Before I became a parent, I had a lot of opinions on parenting. (Please, somebody punch me in the face.)
What’s all the fuss about? I know kids, okay. It’s not that hard. (Really, somebody punch me in the face.)
It’s time for me to make my walk of atonement. To beg for the mother’s mercy and confess.
It’s time to speak out against the fake news of Pinterest and Instagram feeds and see how many Pinocchio’s my big dumb mouth deserves.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Being pregnant is amazing and all you have to do is have a bunch of sex. Boom. Baby on board.
Fact: being pregnant sucks. Sucks bad. Sucks like wetting your pants and having another human being scratching you from the inside, bad. Sucks like constant google searches for “viability” and “stillborn rates,” bad. Sucks like the breeze and your husband’s breath makes you gag, bad.
Fact: getting pregnant can take you three years and cost you tens of thousands of dollars. It can almost cost you your marriage. Boom. You refuse to go to baby showers and spontaneously cry at work.
Giving birth is spiritual and very safe. Listen to your doctor and you’ll be fine.
Fact: listen to your gut. Doctors are people and people aren’t perfect. Here’s some great news from NPR:
More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.
Don’t be scared but do be informed.
Fact: I planned to have my son burst from my vagina to a Cold Play song. (That definitely deserves a punch in the face.) But the amount of bloody towels involved with labor quickly changed my mood. It was not spiritual and the play list I spent nine months and three years making did not help.
Maternity leave is a wonderful special time filled with snuggles and joy.
Fact: my maternity leave was filled with bleeding nipples and suffocating anxiety. What was I so worried about? Oh…paying the mortgage, not dropping the baby, remaining in love with my husband, not starving the baby, keeping the lights on, wearing pants, teaching the baby French, keeping the house clean, unclogging my milk ducts, not being murdered or having a stroke while the baby is in the bath tub. Normal stuff.
Everyone loves babies.
Fact: I don’t. Sure they smell good but what do they do all day?
Breastfeeding gets rid of the baby weight, and then some!
Fact: not if you eat Pringles for breakfast.
Parents are not short order cooks. My children will eat whatever healthy food I put in front of them.
Fact: last night I told my daughter she couldn’t have more Doritos until she finished all her chocolate chip pancakes.
Fact: I am a short order cook in a diner burning in the seventh level of hell. Grilled cheese too cheesey? I’ll get right on that. I’m sorry, what was that Sir? There’s a hair inside your tator tot? I think that’s just delicious mashed up potatoes in a perfectly browned crunchy crust, but of course let me bring you something else.
I remember telling my pregnant sister in law (why she still talks to me, I don’t know) how easy it is to raise healthy eaters. If I only offer my children cherry tomatoes and mango quinoa chili, then that’s what they’ll eat.
These were my imaginary children of course. Do you know what my real children eat?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And when they do eat it’s an hour of negotiating, whining, tears, and fingers crossed…just a smidge of vomit.
My children will see the world. Family vacations will be filled with culture and experiences to create open minded curious intellectuals.
Fact: I am currently writing this on vacation visiting the water park capital of the world! My children have seen the majestic sites of the Wisconsin Dells, they have toured the historic streets of Duluth and have been awe struck witnessing the ancient wonder that is Paul Bunyon Land.
Fact: facing my fears with my son going head first down the Tornado Torpedo was without a doubt a better memory than the Mona Lisa could ever make.
I’ll teach my kids how to read before they start kindergarten.
Fact: I teach other people’s kids how to read. Nobody pays me to teach my jerk offspring anything.
We’ll never let the kids sleep in our bed.
Fact: oh…sorry, I can’t type I’m laughing too hard. God, childless me was really a huge asshole. By the time the sun comes up I’ve slept in at least three different places with at least three different people.
Having kids is all I’ve ever wanted and will be the greatest thing I’ll ever do.