Natalie Morales on the top 10 surprises about being a mom

Natalie and sons
Courtesy of Natalie Morales
Natalie Morales with sons Luke and Josh on a recent vacation. You can read and prepare all you want for motherhood, but some parts of it just take you by surprise. Like all the poop. And all the love. But seriously, there's really a lot of poop involved. Lucky they're so cute.Today

1. Two words every mother knows unfortunately all too well: Mom guilt. If you are not spending every waking moment thinking about, worrying about or with your kids… you are feeling guilty. You're thinking, "instead of (getting this pedicure/solving world hunger/exercising), I’m supposed to be (picking up/playing with/spending time with my kids). And that’s always followed by thoughts of, “I am the worst mom ever.”

2. Poop. Their poop, specifically. From their first day on earth you obsess about what is in their diapers. Is it the right texture, consistency, color? Are they pooping enough? I never thought becoming a mom required a degree in scatology or coprology (which means the study of poop). I’ve done it all, and sometimes without a latex glove. Eeeww. But that’s called love and being a mom.

3. Since we’re talking poop… I never knew a little infant could produce so much of it, and sometimes everywhere. Back in the diaper days I learned the hard way, always carry extra diapers after one diaper explosion too many. Also always carry a change of clothes, not just for the baby. But even when they are covered in poop, somehow it's adorable. I know, disgusting, right? But no matter how dirty and stinky, they are yours and still so huggable.

4. How much I sound like my own mom... and how in hindsight, I now see my mom was and still is always right!

5. Reflexes improve with mothering. Seriously. I can pick up a falling glass of milk before it even hits the table without a drop spilled and sometimes even before it's even going down… it’s like I see it happening before it happens. It’s my superhero power. Take that Amazing Spider Man, you got nothing on this working mom of two.

6. Storytelling and the art of lying also improve. I mean, how many times has the tooth fairy forgotten to visit? But oh, there is always a great reason why: she was held up in traffic, didn’t get my email to notify her a tooth had fallen out (it’s 2014 people), plus she has millions of teeth to collect every day. Santa is much more reliable, I am happy to report. But he only has to come once a year.

7. My ability to deceive also comes in food form. My kids are not vegetable eaters and hate anything green, so I have tried, though not yet quite mastered, sneaking healthy veggies into their food. For example, those green, chocolate chip "monster cookies" I made. Yes, Josh, there was mushed spinach in there. I thought they were delicious. Sadly, I ate the whole batch because the kids wouldn’t touch them.

8. A hug from mom can heal anything. Got a boo-boo; someone made fun of you at school; or you had a bad day? There’s nothing like cuddling with mom. Sometimes I can’t stop hugging them. I just hope they’re still cool with it when they are big, tough college kids and I’m still hanging on, wrapped around them like that mom in the “Old Spice” commercial.

9. Even when you think you are the worst mom ever…the power of hugs works both ways. The other day, I had a bad day and was a bit short tempered with the kids and even the dog. As I was putting the kids to bed they both gave me a big hug and said, “We love you mom, you’re the best mom ever.” Bonus when the dog also kissed me.

10. It’s a cliché, of course, but there is no greater love. Everyone tells you that from the moment you are pregnant. I believed them, but now I really know what that love feels like. It’s literally this pulling and tugging sensation at the heart. I understand now why moms would do anything for their kids… anything and everything. There is no better job in the world than being a mom.  

Check our TODAY's week of surprises for mom and more stories in our Mother's Day Guide.