The Shit They Don’t Tell You: 12 Things New Parents Need to Know

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This article is written by NF Rebel Correspondent, Dan.

New parent? Thinking of having kids? Thinking of not having kids?

Today we’re going to bring you some hard truths.

I‘ve just had my third child because I am a crazy person I love being a dad so much, and there are still things that happen each day where I think ‘huh, never knew that!’ Even though I’ve been a parent educator for years, I still get shocked about how little I know.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of expectant mothers and fathers in ante-natal classes, giving them the general rundown on pregnancy, birthing, raising kids, child development and parenting. Today you are getting the real scoop: the stuff I don’t even cover there.

The decision to go for completion of the “parenting quest” is not to be made lightly. We’re going to arm you with the knowledge of traps, bosses, and challenges that lie ahead.

Being prepared is key, so let’s stock our inventory with some rarely passed on knowledge.

Shit they don’t tell you: Pregnancy

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“It’s not that uncomfortable.”

“It’s the best time of your life.”

“You’ll be ‘glowing’.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Here’s what to really expect when you’re expecting:

1. It can be hard to even get pregnant:

We were told all through high school, if you have unprotected sex, you will definitely get pregnant (and die). Sure, it can (and in my public high school, often did) happen, but it can take months, even years, for a perfectly healthy, young couple to conceive.

At the age of 30, out of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally, only 20 will conceive within one month and around 85 will conceive within one year.

Many couples spend years doing everything they can to not get pregnant, only to then spend years trying to get pregnant. It can be a super tough time on the couple, who are often suffering in silence.

2. It can be hard to stay pregnant:

Sometimes nature is a complete asshole. You’ve spent months (or years) trying to fall pregnant and it’s finally happened. You’re so excited, you start planning names, telling family the good news, imagining the life ahead, when all of a sudden… sorry, back to the start of the first mission.

Speaking from experience, it’s impossible to describe how devastating this is.

Nobody really talks about it, but miscarriage is  very common, even if you’re in those ‘prime baby makin’ years’. To reduce your risk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, weight and diet is the most important thing you can do (there’s a great website that can help you with all of that). If you’re having recurrent miscarriages, go see a medical professional.

Just on these first two points (which are super depressing, sorry about that), please be aware that your friends may be trying to have children with no luck, so please try and avoid the classic “Why haven’t you guys had kids yet?” question at social gatherings. We know you mean no harm by it, but it can make the couple feel a little awkward.

3. Pregnancy is long and messy:

Not surprisingly, making a human inside of another human takes a huge toll on the body. Things start moving, not working, squirting, ‘in’ things start to become ‘out things,’ and everything hurts.

Nearing the end of my wife’s first pregnancy (she gets ‘super pregnant’) she said to me “If anyone looked at my Google search history over the past 8 months, they would think I was the most disgusting human ever.”

By the end, most women can’t wait for it to be over. Be prepared to be uncomfortable, sick, and cranky. Partners, be prepared to be more supportive (and thick skinned) than you’ve ever been before.

4. The birthing process is also long and really messy:

Don’t expect it to be like the movies. Every birth and labor is different, but the whole process can take anywhere up to and over 24 hours. It can be messy, bloody, and extremely draining (both physically and emotionally) for all involved.

The good news is, a lot of that is quickly forgotten once baby arrives (who will also be messy and gross looking). Think of this like hitting your first checkpoint/save point along the quest.

You’ll be glad for the breather.

Shit they don’t tell you: Newborns

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They’re so beautiful.”

“The hard part is over now.”

“She looks just like you.”

Wrong, wrong, and I sure hope not.

5. Newborns and infants are just messy:

As mentioned above, they’re not the prettiest things when they first come out. People like to pretend they are, but they’re definitely not.

Depending on the birth, a newborn can be bruised, have a misshaped head, and be covered in a gooey substance. This is all very normal, and they start to look (almost) human shortly.

But it doesn’t end there. New parents are often shocked at how messy babies are. Babies may be small, but they can poop and puke like nobody’s business. Your stomach gains superpowers in the first few months. What you would “never” be able to handle before all just becomes part of the routine.

6. Everyone’s an expert, you’re a n00b:

Consider yourself warned: On every topic, be it feeding, sleeping, wrapping, carrying, playing, whatever… everyone else, even those without kids, is an expert and you don’t know shit about your child or parenting.

