our worlds completely. Our lives look nothing like they did just a few years ago. And praise God for that!!!

  31. Tracye says:

    It may sound dumb, but what surprises me is how much time I can pass just staring at my kids and thinking how unbelievably beautiful they are, and how blessed I am to have them.
    I also LOVE watching their relationship with each other grow.

  32. Bailey's Leaf says:

    That I would get so blasted weepy about everything regarding different things with my child. She turns 5? I cry. Dentist tells me I have to take her for a root canal (just this past Friday’s post), I cry. She sings in front of church. I cry.
    When we picked her up at the hospital, they gave us many things, but they forgot to include the lifetime supply of Kleenex!

  33. Emily says:

    I’ve worked with children for a long time and even have a degree in early childhood education, so I was expecting motherhood to be sleep depriving and very challenging from my previous experiences. However, I was pleasantly surprised to get a wonderful sleeper and happy baby boy! I’m loving every second!

  34. Trisha says:

    I was surprised by how completely in love I am with my son. It is the fiercest love I have ever felt and it points me to God. How much more he loves me…it’s hard to imagine!

  35. rrmama says:

    I knew I would love having kids but when I held both of my boys that over whelming feeling of how much my heart was swelling with love! I couldn’t believe how much I loved someone I had just met. I finally understood how my parents felt after all of those years. I fall more in love with each day. And yes there are days that I want to lock my self in the closet and hide from them but I love them no matter what!

  36. Melanie says:

    I’m surprised that I am OK with “just being a mom.” I always thought I’d be a big career woman in some form. Giving that up doesn’t even feel like I’ve given up anything. I’ve gained an entirely new career and place in life that is so much more fulfilling than I’d imagined.

  37. Jennifer P. says:

    I have been surprised at how totally, incredibly different our five kids can be from the same two parents!! They have their simmilarities, but the differences in their personalities has been so fun!
    Also, I have been told but hadn’t experienced the surprise at how fast time seems to go while raising them. You can feel in the thick of it everyday, but turn around and another month or year has gone by!!

  38. faith says:

    Wow…this could be an entire post, but I’ll try to keep it brief….
    My biggest surprise was how selfish I didn’t realize I was (and how much I’ve had to get over that…haha) and next would be the stress.
    Another biggie was how long it took for me to get attached to some of them (I’m a foster mom and I guess I figured on instant attachment but either I’m weird or it doesn’t work that way…maybe both. HA)

  39. Marni says:

    I was surprised at the potential for my own rage, my own apathy, my own feelings of total failure and actual failure. I hate not succeeding, or at least feeling like I haven’t. I didn’t expect any of that.

  40. Keri says:

    There are so many things that surprised me — and continue to surprise me. The fact that each of our four children are so uniquely their own even though they have the same parents and are raised in the same environment continually surprises me.

  41. No No Nanette says:

    It surprises me how much I can absolutely enjoy it, and how much it can terribly frustrate me from minute to minute.
    and also, how much love my heart is able to give and receive. There is just so much love.

  42. Tammy W. says:

    I don’t know that anything has surprised me, per se, from years of working with children. But there’s a big difference between knowing what kids are like, and having your own children who are a part of yourself. I know I love them fiercely.

  43. LeAnna says:

    My son turns 10 weeks old today. I would have to say I was completely surprised at how hard that first month was, but then how soon your forget the difficulty. There for a while I was pretty sure he was destined to be an only child, but you do forget those first sleepless weeks, and pretty soon a new normal is underway. Then, you blink, and your sweet baby is a year old…

  44. Heather says:

    There are parts of momming I never thought I would be good at and I am actually ok at. And there are parts I thought I would be great at and I am really really terrible at. Like homework. I am terrible at school organization…and I am a teacher. Argh.

  45. Rebecca says:

    I am shocked at how sentimental I have become. I won’t throw out my bottle of baby laundry detergen that has been sitting in the cabinet (almost empty) for months!

  46. Sarah W says:

    I have two kids but eventually want four. I am surprised by how many people think my husband and I are crazy. I genuinely love being a mom, as well, and think everyone should have the amount of kids they desire. But I am surprised by the crazy looks and comments I get.
    And the other thing that surprises me is how moms of 3+ children say that there is little grace for them. Like how someone with 1 child who throws a fit is just in a bad stage. But a mom with 6 six kids, well, she does not give her children enough attention. I have not experienced that yet, but have heard others talk about it!

  47. Princess Leia says:

    Since baby #2 has come along, I’ve been amazed at how distinct their personalities are from the very beginning – and how little of it has to do with their parents! My little man (2) is the sweetest boy in the whole world, and my little girl (3 mo) just exudes possibility. Neither of those things was taught by us, that’s for sure!

  48. jill says:

    Initially, it was how much I valued sleep. I was shocked at how much a newborn needed me and how much sleep that caused me to loose. Before kids, I never thought about how much sleep I wanted or needed. I just slept when I was tired… or if I didn’t get enough sleep, I’d take a nap after work. Alas, no longer tis true!

  49. Wendy says:

    I am surprised at how fast the time seems to go by… my baby that was just born yesterday will be 10 this year! And by how MUCH I love my kids…

  50. Missy says:

    How HARD it is! After many years of infertility you kind of get this picture in your mind of pure bliss once you have children. I suppose it doesn’t help that God gave us 2 babies in 14 months. And even though alot of days I wouldn’t describe it as pure bliss, it’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have! Thanks for the giveaway!

  51. Kristie says:

    I am surprised by how much of a push-over mom I can be. I always thought I would be strict, but I have to really focus on being firm, consistent and sticking to my guns.

  52. Joni Casteel says:

    Sorry about the other post. I had trouble.
    The wonderous joy of watching them grow. Hearing their views of life.
    Wanting so much for them as adults.
    Sharing their sorrows as they grow.
    Sharing their successes.
    It is a wounderous trip!

  53. Keren says:

    I’ve been surprised at how much fun infants are! I thought my little girl wouldn’t be much fun until she was 2, but if 2 is anything like the past 14 months, I am going to love it!
    I’m also surprised that it is not as “hard” or “horrible” as everyone told me before she was born. (Same with marriage. :)) Children are truly blessings!

  54. Jessica says:

    As an only child, I have been so thrilled to see the friendship develop between my three daughters. They will have a bond so special…I pray it will only grow throughout their lives!

