31 Things No One Tells You About Becoming a Parent: A Response

Yesterday on Facebook an old classmate of mine posted a link to a list entitled, “31 Things No One Tells You About Becoming A Parent”. Every entry on the list made me either nod enthusiastically, laugh, or kinda cry a little (for various reasons), so I thought I’d list the entries here, along with my own personal response to each one.

Rule #1: Assume crash position.
Rule #1: Assume crash position.

1. At some point you will accidentally hurt your kid and you’ll feel like the worst parent ever.

The first time this ever happened to me was when I was clipping my daughter’s nails when she was an infant. She wasn’t even squirming, but somehow I positioned the nail clippers (infant nail clippers, even) in such a way that I clipped off a piece of skin at the tip of her finger and she immediately started crying. The crying only lasted about twenty seconds, but I felt like the worst person ever for quite a while afterward.

2. You will know a lot less about this: [insert image of a newspaper showing important world news]

I’ve never been all that up on what’s going on in the world, but I can definitely state that since becoming a mother I rarely, rarely know what the hell is going in the world. My world has gotten a hell of a lot smaller, after all. 99.9% of the important things to me begin at the top of my daughter’s head and end at the tips of her toes.

3. And a whole lot more about this: [insert an image of a bunch of special figure toys]

I’ve always been the kind of person who knows more about things like toys and video games than “adult” things, but that knowledge has increased tenfold since I became a mother. I swear I know the specs, available colors, and price tag of every toy available at stores in this province.

4. Your Netflix account will eventually only suggest kids’ shows.

My husband and I don’t actually have our own Netflix account, but my husband’s parents do, and I can let you know that, yes, their account has decided that there are nothing but children in the house. Between my daughter and her cousin, Netflix shows pretty much nothing but My Little Pony and Ninja Turtles.

5. Your pet will no longer be your top priority.

Sometimes I genuinely feel bad about this, but yeah…my cats have become less than second fiddle since my daughter was born. In fact, most of the time I want to lock them in a room somewhere just so I don’t have to deal with them.

6. You will gain 15 pounds.

Hahahahahahahaha…. This one is supposed to be based on the fact that kids eat junk, and thus you will end up eating junk as well. That’s definitely part of it, but I also submit that while you may spend a good part of your day chasing around a super-fast little lunatic, you will then ultimately spend any time when they’re asleep lounging on the couch in pajama pants and stuffing yourself with whatever food is closest to your hand.

7. The backseat of your car will be nasty.

I considered taking a photo to back this one up, but I didn’t want any of my readers to lose their lunch. The saddest part is that I clear out our back seat actually quite regularly, but it ends up back the same way within a day or two.

8. You will eat 95% of your meals either incredibly fast or with one hand. Or both.

This phenomenon has been slowing down as my daughter grows up a bit, but it’s still pretty common for me to eat with one hand (usually the wrong one) because she wants to sit on me during supper time. And don’t even talk to me about meals like breakfast. Usually I just eat them from the kitchen counter as fast as I can because otherwise she sees and wants me to “share”.

9. You’ll basically become a ninja.

The quote that goes with this one is “When you need something from the baby’s room late at night you’ll be able to slip in and out without upending a feather” and I can absolutely confirm that. My daughter goes to bed at night with one of her TV shows on and usually rolls around so much before falling asleep that she ends up without a single blanket on her. As a response to that I “ninja” into her room every night to wrap her back up in blankets and turn off the TV. To date I’ve only woken her once or twice.

10. Despite your best efforts, your kids will get their hands on your iPhone.

Yes, yes, yes. Once, my iPhone ended up locked for over an hour because my daughter failed to properly input my code a ridiculous number of times.

Also, my photos folder is full of adorable toddler ‘selfies’.

11. Parenting is harder than you think it’ll be, but you won’t really notice.

The author of the list states that parenting will continuously get harder and harder but you won’t really realize that it’s happening. The more I think about it the more I agree. Though the days of being up all hours of the day and night and being at my daughter’s beck and call every second of the day are over, things have gotten harder in other ways. But, as the list’s author states, I haven’t really acknowledged that difficulty increase. It’s just kinda the way it works, I guess.

12. You will have to sneak candy like it’s a contraband substance.

This one really made me chuckle. Every year after Halloween my husband and I go out and buy a ton of discounted candy, which we keep in a closet on the main floor of our house. And whenever one of us wants a piece of that candy, we have to sneak around like thieves in the dead of night in order to make sure that our daughter doesn’t see us, especially if she didn’t eat her supper that night.