Even when you try to educate yourself a little bit, you’ll will find contradictory evidence for every side of every argument, no matter what topic you’re looking into.

My advice (for what it’s worth): try a few things and figure out what best works for your family. As long as you’re not doing your child or yourself any harm, this is usually the best way to go. Don’t always trust the ‘experts’ (this definitely DOES include me). I’ve worked with so many high ranking child and parenting specialists who I would not trust my kids with for a second.

Nobody knows your child better than yourself.

7. You may not love your child straight away, and that’s totally OK:

A lot of parents will talk about an instant and extreme bond with their newborn, and yes, this happens for a lot of parents. But for many others, there is a ‘breaking in’ period, where you’re not so sure about the little screaming alien looking thing, and you surely can’t be expected to love it, right?

You know you are supposed to love them, because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do as a parent. But deep down you know you don’t. Does this make you a horrible person? Of course not.

Think of having a newborn as the tutorial level (side note: I hate tutorial levels, Driver on the PS1 scarred me for life). It’s all new and different, and it’s probably not showcasing the features that will make it your new favorite game. It takes the time and experience, struggling and fumbling your way through things for a lot of parents to start enjoying it all – and that’s ok!

Similarly, even as they grow, there will be times where you actually dislike your children (they can be really mean) and you will feel really guilty because of this. This too is ok, and believe me, you are definitely not alone.

8. You will worry, A LOT:

Yes yes, you think, “obviously I’ll worry.”

No, you don’t understand. I’m telling you there’s a boss behind the door that you don’t know about. His name? The Worry. [Cue the dramatic music.]

The Worry is possibly the hardest and least relenting battle on the quest. The Worry got me in my early quest days, and still continues to reappear along the way.

“What if she dies?” “What if I die?” “What if my partner dies?” “I don’t make enough money and never will.” “What if they’ve got (insert any disease here)?” “What if they’re Trekkies even though I’ve raised them on Star Wars?” “Team Valor is clearly superior, but what if they choose Team Mystic when they grow up?”

All important questions, which will cause worry in any parents mind.

I’ve yet learnt how to fully slay The Worry beast, but I’ve become better at managing it. As many do with time and practice. But fact is, you will always worry, so try your best to accept and get used to it.

You will think they’re dying at least a dozen times in their first year (kids get sick all the time) and even as they grow, they’re always preoccupying your mind. They become your top priority, always.

The Other Shit They Don’t Tell You

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“It’s not really that much of a change.”

“You’ll still do all the things you used to.”

“It gets easier over time.”

Wrong, wrong, and… kinda wrong.

9. Your relationship will change, A LOT:

Lifestyle changes naturally occur with having a children. A loss of freedom and loss of time together as a couple are challenges for all parents and can be overwhelming at times.

You’re both much more tired, worried, and overwhelmed than you’ve ever been before. You realize how much better sleep is than sex, and you’re no longer each other’s top priority. Children can put a strain on any relationship, no matter how strong it is.

You’ll both start disagreeing more (please remember that with parenting there is often more than one correct way to do something), and traps will start arising in the most unlikely of places (jealous your partner goes to work where they can ‘rest’, while you have to stay at home doing a much harder job).

But if you’re lucky enough to have someone pick up the weird third party controller and make the quest multiplayer, your battles are going to be much easier. However, your communication and teamwork will always have to be top notch.

10. Having kids is totally optional:

Obvious, right? I thought so too, until I started speaking at pre-conception groups for young couples.

You don’t have to have kids because ‘it’s the right thing to do’ or you’re ‘getting to that age’ or ‘our parents want grandkids’. If you don’t want kids (I must say after the week I’ve had, totally not a bad choice, by the way), don’t have them.

Sure, those without kids may think every now and then ‘gee, I wonder what my life would have been like with kids?’, but I guarantee you every parent also thinks ‘gee, imagine what my life would have been like without kids.’

Don’t feel it’s something you need to do to simply ‘tick off the list’. It takes a lot of hard work, time, sleepless nights, and money. It’s ok to not have kids and be happy with your life. If you know it’s not for you, don’t kid yourself. This quest is optional, and not devoting an enormous part of your adult life to a single quest won’t stop you from leveling up your life. If it’s the right choice for you, it may even help.