  55. Mary Kay says:

    I am surprised how mentally challenging motherhood is. I mean, I knew it would be physically difficult…I just never knew there would be so much figuring out, asking every mother around me to learn more, decifering of motives, and of course, the constant praying and praying for wisdom and the stamina to stay engaged (and sane!) πŸ™‚

  56. Erin says:

    I am most surprised at the fact that I say things my mom and dad both used to say, when I swore I would NEVER utter those sentences when I was a mother.

  57. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

    Two things, although they’re related. First, how quickly I forgive and forget. It’s not like me to be so gracious, but with my daughter, I can’t help it. I just love her so much! (Now WHY can’t I extend that same grace to my husband, my mother and everyone else in my life???) And second, I’ve been surprised at the insight motherhood has given me into God’s love for us. I thought I understood before. And now I realize that I have NO IDEA how much God loves us – but I’m beginning to understand better…!

  58. Fatima says:

    It has been pleasantly surprising to learn just how wonderful it is to give myself to the care of my family. God has used the experiences of motherhood to make me a bit less selfish. With each challenge (and there are many, aren’t there?) I have grown, learned, and been richly rewarded. I had no idea how hard it would be or how much it would change me.

  59. Lesley says:

    I am surprised that I enjoy it so much. It sounds awful, but I am a realistic person. I thought it would be all hard work (which it is, but so much fun at the same time.)

  60. Tay Gudmundson says:

    I was surprised by how EARLY their personalities are shown and how different it is from anybody else’s. I guess I always thought that babies were of similar dispositions until about 2yo. Boy was I wrong.

  61. Sarah K says:

    I think I’ve been most surprised by the amount of humor involved in being a parent. My daughter has a way of forcing a laugh out of me at even the most aggravating of times.

  62. Alisha says:

    completely surprised at how any little accomplishment my son has I’m ready to tell it on the mountain. I’m bursting with pride and joy. It was the most exciting EVER yesterday when he started trying to sing with me. Love it!

  63. Amy says:

    I had no idea how much I’d adore each of my children, or how thankful I would be to have each of them. Or how rewarding it is to be a mom!

  64. Denise says:

    I’m the mother of seven children and I thought it would get easier as they got older. With four married now, I actually find myself missing the days of toddlers running around. The problems my children face now seem so much more serious and I miss the problems of skinned knees and runny noses that could be fixed with a band-aid, kleenex, and lots of love. Of course, lots of love still helps. To mothers of littles – enjoy this time. They really DO grow up fast.

  65. Sarah @ Short Stop says:

    Sleep deprivation. I had NO IDEA I would long for my bed, cry at the thought of leaving my bed, and sit on the edge of my bed begging the little creature sleeping in the bassinette next to me to please stop crying.
    Sleep. Oh, how I miss thee.
    (Thanks for the giveaway. I love Mary. She’s all heart.)

  66. Jenn W says:

    Surprisingly, the thing that’s surprised me most is how consistent you have to be (and how hard that can be!). I’ve worked with kids since I was old enough to and I was raised in a great home AND I used to be a teacher, so I’m no push-over! πŸ˜‰ But it can be really hard not to “let it slide” just once…because that ONE time can undo all the other times that you didn’t let it slide!

  67. Kellie says:

    I’ve been surprised by how isolating it is. I envisioned more time having get togethers and playtimes with my other mommy friends. However, I didn’t realize how much “free time” babies have – between all the naps and feedings, and then solid food meals. I absolutely love being a mama, but it is more isolating than I expected.

  68. Amy says:

    I have been surprised at how someone like me, who has always HAD to have at least 8 hours of sleep, can learn to function at much less than that, and be okay with it.
    I’m perpetually tired, but know that one day I will look back on these crazy, hectic days (and nights) and be sad at how short they were. These are the best days of my life!

  69. Diane says:

    I’m surprised that motherhood doesn’t end when they grow up and move out on their own. It’s wonderfully forever!

  70. Christina Wieters says:

    I was told how fast time goes, but I didn’t know it would increase exponentially as the kids got older. We have 7. As the oldest drives and the youngest is going through potty training, I am amazed at how fast time goes.
    I love watching my kids enjoy each other. When my oldest son tickles the two year old, and my oldest daughter voluntarily is reading through a book with the two younger boys – what a Mom thrill!

  71. Tiffani says:

    I agree with others about how fast it goes by. When you’re in the middle of diapers and sippy cups you think it will never end and then all of a sudden it does and you’re surprised at how much you miss those diapers and sippy cups.

  72. MM says:

    This is like asking an artist what his/her favorite color is. How on earth can I narrow it down to ONE? πŸ™‚
    I think I’m mostly surprised by how much God is teaching me through my son. You go into parenthood thinking you’ll impart all the things you’ve learned over the years into this little human being. But in fact, it’s been the opposite for me. God uses my son to teach me something amazing every day. It’s been very humbling.
    I think another surprise is how much I LIKE my kid. You know going into it that you’ll LOVE your child, but it’s been a surprise to me that I just genuinely like his company. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s engaging, he’s a chatterbox, he adores me. Granted, he’s only 19 months old, but seriously…what’s not to like?

  73. Headless Mom says:

    I’m surprised that it doesn’t end. Toddlers become school-age kids with new issues, and school-age kids become college students with more issues. I don’t suppose it ever ends. And truth be told? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  74. Lucy says:

    I have been surprised by so, so many things. I’ve discovered that “Because I said so” is a legitimate reason. I’ve been surprised by how brave little kids are, as they defy a person who’s at least four time larger than they are. I’ve been surprised by how FUNNY kids are – who needs tv?
    But most of all, I’ve been surprised by how much *I* need my children – my kids are definitely a path to holiness. They are the mirror that shows me both my sin, but also my salvation. My love for them and their love for me has taught me so much about God. And love. And forgiveness. I am often so humbled by their ability to love and forgive again and again. I was told that would happen, but I’m still surprised by it every day.
    And I think I could still learn a ton from Mary! She rocks my world. πŸ™‚

  75. Marie says:

    I think the thing that has most surprised me about motherhood is just how much they learn for watching. I am a teacher, so I should know that children learn from observing others, but the first time my son repeated exactly what I said- I knew I had to make sure I was doing right. Now watching my daughter mimic me (actions, words and TONE) I am more careful and watchful about what My husband and I say and do.
    I guess the other thing, is how hard it would be for me to explain God to them- to figure out ways to teach them scripture and all the amazing things about Him. It has been more difficult that I thought it would be.

