Confession: I'm totally winging this whole motherhood thing

When you had a blowout diaper while we were on the go and I had to not only change you in the car but I also only had two wipes to use? And didn't have a clean outfit in your size to put you in so your 7-month-old self wore your sister's 2T pants and went topless for our ride home? That was me winging the whole "multiple kid" thing.

Confession: I'm totally winging this whole motherhood thing

To my young, sweet, innocent children—

I wanted to write you today to tell you something. To sort of give you a heads up.

One day you're going to be an adult. And one day you're going to wake up and realize something about me—you'll find out my secret.

Suddenly it will all click and you'll think:

Wow. She has totally been winging it this whole time.

You may feel cheated, or maybe you'll be impressed. You may think things like, I can't believe I was so naive or Ahh yes I get it now. Maybe even something like, Dang, I must bow down to this master of trickery. (Yes, probably this one…)

I'm not sure exactly when it will hit you—maybe in college or maybe when you have children of your own. But no matter what, even whether you have kids or not, it will happen—I will have been found out.

Now, before you get mad at me because you feel like I've pulled a fast one on you—let me explain. I am just trying to survive, trying to get all the things done, trying to take care of all the people—basically, I am trying to do everything humanly possible to raise you right.

And honestly, I have been winging it since 1986.

If you think I had any idea what I was doing when I played CYO basketball, you're wrong. I was tall, my dad taught me how to box out—and the rest? I was winging it.

That math test in 10th grade? Sorry, Mrs. Becker, I didn't study—I was winging it. That paper junior year of college? Sorry Professor Nichols—I was winging it. First kiss? Winged it. First drink? Winged it. First big work meeting? Winged it.

First time (and then, to be honest, my second and third times, too) at motherhood?

Winging. It.

I was winging it on my first day of motherhood, and here I am today—winging it on my 1,607th day. When you come to this realization in another 15 years or so, I will still be winging it.

And let me tell you—as someone who has winged it for a LOT of things—there is nothing quite like the challenge of winging it at motherhood.

Like when you were so overtired but you wouldn't fall asleep so I started singing "Keep Ya Head Up" and somehow the magic combination of Tupac's lyrics plus bouncing plus rubbing your back at the same time plus saying a Hail Mary in my head got you to sleep? That was me winging the whole "figuring out what you need when you can't tell me yourself" thing.

When you had a blowout diaper while we were on the go and I had to not only change you in the car but I also only had two wipes to use? And didn't have a clean outfit in your size to put you in so your 7-month-old self wore your sister's 2T pants and went topless for our ride home? That was me winging the whole "multiple kid" thing.

When you bust into my home office over and over because I don't have a lock on my door, when I nurse the baby during virtual work meetings, when we lose our childcare for what feels like the millionth time and I have no idea what I'm going to do? That's me winging the whole "working mom" thing.

When you asked me why people die and where do they go and what happens and when I'm old will I die and will we see each other again...and my response was a relatively calm on the spot combination of a faith-based answer with heaven and God involved along with a living-among-the-rainbows-and-clouds twist? That was me winging the whole "tough questions brought on by curious children" thing.

When each of you started breastfeeding and I was like, Ummm what is happening? And a little like Ouch? Is this supposed to hurt? so I then enlisted the help of a fellow mom and also lactation consultant sister and figured it out and then was like Wow this is actually pretty impressive. That was me winging the whole "new motherhood with the help of my village" thing.

Random questions about why outer space exists or why we go to bed when it's still light out in the summer? I am 100% winging all of the answers. When we had to figure out what we were supposed to look for in a preschool for you, or when we had to figure out feelings around bringing a new baby home? Winging it and winging it and winging it well.

Why you may ask?

Well, to be honest, I'm just trying to figure out how to do all of this. I'm trying to figure out how to be a mom—every single day of my life. Because no one is born knowing how to be a parent. No one is born knowing the perfect answer to all the "whys."

There are no instructions. It is a path that is well worn to others who have walked it in front of you, but it's a path you have to pave for yourself when it's your turn. You can learn from their direction, but like with lots of things in life, you just have to figure most of it out for yourself—as you go.

So, the jig is up. I have no clue what I am doing. But truthfully? That has made for the best adventure of my life: motherhood.

Thanks for being on this wild ride with me.



We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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