11. You will change, A LOT:

Your sleep habits are forced to change, your lifestyle is forced to change, your finances are forced to change, and you as a person will change too.

Expect to become different. Boring, safe, sensible, tired, soft and lame…and what’s even worse is, you’ll love it. You will become way more empathetic (I got a little choked up this week by, of all things, a freaking golf store commercial!) because you’ve now got a whole new perspective on life.

Things you used to be so passionate about will take a back seat. Jerry Seinfeld put it very well when he said “Once a man has children, for the rest of his life, his attitude is, “To hell with the world, I can make my own people.”

To hell with the world indeed; my whole world is under one roof. Sure, I still view myself as a gamer, punk rocker, good husband, weekend golf pro and outright geek, but above all, I’m a dad, and will be for the rest of my days.

12. You won’t be as great of a parent as you thought you’d be:

Yep, sorry, that does even mean you rebels who are actually taking time to read parenting articles and advice.

We all start off with grand ambitions of being #1, or ‘World’s Greatest Parent‘, but when reality kicks in, a lot of days we’ll settle for ‘World’s okay-est parent.’

You’re going to mess up, you’re going to take a while to get things right, and you’re certainly going to be that parent in the store one day. I’ve yet to meet a parent who’s got it all together, all the time. Even us ‘experts’ are just making it up as we go along.

As bad as I just made it sound, it’s totally worth it.

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So, have I turned all you nerdy parents-to-be off of having children yet? I sure hope not. We need to be building a better, nerdier next generation. I don’t want the world to become (more) like ‘Idiocracy’.

In the scheme of things, the reason nobody tells you this shit is because…a lot of it doesn’t really matter.

The smile on your baby’s face when they first recognize you. The laughter and pure joy they get from rolling around on the floor with you. The wonder in their eyes as you do stupid dad magic. Their name for you being their first word. Creating and shaping a human life. THAT is the shit that really matters.

Yes, choosing to take on the parenting quest instantly increases the difficulty, but in terms of the XP and treasure you’ll gain, it’s so worth it.

You’ll rise to challenges you never thought you could defeat, you’ll battle the bosses of teething, feeding, tiredness and the dreaded Worry. You’ll constantly be switching between hero and villain, and even though you may lose a bit of your loot along the way, you’ll have the best damn sidekick to share, and conquer, the lifelong game with.

It’s messy, terrifying, and really bloody tough. It’s not for everyone, but those of us currently on the quest won’t be hitting the reset button any time soon.

You have the most important job in the world, you’re the boss of leveling up the future, leaving a legacy on this planet, and laying big plans for a better tomorrow. If you’re up to the challenge, rise to it, for them, for you, and for the future of the Rebellion.

Future parents, what else do you want to know?

Noob parents, what other shit weren’t you told about?

Leet parents, what wisdom can you bestow upon us?

Non parents, what does a hot meal taste like?

Let us know in the comments,

– Dan

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92 thoughts on “The Shit They Don’t Tell You: 12 Things New Parents Need to Know

  1. I’ve pretty much got all the right resources to have kids, and I keep thinking, yeah we’ll have kids, I want to have kids. But it keeps getting put off and honestly, it makes me wonder: Do I really want to have kids? Is having kids when you feel neutral/”take it or leave it” about kids a bad idea?

  2. It gets easier. Or at least you get used to it. When the first kid’s pacifier falls on the floor, you scoop it up and put in the pile to be sterilized later and give them a fresh one. With your second kid, you wash it off in the sink and then give it back. With your third kid, you wipe off any obvious dirt and hand it back to them. You learn that kids are far more resilient than you first thought.

  3. I have three kids, ages 13, 11, 8. I learned that having one kid doesn’t make you a parenting expert. It just makes you an expert on parenting THAT kid. Each of my kids has challenged me in different ways and they are experts at moving the goalposts so once you think you have your shit together, you get to learn a whole new bunch of shit. Also: developmental transitions are hard on everyone. Also: don’t ever compare yourself to other parents. Remember this: Your hard is hard. Don’t get caught up in competitive parenting. No one wins.