  76. Melissa Parnell says:

    While expecting our first daughter, I imagined how glamorous motherhood would be. It seemed so naturally and peaceful.
    15 months later, I can testify it is not glamorous–it’s glorious! I am thankful for the sanctifying work of motherhood. It’s hard, but so incredibly good!

  77. Simply Dawn says:

    That I would love it so much! I was going to be a power career woman with a stay at home husband and only two kids. After we had our second, I just wanted to be home and take care of the two of them, but my hubby didn’t want more. Yet, here we are about 10 years later and just had number seven and are thinking about number 8. Who knew it would be such a blessing and doable on one income!

  78. alissa says:

    well, i have only just begun my journey as a momma — my little boy is 10 weeks old — and i have to say that this is a hard question because i am still very much adjusting. i am surprised every day. i guess what has surprised me the most is how difficult being on-call 24/7 is (literally — i am breastfeeding and my time is dictated by a very small person with a very small tummy on a liquid diet of perfectly digested food). but i am also surprised by how much it really doesn’t bug me. it’s hard, but i don’t miss my former pre-child life at all. i look at this amazing little gift from God and i know that i would not have it any other way.
    oh, and i totally understand mama grizzlies — you hurt my baby and you WILL regret it. the urge to protect him and defend him is one of the more powerful feelings i’ve ever experienced.
    and finally….if my other babies are as sweet as he is, i want a whole army of them. πŸ™‚

  79. Joanna Miller says:

    I’ve been surprised at how hard being on-call 24/7 for 9 years can be. And giving full attention to 5+ little personalities. And how much a grin from YOUR CHILD can melt your heart…

  80. Rebecca says:

    I’m surprised at how much love I have for my children. I always knew I would love my children more than anything, but it far exceeds what I thought I was capable of!

  81. Tracy says:

    Potty training! What do you mean they don’t teach themselves? And the accidents…oh the accidents… I believed the lie that they can be trained in a day or weekend. Ugh. 3 months and counting but really, this time I think we are almost there…

  82. PolkaDotMommy says:

    I’m constantly surprised by my awareness that I’m handling something wrong but not knowing what to do different. By the strongest, most amazing love for these little people who drive me nutso. By my drive to mold them into better people and better parents than I. By my ability to out yell even the loudest of them. By wanting to give them the world and learning when to rein in so they don’t develop entitlement mentality. By the joy I experience when I see the light of God in their happy faces. By getting weighed down in the everyday and forgetting to find the joy. By the happiness I feel when I search out the joy. I’m constantly astounded by this thing we call Motherhood… The hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had.

  83. Gwyn says:

    Let’s see. I didn’t expect to have so many “unpolished” days. For myself or my home. But that happens sometimes….
    and we all survive!!

  84. Melissa says:

    I’d have to say, how much the kids take in. They are just little sponges, and what I say is having a huge impact on them (they’re not quite 2…I imagine this changes!)

  85. Rebecka says:

    As a homeschooling mom to six under 10, I’m surprised that my head doesn’t explode every day!! Before kids, I thought that being a mom would be less stressful than my career…lol, was I ever wrong!!

  86. theresa says:

    I am daily suprised at how different each of my 6 kids are. I also remember hearing “old people” talk about how fast time goes…”they grow up so fast”. It is so very true. I look at pictures from LAST YEAR and m floored at the difference in my kids.

  87. Need A Nap2 says:

    The differences between boys and girls! The instructions needed to be given to a boy (a girl would NEVER think of such things).
    How you can love someone so much (that’s so tiny, toothless, and pretty much hairless).
    The fighting, the sicknesses, the love between siblings.

  88. Jodie says:

    I enjoy all the things they teach me. I thought i knew lots of stuff but each day they show me differently. Sometimes it is a simple way to look at things, other times it is things I have never thought of before. We grow and learn together.

  89. Lisa@take90west says:

    What surprised me the absolute most was knowing just how much my own mother loved me. As soon as I gave birth and held my newborn in my arms, I knew. Before that, I never really knew how deeply a mother loves.

  90. Laura P says:

    Although I was warned, I didn’t realize how much “guilt” came along with parenting. There is a tug at your heart strings each day abou things you didn’t do or couldn’t do or could have done better. But it is those feelings that keep you striving to do better the next day!

  91. Carey says:

    I know it’s not an original idea, but I am also surprised most by how fast it goes. One day you’re training her to use the potty; the next you’re training her on use of feminine hygiene products! I am also often surprised by how much of myself I see in her.

  92. Lizzie11 (Lorie) says:

    That is can change a person some much and so a person more about God and His love for His children. It has been a wonderful journey so far!!!

  93. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been surprised at how little sleep I can actually function on. Having four kids fairly close together, I don’t think I’ve had one solid night sleep in 7 years πŸ™‚ Also it’s surprising how time flies, I can’t believe my first baby is almost eight, it goes way too quickly.

  94. Brandi says:

    As a SAHM to 4 kids, I have been surprised at how much work it takes to keep a family and home running efficiently, and often without recognition or thanks. But I was pleasantly surprised to overhear my 4 yr old son tell my husband who had just commented that sometimes he has to work a lot of hours at his job that “No one works more hours than Mommy does at her job. Taking care of us never ends!” Maybe they do understand after all!

  95. Sally says:

    I was surprised by how quickly the years have passed. Our oldest daughter is soon to be 19 and our youngest daughter is 14. How did that happen-weren’t they just born?? These two girls could not be more different. Their personalities are so opposite. The love I have for them is something I cannot describe, but only someone who is a mother would understand.

  96. Sara says:

    I was surprised that I don’t give a flip about how I’m “not using my college degree.” I’m more content now than I’ve ever been, even in my all-Target wardrobe…

  97. nicole says:

    I think the very fact that I am a mother is what still surprises me the most. I was not that girl who grew up dreaming of having kids. My attitude was more like, sure I’ll have some, probably. 5 kids later I still sometimes look around me and wonder how I got here.

  98. aSprinkling says:

    I think something that I’m most surprised by is how much I’m willing to fight for my children – no matter who I have to make upset to do it.

  99. Stephanie says:

    Honestly, what surprised me the most is that I would lose my figure, my dignity, my privacy, my modesty and I would love it so much.