13. You will laugh more than at any other time in your life.

Young people without kids would never believe that this one is true, especially when they’re watching people with kids running around, chasing them, yelling at them, and looking like they haven’t slept in a year. But it is true. My daughter does so much stuff on a daily basis that makes giggle like a fool or laugh like a lunatic. Kids are the world’s little jesters.

14. You’ll be awakened at 2 a.m. to fetch a glass of water only to find your kid passed out when you deliver it.

I’ll admit, this one rarely ever happens to me. Not the “awakened at 2 a.m.” part…that happens almost every night. But the part where the kid passes back out before you can complete your task? No, that’s not me. When my daughter wakes up, she’s up. That said, there was one night that she banged on her door and when I walked in the room she was drowsily rubbing her eyes and complaining that she wanted her TV show on. I tucked her into bed and set about trying to find the right show, but in the thirty or so seconds that took I turned around to find her snoring on her pillow. I then employed number 9 of this list.

15. You will see your own faults reflected back at you.

Hahahahaha…oh my, yes. A big one (which I think is common in my neck of the woods) is the swearing and/or saying mean things. My husband and I have a very bad habit of telling each other to “shut up” when we’ve lost an argument. We don’t say it in a mean way…it’s actually a bit of a playful thing…but every time the daughter hears it she repeats it, which we obviously don’t want.

Also, stubbornness, temper, impatience, and a gluttonous sweet tooth. Yeah. She’s like a damn mirror.

16. Folding kid and baby clothes is torture.

I’ve pretty much gotten a handle on this one at this point, but my husband definitely hasn’t, and I don’t either of us will be able to properly fold the daughter’s underwear until she’s grown a few dozen more sizes. Those things are ridiculously small.

17. It’s impossible to feel manly when folding said baby clothes.

Obviously I can’t judge this one personally, but I can definitely say, without hesitation, that it is impossible to look manly when folding baby clothes.

18. The power of cute is more formidable than you realize.

The power of cute could rule the universe, I’m certain. Since the day she was born my daughter has been using the overwhelming powers of cuteness to diffuse situations and get out of trouble. How can you stay mad at a kid when she looks up at you from under her eyelashes and says – with a big frown – “I sowwy, mama”?

19. You will find talking to your friends without kids more difficult.

At this point in life more of my friends have kids than don’t, but yeah, I can definitely agree with this one. You don’t realize how much your kids have become your entire world until you try to have a conversation without bringing them up. Because, let’s admit it, your friends without kids really don’t give a rat’s ass about your kids, and you don’t want to be one of those parents, but then, what do you talk about? Because honestly, you haven’t done much more than cook, clean, change diapers, and watch Treehouse TV for the past year.

20. Kids become actual people and not baby blobs way sooner than you think.

Tell me that the wording of that one didn’t give you a chuckle.

It’s amazingly true though. It feels like it was just yesterday that my daughter was sleeping fifteen hours a day and couldn’t even hold her own head up, but now she’s this little individual with likes and dislikes, attitudes and tempers, and a unique personality. She’s a person…just smaller and slightly more difficult to understand.

21. Something you love will get ruined.

I’m patiently waiting for the day this one happens to me, but I can honestly say that it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve had glasses broken (eh, they were cheap glasses anyway), drinks spilled on bedsheets (washed and dried and perfect again), and my daughter has an affinity for getting all manner of disgusting fluids and crusty things all over the screen of my tablet (that’s why we buy screen protectors!), but to date she hasn’t destroyed anything that I love. This is one thing on this list that I seriously hope to foil.

22. You will turn into your parents.

No comment. Move along. lol

23. Very little will embarrass you.

I can remember before I had my daughter, whenever I would see a kid throwing a tantrum in a store I would (after I got over the annoyance of having to listen to a kid scream) feel sorry for the parent. How embarrassing, I thought, must it be to deal with that kind of thing in public, surrounded by judging eyes.

I can tell you now that, for me at least, it’s not embarrassing at all. When my daughter is being a little brat in a public place I literally throw her over my shoulder and just keep going about what I was doing while she kicks and screams and whines, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest if every eye in the room is on us. Kids throw tantrums sometimes, people. It ain’t a circus act.

Also, as a mother, once you’ve shown up to playgroup with bed hair and no makeup because you were too focused on getting the kid ready and totally forgot to get yourself ready, nothing can embarrass you anymore.