  4. Lie = After the youngest turns 18 you go back to partying.

    Reality = You never stop being the parent, but you lose any ability to effect change. You sit back and wait to pickup pieces if you need to do so. The worry remains. You may have to continue financial support or make the hard decision to cut them off even if it leads to homeless children.

    When you sign up to parent it is for the rest of your life.

  5. Seriously awesome post! I agree with every part of it. Especially loved the closing paragraphs.

  6. This is a terrible statement: “7. You may not love your child straight away, and that’s totally OK”. I think I know what you mean (“connect”, perhaps), but “love” is a decision and a commitment – something that comes as a conscious choice, not an emotion. It’s entirely possible for you to have a child with whom you don’t connect, but you are still committed to that child. A child is not a toy, nor a way to keep score. It’s another human that needs unconditional love from his or her parents.

    Sorry, but this really hit a nerve.

  7. Well said. I believe it was Bill Cosby that said “parenting is the only thing for which experience can be a handicap”…

  8. I feel the same. In my early 20’s, I REALLY wanted kids. Fast forward to my early 30’s, hubby is finishing a lengthy college stint and the plan is to have a kid once he’s finished. The problem? The closer it gets, the more uncertain we feel! I’m thinking maybe it’s just the fear of such a huge change and the unknown…

  9. As someone who just had his first kid on the 15th, this article couldn’t have come at a better time. 5 and 6 are no joke.

  10. Oh, man, I could write another blog post just to respond to this one.

    You’re spot on about The Worry. We had a hard time getting our first child to sleep through the night, and along the way she learned that if she kept on crying we’d eventually come tend to her even if she didn’t need it. Finally we decided to put our collective foot down and say, “Check her once, and if she’s fed/burped/clean, let her cry.” The only thing harder than listening to her cry for 20 minutes was when she stopped. That’s when The Worry evolved into The Panic. Did she choke? Did she die just to spite us? We rushed (on tiptoes) into her room to see if she was still breathing. She was, and we went back to bed looking forward to uninterrupted sleep. Which we didn’t get, thanks to the adrenaline rush from our moment of terror.

    Kids, you gotta love ’em. Never a dull moment.

  11. More specifically–being a parent makes one an expert at parenting THAT kid at THAT developmental stage. Then the kid grows and changes, and you’re a n00b again!

  12. yuuup. I am learning all about puberty now. The tantrums are back, but unlike toddlers, the kids have a much bigger vocabulary and know me well enough to say JUST the right thing to push my buttons. Oh, and the smells. Teenaged boys are SMELLY.

  13. I tend not to take parenting advice from people whose kids are younger than mine for that reason.

  14. I see where you’re coming from. A child is a lifetime commitment, and a choice to provide and do the absolute best thing for that child, all the time. I also see where the author’s coming from. For the first year of my daughter’s life, I felt NO love. I was profoundly depressed after her birth, and felt no warmth or affection toward her. I held her, I fed her, I talked to her, I gave her my all–and felt nothing but sadness while I did it. Commitment is necessary. That feeling of affection is hit or miss.

    On her first birthday, it was like flipping a switch. I realized, “I’m DONE with baby. I don’t have to have a baby ever again. And I’m the mom of an adorable, awesome, wonderful little toddler. I feel happy, and I feel love.”

  15. One surprising thing about choosing not to have kids, is the potential to lose your friends that do. Being ‘not in the club’, I found my girlfriends pulled away – their life revolved around their family and mine had other priorities. It was sad – I hope that when the kids are older we can reconnect – but
    I was able to find a new set of people that shared a similar life path.

  16. (Father of a 7-month old)

    A. You’ll feel like you aren’t good enough. Every time I fought with my wife, or forget to add something to his diaper bag, or had to work late, etc, felt like I was letting my whole family down. Realize you don’t have to be perfect, you’re allowed to be a human being.

    B. You’ll get disconnected. Hobbies, outings, social gatherings get pushed by the wayside, especially in the early months. Be honest with the people in your life – when you want to see them, or in the case of some family, when you don’t – and get creative in keeping some kind of social connection to the outside world.

    C. Don’t keep score. Be honest when you need help, and give it as much as you can. If a system of ‘who does what when’ helps, then go for it, but be prepared to let it go when the time comes that you just can’t manage it all.

    D. Get help if you need it. I don’t just mean babysitters or having someone bring over food. The physical and emotional changes can wreck a person, and there is nothing wrong with talking to a professional to help you cope with everything you are going through.