  100. rhonda says:

    I think I have been surprised by how consuming it can be…even when I am not phyiscally with my kids, I worry about them or wonder how they are. Every commerical or news broadcast or tv show is filtered through how it will affect thier lives, or how it would influence them if they see it…Even (to some extent) spending time with my husband is more important, b/c a healthy marriage is good for them! πŸ˜‰ Does that make any sense…when the physical caregiving gets less, that is when the emotional struggles and worries become more..(and you pray more!)

  101. Nicole G. says:

    I am amazed at the sense of fear I developed for my kids. For instance a camping trip used to be just that, let’s go camping pre-kids. But now, what if there are snakes, or spiders or God only knows what else and what if they are poisonous? You want to camping are you nuts? I think we’ll stay home, HA. (I am working on it though the first official camping trip will be Memorial Day weekend, wish me luck with all my paranoia!

  102. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    In my Mom Friend Circles, I always talk about how I expected kids (of all ages) to listen and learn the first time I instructed them in something.
    HA HA. HA HA. HA HA. HA.
    It never made sense to me why parents had kids who disobeyed and made messes and just generally acted like…ummm…KIDS.

  103. Kate says:

    I’m not a mom yet, but I am so looking forward to the many sweet memories I’ll get to make with my kids. I already have so many planned!

  104. Emily says:

    What surprised me the most … how much “losing” my identity would affect me! I have ALWAYS wanted to be a SAHM but I’m surprised by how much I miss being someone other than their Mom/his wife.
    The wonderful aspects of being a Mom were not a surprise πŸ™‚

  105. MacKenzie says:

    I don’t have kids yet but I think the part of motherhood that will most surpise me is how little time I will have. I look at friends that have recently had children and they say they have no time to sleep or shower. Part of my brain says “Why not, all your baby does is sleep and poop?” I don’t want a mom mutiny on my hands, I do know that when my first kid comes along, I will have no time, be completely exhausted and saying the same things. But where does the time go? I want to know.

  106. sybille says:

    as someone who NEVER wanted to get married and NEVER wanted to be a mom and NEVER wanted to not have a career…. i am still, 25 years later, completely surprised at how HAPPY i am being a married, stay-at-home mom to FIVE kids. i feel completely contented and satisfied and privileged with the plan God had for me.

  107. Layne Baird says:

    I’ve probably been most surprised at how much I sound like my mom, or dad, or grandma. I think I’m a pretty relaxed mom…until I hear those once famous phrases. And then I realized I’m only relaxed on the outside and underneath, I’m just like everybody else.

  108. Annie says:

    I am half way through my pregnancy. What am I looking forward to when I am not terrified thinking about it? I don’t know. I’d say everything. I am such a mixed bag right now. Euphoric and terrified by turns.

  109. anna says:

    i used to be a nurse, and i COULD NOT stand vomit. every other bodily fluid, i was okay with, and let me tell you, i saw it all. but vomit, no way. the first time my twins vomitted, yes, on the same night, i didn’t gag once, or even get grossed out by the whole thing. i felt so bad for them, that cleaning them, their crib, and their blankets didn’t phase me at all. that is what has surprised me the most so far. πŸ™‚

  110. Carmine H. says:

    I am surprised how how much more I want. My husband was sterilized while I was pregnant with my second child, and we had it reversed and am now pregnant with our third. We want as many as God will give us. Just surprised at how my mentality changed over the years.

  111. Creative2xmom says:

    I’ve been surprised at how I feel so guilty for not spending the same time with number 2 as I did with number 1. Logically I can tell myself it’s because I don’t have the time now that I did then. But I still feel tremendous guilt.

  112. laura says:

    Oh gosh. Just one thing?
    Probably the shift in my own attitude, from so me-focused to so clearly focused on every aspect of them, their well-being, etc. And the fact that I’m okay with it all.

  113. Carrie says:

    I’m surprised by the deep well of patience I found when I because a mother. Though I still have my moments, (believe me!) for the most part I can deal with tantrums and fighting and messes with love and grace. I’m also very shocked by how quickly time seems to fly with the wonderful little people filling up every minute.

  114. Nikki says:

    I’m defintely looking forward to watching my husband function in the role of Daddy. I think he is going to be a great one! I’m a little nervous about sleep deprivation, though!!
    I don’t have my own kids yet (although with my job and my friends, I’m around them constantly!). I have a good friend with a growing family who would LOVE this book! I’d love to pass one along to her as a gift!

  115. KO says:

    I NEVER anticipated the challenges of parenting together. We are on the same page Biblically, but how that works itself out in the practical discipline and instruction has been a huge struggle for us. The different backgrounds that we both bring into parenting from how we were raised are radically different.

  116. Mary Pierce says:

    I come from a very large family of 7 boys and one girl. I remember my dad coming home every night with a gallon of milk. Now that I am the mother of 3 boys (ages 15,12,and 8)I am utterly(no pun intended)as how much MILK boys can drink in a day and they are at school for 7 of those hours.

  117. MamaHen says:

    I’m surprised by how tired I get when I am “just” a stay at home mom. I’m surprised by how much they eat. I’m surprised by how big their messes can be. I am surprised by how often lately I feel like I’m going INsane trying to keep up with the five of them.

  118. Krissie says:

    the intensity of it all. I really had no idea. It’s INTENSE some days, (a lot of days) and I was totally unprepared for the level of emotion that is involved when you become a mother. WOAH!

  119. Kelly says:

    I am surprised how much I DON’T dread my kids getting older. I actually get excited about birthdays and I look forward to each year ahead. Of course, I will cherish the years behind us too, but I’m lovin’ each new stage as we get older. (Birthdays are on my mind because my son turns six on Friday!)

  120. Kara says:

    What surprised me was that I would be so excited about each milestone while simultaneously being sad about it. Motherhood is full of contradicting emotions. My kids can drive me to the brink of insanity but I still love them more than anything.

  121. SherrieB says:

    I was/am continually surprised by how out of control I feel all the time. I think I always anticipated being organized and scheduled, and I can’t say I’ve been very successful yet.

  122. Karen O. says:

    A bunch of reasons…but namely:
    How much love that a mom has for each and every child…how that love manifests itself…how much room there is in her heart for all her babies (no matter how old)!
    Also, how much I love that each child is uniquely gifted in a purposeful way…that comparing them is useless. It’s about how they are wired individually and supporting them in their passions and pursuits. I desire to live through my children ONLY in a way of support, encouragement and forever being their CHEERLEADER!!!

  123. Kelly says:

    Usually I don’t give it a thought, but there are moments when I am completely freaked out that I am a mom of SIX kids, the last two adopted internationally.
    Hello!? Where is the lady who used to live here who thought Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister was the PERFECT family?

