Becoming a parent is not always easy. If you believe the media and various entertainment outlets, it’s mostly love, fun, and a little bit of confusion. But that’s not the entire truth. There are many things that could go wrong, both funny and sad. However, becoming a parent should not be a decision based on what might happen or what could be wrong. A researcher and child expert, Sharon C. Dunn has been writing about being a parent for several years.
Here are 8 things they don’t tell you about raising a kid:
- Your Body
Unless you have an endless number of funds for a personal trainer, a healthy food chef, and hypnosis for willpower, your body will never be the same again. You may look at a celebrity who has their pre-baby body back within a week or so of giving birth, but it’s because of the funds for help. Even if you manage to get to the gym without the baby, you are not going to get that body you once loved back. Your stomach will never forgive you for stretching it so much more than the Tuesday tacos and nachos you normally use to expand your belly.
- Alone Time
You will never be alone again. When you think they are sleeping, they are not. They are plotting how and when to wake up and call out to you, be with you, and probably annoy you. Even when the child grows a little and becomes a school-attending kid, you think you will be alone, but you won’t. They always seem to be sick or have a snow day or the dreaded teacher workday. The teachers are smart because they don’t want to be with your children every day either. Thus, a teacher workday is scheduled every month.
On the weekends, spring break or summer vacation, you will hear the word “Mom” more times than you can count. And don’t even think about sneaking off to the bathroom alone. They will hunt you down and ask a million questions, including, “why can’t we watch?”
You may have once had a clean home, with the dishes always done and all clothing washed, dried and put away, but you will not experience this euphoria for the next 18 years or so. Even with a dishwasher, you won’t have time to do a proper job. Laundry will become a full-time job with so many more pieces of clothing. But take heart, you will smile when you only have a load of towels to wash, dry, and put away. That’s because folding and hanging up baby and toddler clothes can be so time consuming and mind-numbing.
You should give up wearing white or any expensive clothing before your child is in their teens. Even then, if your teen is of similar size, you may want to put off purchasing high-quality clothing until they leave for college. Babies are going to throw-up and poop on you every day until they are potty trained, and even then, there will be accidents. You should also not spend much on their clothing either. You may want to trade baby and toddler clothing with friends or family and purchase your clothing at a thrift store to save money.
You will always seem to be broke. Of course, you will spend money on food and clothing, more than you probably ever have in your entire life. But then there is a long list of activities that have a multitude of fees. You may try to steer the child away from the more expensive interests, like those that require a musical instrument or a lot of sports equipment, but they will want to do what they want. Not surprisingly, your child will want to try everything everyone else is trying or something they see on television.
You may read that your best friend’s sister’s cousin’s hairdresser’s child walked at the age of six months, and even if it were true, so what? The only markers you need to worry about are the ones your pediatrician is concerned about. Each child is different, even in the same family. Not all children are going to be interested in walking or talking or feeding themselves at the exact same time. So instead of worrying about your child reaching a certain milestone at a predestined timeframe, use your time to encourage them. Help them walk, talk, and feed themselves, but don’t be a stage mom. This means, don’t be pushy.
- Potty Training
One of those milestones children reach at different rates of time is potty training. Some children are easy and want to get rid of that “gross” stuff from their body. Other children will want to hold on to whatever their body makes because, well, it belongs to them. Think boggers and snot. And really, why would anyone want to get rid of that? You will also find that a snap on potty chair for an adult toilet will work for one child but not the next. There are potty chairs that sing songs, use positive reinforcements, and do everything but hand the kid a cookie when they have filled the potty.
You will no longer be able to indulge in pride. You will go to the store with wild hair, dirty clothing, and probably a mismatched shoe. If you are not going to embarrass yourself, don’t worry, your child will do it for you. Any kid over the age of one year cannot keep a secret or know the difference between what is talked about in private verses what is acceptable conversation in the checkout line with a stranger that simply smiled at them. These pint-size sponges will repeat everything you thought they weren’t listening to. Their prime mission in life is to embarrass you. But don’t fret, you can do the same when they become a tween and teen! It’s only fair.
In the end, children are more of a blessing than a curse. But know you can cuss, under your breath of course, until they are in their 30s!