24. You won’t be able to watch movies where kids are killed or kidnapped.

This one started for me when I was pregnant. It’s seriously just not possible. My heart physically hurts now if I see a kid die in a movie. Before I’d feel a little sad, but hey, it’s not real, that kid’s an actor. Now I feel like someone is stabbing a hunting knife in my stomach and twisting it.

25. You won’t want to spend money on yourself because you’ll know every dollar spent on yourself is a dollar you could’ve spent on your family.

I know quite a few parents who are the exact opposite of this, but I can say that, yes, some parents definitely fall into this category. I occasionally spend money on myself, usually in the form of some small treat. But for the most part I spend 2 out of every 3 seconds spent in stores looking at kids clothes and toys, thinking about all the things I want to buy my daughter. If it weren’t for the tiny inkling of restraint that I do have, our house would be a ball pit of toys and not much else.

26. Buying your kid something will make you way more happy than buying yourself something.

Christmas is a testament to this now. I love Christmas, and I’ve always loved both giving and receiving gifts, but now that I have a daughter 200% of my attention is focused on her when it comes to presents. I get a little thrill of giddy happiness every time she opens a present, I really do.

27. When your kid is little, every trip out of the house will feel like getting ready to go to the airport.

Once, when my husband and I both lost our jobs and had to take a trip to New Brunswick for job interviews with another company, I didn’t think our Corolla was going to make it because it was so loaded down with the gear we needed for the baby.

28. You will love to watch kids’ movies.

I’ve always loved kids movies, to be honest, but these days I even love watching them if I’ve seen them eighty times already because nothing is better than snuggling under a blanket with my daughter and listening to her reactions to a great movie.

29. You will cram your entire adult life between the time your kid goes down and you go to sleep.

If you put a spy camera in our house you would see this one in action. Sure, I write during the day, sure we get chores and the like done while the little Missy is up and running around our ankles. But things like watching (non-kid) movies together or having  a couple of drinks? Yeah…that stuff starts around 9 pm and ends around 11 pm.

30. For a while, only you will be able to understand them, so you’ll basically become their interpreter.

My husband is better at this one than me, but it’s true and also hysterical. My daughter’s grandparents can never figure out what she’s saying, especially my husband’s father, so it’s up to us to regularly translate every line. The other day my daughter was singing a song to my mother and I had to keep shouting out every second word so that my mother could repeat it.

31. And lastly, it’s all worth it.

Some days it won’t feel like it. Sometimes you just want to jam a pillow over your head and pretend that the world outside your personal bubble doesn’t exist. Sometimes your kid will go on and on and on and on and all you’ll want in the world is for them to shut their yappy little mouth for five minutes. And sometimes you’ll seriously consider installing dead-bolts on all your bathroom doors because JEEBUS CHRIST, CAN I PLEASE PEE IN PRIVATE?!

But the other times, the times when your kid says or does something that truly amazes you, or the times when they come to you with tears in your eyes to ask you to kiss a boo-boo better, or the times when they come up to you for absolutely no reason at all to give you a hug and a kiss and tell you that they love you…yeah, those times make it 100% worth it.

Photo 11-22-2013, 3 13 16 PMHow about it, fellow parents? How much do you know about toys these days? Have you gotten your black belt in ninja stealth yet? When was the last time you saw any actual upholstery in the back seat of your car? Please share your own thoughts and stories! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “31 Things No One Tells You About Becoming a Parent: A Response

  1. This is so long, but I want to respond to every question. However, I don’t have the time tonight. Maybe I’ll have to come back to this again and do a proper response on my blog (the parenting/baby blog).

  2. Love it!
    Mine would be “You no longer get to sleep in, ever.” Not even on weekends! Or holidays! Or Mother’s Day (when they’ll be most excited of all to wake you up)!
    Because even when your child sleeps through the night, you’ll still have to get up when they get up. As a toddler you’ll have to get up to supervise them, as a grade schooler you’ll have to get up to feed them. By high school you *might* get to sleep in on weekends.

    • My god, yes. The only time I’ve slept in over the past three years were on two occasions when I visited home for Scentsy parties with my mother and left the baby home with the hubby. lol

      It’s like a gift from the heavens when my little missy sleeps through the night, I’m telling you. If it isn’t a trip to the potty it’s a nightmare or wanting a drink, or wanting to watch one of her shows. Most nights I’m lucky if I only get up three times between 1 and 6 am.

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