  124. Cheri says:

    I was shocked at how physically exhausting being a parent is. Nothing or no one could have prepared me for a baby that didn’t sleep through the night, OR TAKE NAPS, until he was 14 months old. That baby is now 13 1/2 years old and I’m not kidding when I say I can still tear up when I remember how hard that year and then some was.

  125. Mom23 says:

    At first it amazed me that I could love these demanding creatures so intensely. That my heart would ache so at their hurts and be so filled with joy when they triumph. It also opened my eyes to the awesome depths of God’s love for me.

  126. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not a mom, but I do teach 9-10 year olds. I love it when I am able to get that light of “aha!” in their eyes when they finally get something we’ve been working on. Also, I am surprised when I ask an open-ended question and get a grown-up, deep answer. Kids are so much smarter than I give them credit for!

  127. Kristin Book says:

    I am amazed at how much I can get done with yelling in the background and one hanging on my leg and another in my arms. As a mother you learn to multitask!
    I’m also amazed at my fierce protection of my children. I hate to see them hurt or sad. Just think of God’s love for us then!

  128. Katie W says:

    One thing that took me by surprise the day I my first born came into this world was how my day is consumed with poop. At the hospital I couldn’t leave until I pooped, after we got home I was always worried about if the poop was normal for my baby and when they weren’t pooping, Oh My! That was all I could think about. We are now potty training, so now I am asking constantly is he needs to poop and having pooping dances when he actually poops in the potty. Poop is apart of daily conversation now.

  129. Devin says:

    I am blown away how I can be so frustrated yet want to hug and love all over my kids and smother them with affection all at the same time.
    Case in point: my oldest (5) son–who is sooooo tired but will NOT go down for his nap at the moment and is thinking of every excuse under the sun to try and stay up–just snuck in my office and before I could even reprimand him–although he saw the look on my face and most likely knew it was coming–said “I just want you to lay with me, can you come and be next to me right now?”
    How can you not hug and snuggle and kiss on him after that?
    The mix and roller coaster of emotions baffles me somedays. πŸ™‚

  130. Amber N. says:

    I have been surprised with how much love I can have for a such a little thing…even when she is being difficult

  131. Jenn P. says:

    This is going to echo what some other people have said already, but there are two, and I can’t choose between them. I am most surprised:
    1) That I would actually hear myself say, “Do not stand on your (infant) brother’s head.”
    2) At how much better a person I am since becoming a mother: more patient, more aware of the needs of people other than myself, closer to God and having more and more desire to live the way He wants me to.

  132. Tami says:

    I have been amazingly surprised to see our love and hard work pay off in a mature, lovely young adult. It is worth all the sacrifice!! Now I have 3 more to look forward to sending out on their great adventure of life.

  133. anne fernandes says:

    the intensity of the protective instinct that kicked in when my first daughter was born has been overwhelming. i am mama bear. now we have 3, and another on the way, and it just gets stronger! i had no idea….

  134. Melissa says:

    I was surprised by the way my capacity to love grows with each child… After the first one, I was nervous to have a second one because I thought there was no way I could love him/her as much as #1. But I could! And the next one too! And the next one! It’s not that we’re given one set amount of love that we have to split between our children – The capacity to love increases exponentially as the children do… I think that’s one of God’s great blessings to mothers!

  135. lomagirl says:

    I’m with Mama hen! Also, it’s really surprising to me, still, how motherhood is a daily choice. I thought it was easy and the instincts would kick in- and they did- but not the selfless one. It’s hard to give of myself constantly.

  136. Holly says:

    I am surprised at how extremely exhausted I can be and yet still seem to take care of my family. I am surprised at how much I absolutely adore each of my children, even when they are as ornery as they can be.

  137. Mrs. Oh says:

    I have been surprised by how much more I worry now that the spawn are in their late teens and early twenties, than I did when they were little. Probably because way-back-when they still listened to me!

  138. Miranda says:

    I’ve been surprised by how 24/7 parenting is. there is never a time that i’m not aware of my children, where they are, what they’re doing. Going to bed does not necessarily mean my work is done for the day!

  139. Kari says:

    I’m not a mom yet (except to my dog!), but I’m looking forward to passing along my love for cooking and crafting (like my mom and grandma did with me).

  140. Deborah says:

    I am surprised at how much and how fast they learn things. I have a two year old and am amazed by things he knows that I didn’t try to teach him.

  141. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management says:

    I’d have to say that I’ve been most surprised by how much I can see just who I really am. My children bring out the REAL me. Sometimes it’s pretty, but sometimes. . .it ain’t. Actually, lots of times it ain’t. It has driven me more to the feet of Jesus than anything else. Ever. And, well, that’s a good thing.

  142. Bridget says:

    That with each kid I have, I would be running later & later.
    Pre-kids: always punctual(annoyingly so).
    1 bundle of joy: Running a bit behind.
    2 little monsters: Slightly behind schedule, and we somehow only have 3 out of 4 shoes on. Crap.
    3 baby bears: My friends lie to me about start times. Start at 6:30? Tell her 6!

  143. Alyson says:

    How fast they grow up. You always hear it, but now that they are getting into school (2nd grade, Kinder, Pre-K) the days are literally flying by. I’m loving every minute, but I’m trying not to blink!

  144. Tanya says:

    I rocked as a nanny. At age 18 I was able to get 4 children all under the age of 5 down for a nap every single day and at the exact same time for 3 hours!
    Then I became a mother and my “job” did not end at 6 pm but became more of a 24/7.
    Napping is not non-existent for ANY of us!
    But I love my 4 little women and would never go back to my Mary Poppin days, ever.
    Tanya

  145. Desiree says:

    Having 3 young boys ages 3 and under, I didn’t realize that I could be having so much fun in such a challenging season of my life. I LOVE each one just as much as the others for their own little beings.

  146. Kristin says:

    I love staying home with my kids. But I’ve been surprised by how much effort I have to purposefully make to actually spend time with them. And I’ve also been surprised at how often I’d rather just soak in the tub instead!

  147. Jennifer says:

    I’m most surprised by how much a mother can love her children. I would die for them without question. Before I had children, I would have never known that magnitude of love.

