So you want to have a baby, you say? Tis not a decision to be made lightly! As an expert parent* I’m here to share my knowledge regarding all the ways your life will change once you welcome that little bundle into your life.**
I’m a giver like that.
If, after reading this list of 6 things you need to know first, you’re sold on having a baby, proceed to the bedroom. May the odds be ever in your favor. If you’re not, no worries. We understand.
1. Are you ready for 7 am to be considered “sleeping in”?
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “up with the chickens” you should know this primarily refers to babies, toddlers, and small children who will sneak into your bedroom, stand 1 inch from your face, and whisper “mama…” scaring you awake while making you pee the bed. (Urinary incontinence: another lovely side effect of childbearing!)
Don’t gamble on the good sleeper. That’s a mythical creature more elusive than the Loch Ness Monster. Prepare yourself for being up half the night and having your day start before dawn. Good news: coffee.
If you happen to get a miracle unicorn baby who sleeps until 9 or 10 in the morning, TELL NO ONE. It will be seen as bragging. You will be ostracized from Mommy and Me groups like Regina George in Mean Girls.
On the off-chance that your spawn sleeps in once a year, you’ll wake up with the insanely bizarre feeling of elation and anxiety mingling together in your brain!
“HOORAY! JUNIOR SLEPT!…wait…did he really??”
You’ll check on the baby inadvertently waking it up and that will never ever happen again. I mean, like, ever.
2. Socks will never match again
You might think the socks in your house don’t match right now, but when you throw baby socks into the mix, the washing machine and dryer become black holes from which matching socks will never again emerge.
Once your child is old enough to notice that the socks don’t match, do not be alarmed when one day they do match and your child reacts with a level of excitement typically reserved for Christmas morning.
Embrace the mismatched socks. Call your family “quirky.”
3. Your house will not be clean for approximately the next 18 years.
I’ll admit it. This one totally caught me by surprise. I’ve always been an organized chaos kind of person but kids turn that straight up to 11.
Cleaning your house with children afoot is like trying to build a toothpick castle in the middle of a hurricane.
The minute you manage to get your house to an acceptable level of cleanliness, one of your precious offspring will come behind you and destroy it posthaste.
A clean floor is a beacon to toddlers everywhere. The refrain of “SPILL. SPILL. SPILL.” sounds in their ears until an entire houseplant has been dumped on your freshly swept and mopped floor.
The minute you even think you want to reproduce start socking away money for a maid. Or abandon all hope of ever passing a white glove cleanliness test and invest in totes to hide the crap when guests are coming over. Lots and lots of totes. And a lock on the bedroom door so you can keep them from accidentally discovering said crap on their way to the bathroom.
4. Get comfortable with cartoons.
Famous last words my husband once uttered: “I don’t really anticipate watching many children’s movies and cartoons when we have kids.”
Not only will you see more animated children’s movies than you have since you were a child yourself, you will begin to analyze children’s movies over coffee with friends or your spouse in the way you once discussed literature and celebrity gossip.
It just happens.
You’re sitting there sipping a latte and suddenly you’re debating whether or not there was any foreshadowing about that turn Hans took in Frozen.
Was that line in “Love Is An Open Door” a sign that Anna was a mark????
You’ll also start singing the songs found in these movies when your children aren’t around. But let’s face it, they’re better than half the crap on the radio these days anyway.
5. You’ll trade wine for coffee.
See #1. Coffee is the lifeblood of parents.
With cream and sugar, without, hot, cold, lukewarm, any temperature at all give it to me giveittomeNOW!
6. Alone time will be elusive.
Going to the bathroom without an audience will feel like a trip to the spa.
The grocery store alone will feel like a weekend getaway.
Target? By yourself? Well that’s a 5-star all-inclusive resort vacation.
Savor it if you get it. Do not squander that moment. There’s no telling when it’ll come around again.
(Despite all of this, kids are great. They are worth it. You should definitely reproduce. You owe it to the world! Probably
But I’m totally not kidding about the socks.)
*No one is an expert parent. Not even the parenting experts.
**I really, really love my children. A lot.