You’ve got it covered.
Nursery set up? Check! Car seat installed? Check! One million washcloths purchased because some random told you that you need them? Check!
Baby names picked out, kindergarten picked out, university and future career path brainstormed. If there was ever anyone who was ready for being a parent, it’s you.
OR IS IT?! (Please imagine that said really ominously and a crack of thunder overhead at the same time) Kaboom, bitch!
Hate to burst your bubble (spoiler – that’s not the only thing that’s going to be bursting soon) but someone could write a BLOG POST about all the things you DON’T know about being a parent.
So guess what?
Here it is!
Cold Hard Truth 1: Poop
Ahh, poop. The great leveller. Everybody poops, after all!
Get ready for poop to take centre stage in your life. Who’s doing it. How often they’re doing it. What it looks like. How hard or soft it is. What it smells like. What mysterious chunks it’s filled with.
You and your partner will speak excitedly, in breathless tones, about the consistency and frequency of someone else’s poops. Where you once whispered sweet nothings, soon you’ll be gently roused by your partner’s dulcet tones as they whisper sexily, “I just heard the baby shit itself over the baby monitor.”
Cold Hard Truth 2: Sleep
There are memes all over the internet about parents and sleep. Most of them are crap. Except this one.
Anyway, there’s something you need to understand about sleep.
It won’t go completely. It will be there. But it will be totally different and you’ll feel really strange about it. Like how you felt about isnack 2.0. Or when they changed the flavours of Shapes. Or Season 4 of The OC. It’s kind of what you remember it being but it’s just… wrong.
Try this as a little warm up exercise for parenting sleep.
Pick up a bag of potatoes. A big ol’ sack.
Draw a face on it. It is now your Potato Child.
Carry this Potato Child on your hip from the second you get home from work until about 10pm. Play a soundtrack of goats screaming at the same time as playing a Wiggles song backwards. Ask your partner to throw food to you as if you are a performing seal.
Put the Potato Child down in a safe space (because you’ve researched everything there is to know about SIDS) at 10pm and laugh about how clever you are.
Wake up two hours later. Carry Potato Child around again until you feel like you can see through time itself.
Go back to bed for fifteen minutes. Get up. Sing nonsense songs to Potato Child until it’s time for you to go to work. Talk to people at work about how much sleep you’re not getting but make sure you don’t complain because otherwise someone will say “Oh, it goes by so fast!”.
Repeat for four years.
Cold Hard Truth 3: Food
Ready for being a parent when it comes to food? Bet you’ve got it all planned out. Organic this. Hand-raised that. Gluten-free-soy-free-fun-free-definitely-wasn’t-free the other. There’ll be one meal offered that will be eaten in its entirety, every night, then your Perfect Child® will sing a quick verse of “So Long, Farewell” before flouncing upstairs to put themselves to bed.
Oh, you beautiful little fool.
Get ready to have your cooking rejected. To serve so many beans that you begin dreaming that you are a bean. To cry as you try to feed a toddler the same food they loved last night but now hate with the fire of a thousand suns.
If parenting was Master Chef you’d be the first one eliminated. Your Restaurant definitely does not Rule. Actually, being a parent when it comes to cooking is most like that show “Cutthroat Kitchen”. It’s about a series of chefs who keep trying to sabotage each other by awarding ridiculous handicaps – like every time you want to add an ingredient you have to run through an obstacle course with your pants pulled down.
Cold Hard Truth 4: Morning Vibes
Here’s a quick way to prepare for the adjustment from your current morning routine to what it’s like getting ready for the day at the same time as being a parent.
1. Choose an outfit.
2. Immediately vomit on that outfit. Repeatedly. From a distance. At great volume.
4. Have your partner throw a random series of objects at you while you’re showering and have them ask a series of nonsensical questions while they’re at it.
5. Get out of the shower and into your non-vomited-on second choice outfit.
6. Lose every single shoe in the house.
7. Somehow travel through time and lose track of forty five minutes.
8. Lose your shit COMPLETELY and cry your makeup off while your phone dings with reminders about a meeting you’re already late for.
9. Get into the car.
10. Vomit on your outfit again.
11. Go to work anyway, completely lacking in both dignity and matching footwear.
Being a Parent
It’s not all bad! Here’s how to keep your sanity in the early years of parenting. You’re welcome!
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