  148. knit_tgz says:

    I am looking forward, simply, to live with them. I do hope that I will have a chance to have kids some day (32 and single, starting to worry it may never happen). But if it does, I will be looking forward to having to count them to see if they are all at the dinner table (I hope life will give me a nice, large-ish family), I will be looking forward to having the older ones starting to feel protective for the younger when they go to school, I will be looking forward to hugging them and correcting them and making sure they did their homework and going to meet the teacher.

  149. Rachel Harrison says:

    I am surprised at how great my kids are turning out! We get a lot of comments from people when we go out to local restaurants. They tell us how wonderfully well-behaved and gorgeous our children are! I love hearing it and I also love that my kids are great in public and at home. Don’t ask me how we lucked out! Our kids are awesome.

  150. mombrud says:

    I guess I have been surprised by how different every day really is. I have had to learn to relax if I feel like supermom one day because I accomplished so much and the next day I want to sit and cry in the disaster of projects started and never completed.

  151. Abbey says:

    I was most surprised to find out just how much my parents love me. I was holding my new baby girl and my heart filled with this new unbelievable love. Then my Mom walked in and I realized that this is how my Mom feels about me. I started to cry and was totally taken aback. You love your parents but it takes having your own kids to realize just how much they love you. It was, and still is, an earth-shattering change in perspective.

  152. Tai says:

    There are so many! But one area would have to be the joy in the small achievements. I used to think parents were so weird for getting excited over their kid not spilling milk or getting dressed by themselves etc. but now I get so giddy over these little feats!

  153. Lizzy says:

    I am surprised at how forgiving my children are and the unconditional love they give me over and over again as I mess up as their parent and their mom. What an example they are to me!

  154. MemeGRL says:

    Agree with so many of the above! And not to be a downer, but I continue to be shocked–shocked!–at how relentless it is. I did so much babysitting as a teen and young adult that almost none of the fun stuff (or unfun, really) surprised me. Delighted me, sure, but not a surprise. But even when the kids are with a beloved relative or sitter, they are still on my mind, all the time. And it just never, never lets up. That poet who wrote about your heart going around outside your body? Totally right in a way I couldn’t possibly have understood before they were born.
    That was the surprise. Still is, all these years later.

  155. Gloria says:

    I was totally surprised at how much my children taught me with their six different personalities. Sometimes they taught me more than I thought I wanted to learn, as I struggled through their babyhood, their young years, their (sometimes rebellious) teenage years, and on into adulthood. I’m still learning as my love for them has grown to include 19 precious grandchildren.

  156. Jody says:

    The absolute fiercceness of my love for my children-I had no idea and it hit me in the delivery room of my first baby and oh my gosh, I could barely handle it at first, it was overwhelming. But it makes every day a miracle, even the crummy ones, just to look in wonder at my kids and wonder where the heck they came from and how can I possibly love them so incredibly much-it is totally a God thing!!!

  157. Wendy says:

    How much I love my child. How much it would change me. How much it would challenge me. How much God would use it to make me new.
    Thanks for the chance to win. I love her blog and will probably buy it if I don’t win.

  158. Cherissa says:

    The most surprising thing: Motherhood has shown me how wretchedly SELFISH I really am. I thought I had it pretty much together before I became a mom. It’s the hardest thing I’ve even been so thankful to be able to do!

  159. Melonie K. says:

    I’ve been really surprised by how different my kids are – and by the fact that there are moments when I love them with such ferocity that I just want to curl up in a chair with them and never let them go. I was really surprised by the fact that other people’s kids’ poopy diapers can literally turn my stomach, but my kids – pshaw. I’m good. I’ve picked eye goobies, boogers and ear wax out of their respective crevices and not thought twice about it. And I am a pretty meticulous germ-hater….no way you could get me to pick ANYBODY else’s boogers or ear wax. LOL

  160. Heidi says:

    I was surprised when I became a mother of a first time driver. Sitting in the passenger seat watching her drive for the first time was a realization that she isn’t mine…she is God’s. For the first time, after 15 and a half years of “raising her”, God taught me what it was to be a parent…continual surrender of her to Him and of my control to His.

  161. peggy says:

    So many things God has revealed to me about myself and my children, but the moment I treasure most is realizing (as much as my feeble human brain can) the depth of His love for me. When my first child was born and I looked into his eyes and held him in my arms I was awash with the tenderness and overwhelming feelings of unconditional love. I realized in that moment just how much my parents truly loved me and even how much more my Heavenly Father loves me, deeply, unconditionally, so much so that it is utterly indescribable.

  162. Kimi says:

    How much the parent-child relationship would teach me about the God the Father-daughter relationship. The parallels are amazing and convicting.

  163. Erin says:

    How life is completely different! My understanding of love and depth of feeling. I am amazed at the advocate I can be if I want to, and how I want to research every little thing my kids are going to encounter–much like Kari’s comment about the “hippie freaks” turned into “pretty smart people.” I love to watch what parenthood does to me, my husband, my friends, and family. It is fascinating and wonderful. What a wise God we have to design our lives this way!

  164. Jen says:

    I have defintitely been surprised at how unselfish I feel when it comes to her wants and needs. I would give up my last Samoa cookie, my last Lindt truffle, my coffee money, and even my life for her!!! πŸ™‚ I’d love to win this book and give it to my best friend for Mother’s Day. She’s the mom of 5 wonderful children!

  165. Emily says:

    Well, I’m not a mom, YET. Considering the horror stories I’ve heard about my husband as a child though, I’m already terrified of my future offspring. πŸ™‚

  166. Clara S. says:

    I’m always surprised by the fact that just when I get one thing figured out whether it be potty training or bedtime battles a new “problem” crops up. I just can never get it all figured out at one time. Keeps me humble, though.

  167. Jenn says:

    My husbands wants four kids, but I think I would be more sane with three. Either way, maybe this book would help πŸ™‚

  168. Pam says:

    I am totally surprised that 5 years into parenting I’m still very, very tired. And I’m surprised that it no longer surprises me when I find food in my hair (for clarification, it’s not food from MY plate). I’m surprised how imperfect my parenting is even though I work at it with all of my heart. And I’m surprised at how wonderful a father my husband is.

  169. HopiQ says:

    Hmmm…I suppose that I’m surprised at how I’ve found myself incapable of being the kind of mother I want and need to be. I need the Lord’s help desperately in each moment, in the tiny minutia of life. I am also surprised at the aching sweetness found bundled up in these five precious little people.

  170. Kate says:

    Just about everything has been a surprise in parenting, but one of the biggest surprises of all was how hard every cliche in the book hit me smack dab in the chest the moment I first held my daughter. It was love at first sight. Nothing can prepare you for that.

