7 Things About Parenthood I wasn't Prepared For

1. Sometimes, you won't like your kid.

When I was pregnant, everyone was quick to tell me about how when you see your child for the first time, you will experience intense and overwhelming love. And, it is true. I love those little guys more than I ever possibly imagined.  But, no one prepared me for those moments when you can't stand them.  It happens.  The first time Henry really annoyed me, I cried.  I felt like a jerk. Then I stopped and realized, that is life.  Even the people you love make you crazy at times.  It is alright to dislike your kids from time to time.  It is normal.  And God knows, they are going to dislike you when they are teenagers.


2. You will be humiliated.

Having children will insure that you will be embarrassed in public. Horrified at times.  The upside is, you get to a point where you don't care so much.  Just the other day, Henry opened the bathroom stall at a restaurant while I was peeing.  Alex, taking advantage of the open door, bolts.  I proceeded to stand-up and hobble after him.  As soon as I stood up some poor woman opened the door.  And, there I stood, my kids running wild and my pants around my ankles.  The worst part was, I didn't really care that much.  So, basically you loose all self pride.


3. Your standard of cleanliness will significantly decrease.

Jason was changing Alex's diaper the other day and got some poop on his hands.  He was fussing a little and I said "it is just poop."  Just poop?  What is wrong with me.  That is gross. This what parenthood does to you.  Things that should be repulsive are just part of life. I will never forget while I was still working having my intern tell me there was something in my hair.  I reached up and pulled out a clump of dried spit up.  I causally dismissed it as " its just a little spit up."  It was only as I saw the look at repulsion on the girls face that I realized how gross it was.  As a mom, dried milk throw up in your hair isn't a big deal.  Yuck.


4.  As a parent you will experience the most intense fatigue you have ever experienced.

I remember thinking all these parents with small kids can't just been walking around sleep deprived.  People are exaggerating how tired they are.  Oh how foolish I was.  Imagine the most tired you've ever been and double it. And, it gets worse with each additional child.  I've been exhausted for four years.  Parents with more than two kids probably shouldn't be allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery  The upside is, I've found it is possible to functions on far less sleep than I ever thought possible.


5.  It will be hell on your marriage.

This is just the truth.  Maybe it isn't as rough on others as it has been on us but I stand by the above statement   Want to see how strong your relationship is? Have kids.  You'll be tired, stressed and probably broke. For us, one wasn't so bad but two kids was killer. If you are local, I know a great marriage counselor. I'm not saying your relationship can't survive it.  I'm just giving you heads up, we went into parenthood blind.  We significantly underestimated how hard it would be on us. Children magnify every fault or crack in your relationship.  Take time to work on these, they will get worse over time if left neglected.


6.  You will become hyper aware of all the annoying and inappropriate expressions you use.

Kids repeat everything. Everything.  I'm not just talking about profanity. Although, we did have explain Henry that "dammit" wasn't really a word a toddler should use.  Although he uses it correctly.   I now know why parents say cheesy things like "shoot" and "fiddle sticks." He also repeats phrases, such as "shut up, you are kidding me."  I know what expressions I over use because Henry over uses them as well. He picks up on all annoying things I say.   Sometimes it is cute, sometimes it is funny.  But mostly it makes you really conscious of your vocabulary.


7.  Be prepared to became a sentimental fool that cries over sappy things.

Yes, those corny preschool crafts are going to melt your heart. Hand print paintings never get old.  I've never been prone to tears, except when I was pregnant, but I find myself tearing up at the silliest of things.   Like when I found a newborn diaper on the closest shelf. I got all weepy over a diaper.  Their little butts won't be that small again!  And, it is isn't just your kids. Those over emotional commercials about kids growing up have been known to make me cry. I have cried over a commercial!?  Oh and news stories that feature kids getting hurt or in harms way . . .  massive tears.  Normally, this is only something Jason does.  He is way more emotional than me.  But those kids have made me soft.   Now that I am a mom, I've become a softy.   Well, unless someone hurts my baby and then I'd punch a fool in the face!!


And do you know what the craziest thing of all is? . . . . I would do it all over again in a heart beat.  Maybe it's just nature's way of insuring the continuation of humanity, but having children is awesome.  In spite of all of the awful stuff.  We have been known to joke about why we decided to have children at 2 am when one of them wakes us up crying. We like to say "the need to procreate is overrated." And, truthfully logically having children makes no sense.  They are expensive,  messy, and at times downright rude.  We have friends who have decided not to have children, which I get.  We weren't really sold on the idea ourselves.  Why would you invite a little person into your house to destroy it?  Because it is miracle!  A time consuming, poop filled miracle.  Watching your child grow and develop is amazing.  When they smile at you or hug you, all of the sleep deprivation and vomit fades away.  You get to see the world in this fresh and incredible new way.  To children, everything is filled with wonder.  And truthfully, as adults we could probably use a little more of that.  They make the smallest things exciting.  As a parent you might never get to pee in peace but you get this infusion of magic in the ordinary.   Hearing Alex learn to talk or Henry explain how a garden works in four year old terms is amazing.  Simple things like walks to the park fill children with light and laughter.  It is great.

Basically, parenting is a mixed bag.  It changes you in ways you can't even possibly imagine.  Lots of things about it are terrible but it is the greatest adventure you can have.  And as difficult as it can be on your marriage, once you get over yourselves, it can make you a better, stronger couple.  It is easier to fall in love again with the person who you created life with. Really, it can even make you as an individual a better person.  A different person.  A person who can love much deeper than you ever imagined.  So, if you are thinking about having kids . . .  I say JUMP!  Be prepared to have your world rocked but go for it!  If you already have kids, batten down the hatches and hold on for a wild ride.  I can only imagine that it gets more insane as they age (the thought of teenagers terrifies me!).

Did I miss anything?  Any parenting surprises you want to share?

PS. Alex woke up at 2 am on Saturday morning and blanketed half his room in vomit.  It was like he knew I was going to post this and wanted to take the chance to give me a currant example of how rough parenthood can be.  Jason cleaned it up like a boss, while I wrangled a slimy toddler. Good times.  Good times.