  171. Erin says:

    There are a couple of things that truly surprised me…1)how I could spend every waking hour watching my baby! and 2)I guess I expected to be a superhero mom/wife being able to have an immaculate house, everything organized, a hot meal on the table when my husband walked in the door, and a happy baby…who was I kidding…on a good day I might be able to get one of these things done. And I wouldn’t trade a thing!! I love being a mom and look forward to our next addition! Thanks for the chance at a giveaway!

  172. Dorci says:

    I’m surprised by the degree to which I have to die to myself and my desire to always be liked by my children and the pain that goes along with the overriding necessity to train them up in the way they should go, to ease them down the path of growing up into responsible, moral, caring, sensitive, intelligent and godly human beings, hopefully men after God’s own heart.

  173. Grateful for Grace says:

    I’m most surprised by how much I want the house to stay “presentable”. This was not taught to me, trained in me or applicable in my growing up years or in my first few years of married life. Seems the more kids I have, the more I want the house to stay straight. Weird.

  174. Mae M says:

    I am surprised at how slow a day can go by with 5 kids ages 9,8,5,3,1 (two youngest with special needs) and yet the weeks, months and years fly by!!
    I am also surprised how a 3 year old can bring you to your knees in tears to God for help:) (good place to be when you have kids)

  175. World's Greatest Mommy? says:

    I know it’s seems petty, but the thing that has surprised me most is the laundry. I never thought I would hear a continual hum of my dryer in the background, or think that luxury is 2 sets of washer and dryers πŸ™‚

  176. Angela says:

    How much I would miss them when they moved away. We have two boys in their early 20s and an 8 year old. I can remember when the big boys were the age of our youngest, thinking how peaceful the house would be when they were grown. Now it is so quiet, I long for those noisy days again (I know they’ll come again with #3, but I’ve learned what a treasure they really are).

  177. courtney says:

    How it is so easy to take life for granted but how truly miraculous having a baby is…now that I have three under the age of 4…how ridiculously hard it is to “raise” children.

  178. Jennifer Eastland says:

    I never expected that I would never again be able to read the newspaper or watch the news without getting a stomach ache when something bad happened to a child–any child, not just mine! I can’t watch movies or TV shows when bad things happen to kids, even if it all works out in the end. Just can’t do it!

  179. Melanie says:

    I am surprised how much I LOVE my children. And surprised that I have changed many, many poopy diapers and cleaned up puke, all without puking. πŸ™‚

  180. Jenna says:

    I’m not a mom (yet) but I am so looking forward to sharing the parenting experience with my husband … I know he’ll be the best dad and I’ll love him even more!

  181. Cathy says:

    Hmmm…hard choice, but maybe the noise level? Honestly, with four children, even when they are “being quiet”, it’s hardly my idea of quiet, or at least my idea of quiet pre-children!

  182. Formerly Gracie says:

    The depths of my compassion and patience for my son. He could be throwing the worse temper tantrum in the middle of a store and all I can think is “Oh, poor guy. What are you so upset?”.
    Of course, it’s promptly followed by, “Why are doing this?” and “Oh my GOODNESS. SHUT UP ALREADY”, but at least my first thoughts are nice ones.

  183. Emily says:

    I had no idea how hard my mother worked. Or how little she slept. Or how much she loved me. You just cannot know until you have done it.

  184. Kris B says:

    The joy. I was a late and reluctant entry into the mothering race–starting at 38. I had no idea how fun and fulfilling it would be. I may have started late, but I am up to speed now as a mother of 5, and loving it!

  185. Alli says:

    I’m surprised at how my standards for just about everything have become lower and lower with each child I have. Nothing really phases me now.

  186. TinaH says:

    We have five girls and I am SO AMAZED at how each one needs to be raised completely different. You would think some skills that you have learned in motherhood would carry-over…nope!
    Also, I am amazed at how blunt people can be with my girls. Example: “WOW! Five girls…I bet your mom and dad were trying for a boy!”…I am serious! They get this comment all the time.

  187. Kristin says:

    I have been surprised by the immeasurable amount of love I have for my children. There are times when I am so overwhelmed by my feelings for them that I find myself close to tears.

  188. Candace says:

    I think that what has surprised me the most is how much my love grows for them. I have three now and if you told me that I had the capcity to love them all so much when I just had one I don’t think that I would have thought it was possible. It’s awesome how God just grows your heart as he grows your family.

  189. Kathryn B @ Expectant Hearts says:

    I’ve read some of the comments and now i”m having an especially hard time picking the ONE thing I was most surprised by… That I loved them so much, YES. I STILL (and my oldest is almost 11) can’t believe I can physically FEEL my heart expand in my chest, I love them so much. But I think what surprised me almost as much as that is how different they all are! My first two were polar opposites and the 3rd is too! (I don’t know how you can have 3 polar opposites..).. One of my biggest sadnesses is not really knowing what Seth’s uniquenesses are/would have been….

  190. Kathy says:

    I’m looking forward to watching my children learn. I love watching little kids who are just learning to read sounding out any words they find.

  191. Kirsten says:

    I don’t have kids yet, but I am sooo looking forward to it. I want to be a stay-at-home mom and be involved in their lives πŸ™‚

  192. Sarah says:

    I am surprised that even on the busiest of days/moments a cute comment from my toddler about something new she has discovered can make me stop and think and appreciate the small things in life. A lesson on how grass is growing because of the rain from a toddler mades me see that we do have green grass on our side and I love my life no matter how busy and crazy it may seem.

  193. Tracy says:

    I am the most surprised (daily)that I can actually DO this! I can actually take care of another human life, and a home, and a career…! My entire pregnancy I thought how in the world will I be as good as my mom…now…I’m still NOWHERE near the level of “momness” as my own, but I am getting there…and learning daily that I am a good mom and I CAN do it!!

  194. Denise says:

    What aspect of motherhood has surprised you the most?
    I was shocked at how easy it suddenly became for me to deal with puke & poop & all the other messes that my baby made. When I was a teenager & babysat the diaper changing part was what I dreaded the most. After my son was born Hubby & I had entire conversations about the changes in his poop.

  195. mumple says:

    What surprised me the most? How much FUN they’d be–to laugh with, and yes, laugh at (behind closed doors)
    Some of the best laughs I ever had were over things one of them said, or did, that were just too pricless (and innocent) to NOT absolutely fall in love with.

  196. Jessica says:

    Surprised? That I want to stay home with my boys and will budget accordingly. I have my RN license and DO NOT want to go back to work even though there have been significant budget cuts at our church (my husband is the middle school ministry director). We have really altered our budget so I can still stay at home full-time with my boys. I love them and I love being at home with them.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  197. jen says:

    What about it isn’t surprising? I think everyday how hard it is – that no one can prepare for you that, but how paradoxically wonderful it is at the same time.

  198. Marie says:

    That I would sacrifice things I want/need to buy things that the kids need. I have become very unselfish over the years.

  199. laura says:

    i’m constantly surprised that having children is making me a better person. no one ever told me that you don’t have to start out patient, organized, and disciplined to be a good mom. God is truly using my children to refine me, just as He is using me to teach them.

  200. Tesa says:

    Through my children, I am surprised to learn so much about myself!! Parenting has made me realize how selfish I really am, how unorganized I am, how I control/or don’t control my anger… As my father-in-law says, when you have children in the home it is like living in a glass house! You see everything, and others can see it, too, by looking at(or listening, or watching)your children!

  201. Ali says:

    My mentally challenged daughter. I adopted the cutest sweetest 1-yr-old baby (three years ago)knowing she has special needs. So what surprised me is that her carefree sheerly blissful attitude proved that I was the crazy one and she the sane whole enlightened being. Amazing.

  202. Rach says:

    I have been surprised at how easy it is to let time slip away during the day with multiple children and get nothing done. Organization and prioritizing to just get something accomplished throughout the day besides wiping noses and bottoms. LOL

  203. Christine Bobowski says:

    I was surprised that I was capable of loving two children I didn’t give birth to as much as the two I did. I didn’t expect to cry when Josie started Kindergarten so I didn’t take the day off like I did when BB started. Instead, I think I cried more and had to call in for the day.

  204. Mercy says:

    What hasn’t suprised me?
    Growing up an only child, having an only for 5 years then adding two more and feeling for the first time that I have a FAMILY! The whole concept is amazing to me. I love that each of them is their own person and has special qualities. I love that I know them all so well and I have the ability to handle each of them the way they need to be handled. On an even more serious note, I never knew how much your relationship with your husband affects your relationship with your children. It is so important to fan that flame.
    Oh and the laundry…
    doesn’t it just grow and multiply over night? Every single night??
    Sounds like a great book by the way!

  205. Jenn says:

    I was surprised at how all-consuming mothering is. It occupies my every waking, and most of my sleeping, moments, even when my kids are not with me. I see the whole world through a different lens now that I’m a mom – my kids are the context for almost everything.

  206. GiBee says:

    What aspect of motherhood has surprised me the most? The fact that my heart can break right in two if my son is injured in any way, or ill. I wish I could take it from him.

  207. Emily C says:

    The thing that’s surprised me the most?
    The fact that I can NEVER kiss those little boys enough. EVER. Even if they’re being stinkers.

  208. Elizabeth says:

    How hard it is to juggle everything and do it all well. How hard it is to deal with 6 different personalities and find out what works best for each of them. How easy it is to love each one until my heart feels like it’s going to burst!!

  209. Elizabeth Giger says:

    I have been surprised at how well I am able to function with so little sleep! It is only by the grace of God…He truly does give us exactly what we need. Not always what we want, but always what we need!

  210. Jill Lang says:

    I never wanted kids, until I met (and married) someone that wanted a big brood. I never spent time around babies or kids growing up, and I am in awe of how fun they are, how FUNNY they are, and how different their personalities have been since the moment each was born. Maybe because they’re close in age (5, 3, 1, and #4 due this fall), I never had that feeling people describe as worrying that you won’t love each one as much… I love my little people all equally, yet VERY differently.

  211. Lorie says:

    The fact that there are days when I just don’t like my son. I still love him, with all my heart, but when he’s being an annoying, whiny 3 1/2 year old – I just don’t like him & it makes me feel guilty.

  212. Judith says:

    I love all the above comments and they are true in my life as well …….. (even the one about how many times you have to stop them from putting things in their noses! LOL)
    But for me the amazing thing is to realize how much my kids love and need me …. that old as they are (34, 28, 23, 19) I’m still MOM to them; that I’m an anchor in their lives; that they depend on me; that my love is important to them.
    You see, I still feel that way about MY mother (she’s 91) It blows me away to understand how mine feel about me (I’m honored beyond belief, and hope I can be worthy of their love and trust.)
    Motherhood is amazing.

  213. Alaina says:

    Many aspects of parenthood have surprised but perhaps the biggest surprise was that I could actual handle vomit. πŸ™‚ It was something I dreaded above all else but when it’s your kiddos, it just doesn’t seem so bad. Man, I love being a mom!

  214. Serena says:

    I was so surprised when I looked at my firstborn and realized that the way I feel about her is the way my parents feel about me. I had so totally underestimated their love for me. It just boggled my mind.
    Also, I was very surprised to find myself holding a baby while pushing an empty stroller. When I’d seen parents doing this before I had a baby, I thought, “Can’t parents just tell their child what’s what? Put them in the stroller!” Ha! Oh man, it sure doesn’t work that way. (I’m really more of a babywearer anyway, but it just goes to show ya…)

  215. Barbara says:

    God has blessed me, so far, with 5 beautiful daughters and 4 souls in Heaven. I have been surprised by how effective being a mother motivates me towards sainthood and how loving my children helps me understand a little better how God loves me.

  216. Michele Laramay says:

    I would love to read this book! I only have five, but they are ALL boys, so that must count for something.

  217. Elizabeth says:

    DH is one of 5,and I am the youngest of 6, yet by our not getting together and starting to have children until late 30s/early 40s, we’re limited in the # of children that we will probably have — we have the iconic girl and boy, but have been challenged lately in conceiving a viable 3rd (two miscarriages). I lay in the quiet, sniffing their hair and snuggling their warm little bodies and wish that I could have a dozen!! It’s chaos, but it’s MY chaos, and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE!! *Ü*

  218. Amanda says:

    I think I’m most surprised at how much non-stop work it is to be “momma”. I guess my mom and grandma’s and aunts made it look pretty easy.

  219. Melissa says:

    I had four kids in five years (and no multiples). I knew I wold love my children, but how fierce the love is has taken my breath away. I also was surprised at how hard it is to be a stay at home mom. It is the hardest and most fulfilling job I have ever had.

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