  17. I’m the mom of a 9-year-old girl, the cute one in my profile pic. There will be people who tell you to “Enjoy every moment.” It is perfectly okay to roll your eyes at these people when they turn away. (Maybe don’t flip them off, though, because kids learn inappropriate things surprisingly quickly)

    There are plenty of parenting moments that are just not enjoyable–illnesses, tantrums, being so tired you forget to use a potholder when taking the toddler’s tater tots out of the oven, counting down until bedtime because the kid missed a nap and is being a holy living terror–and it is okay to wish those moments away. THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS.

    There are also plenty of enjoyable moments: Baby giggles, watching the kid experience things for the first time, milestones, and little kid hilarity are some of my favorites. Enjoy THOSE. Grab on to them. Write them down, take pictures, remember them, relish them. I wish I could swap the memory of the tater tots thing (because it actually did happen!) for yet another funny thing that the kid said when she was a preschooler.

    And now I’m feeling sentimental and glad to be a mom. I can’t wait until I can leave work and talk to my kid, because she’s all kinds of fabulous. 😀

  18. YES. My twin brother was kind enough to babysit my daughter when she was a baby, so my ex-husband and I could go on a date. When we got home, we found the baby sleeping in the crib, and my brother sitting next to the crib, just watching. He said, “When she stopped making noise, I got worried. I mean, logically I know she’s just sleeping, but I was worried anyway so I stayed with her.”

  19. Thanks for this! Points 1 and 2 hit home. You captured it well. We’ve gotten used to the unintentionally painful questions from friends and family

  20. Me too. I’m 30 and my fiance has 2 years left of school. I used to feel so certain about wanting kids, but now I don’t know. He feels the same way. I guess we’ll see?

  21. This is one of the best articles I’ve read. It brought me to tears because I felt so relieved that other people the felt the way I did. Great Read.

  22. The Worry never goes away; I remember the first time my daughter slept through the night and the following nights; I would wake up in a panic, because she didn’t wake up, thinking the worst. It was awful. The worry is still there though; it keeps evolving as she gets older; now what if the kids in school are mean to her, what if I’m not doing this right, what if she hates me?

  23. Yup, also here. Currently in the “Not Not Trying” stage, and my feelings towards kids or no still seems stuck on 50/50. Which is where it was when we weren’t not not trying. I’ve got lots of double negatives in my life right now. o.o

  24. What about adopted kids; especially older adopted kids? As an international adoptee (that ain’t no spring chicken), I’m looking to give to a child the opportunities my parents gave to my brother and me. Does anyone have any sage advice on any older (toddler+) adoption stuff?

  25. I’ve always like Nerd Fitness and with post has solidified that feeling. What a wonderful and on point article that has my mind swirling with memories. I have three boys who are now 25, 22 and 20 and was 34, 36 and 38 when I had them. We settled the having children question before we were married. At first hubby wanted four children, and my thought was let’s have one and see what happens. He said at least two as he didn’t want to raise an only child. I agreed, so it was two and let’s see what happened. A lot happened (and now I’m crying). I do recommend living near an excellent hospital. My story is long, but has a very happy ending. That said, having children (natural or adopted) is a very personal choice and whatever choice is made must be accepted and respected.

    We found out that we could only have children with medical intervention – not something we’d ever thought about. It was a long and costly journey to have the boys. The journey got even longer as time went on. Our first was immediately rushed to intensive care at birth as there was a breathing issue. After a week of non-stop worrying, it was not life-threatening and he came home. He then exhibited some troubling symptoms and was suspected of having neurofibromatosis (elephant man’s disease). It took five long years of worry for him to be declared disease free. Along came the second child and all seemed well – until. Until he was nine months old. To summarize a very long and exhausting few months, he was rushed via ambulance from the local hospital to our Children’s Hospital, put immediately on life support and stayed on life support for three weeks. He was diagnosed with toxic shock and had a 40% chance of survival. He survived. To this day, my eyes see him as a walking miracle.

    After coming so close to having our child die, we did some serious talking. A third? Can we, should we? We decided that if we did not have a another child, we might regret not doing so, though if we did, we would never regret it. We were right. When I gave birth to my third son, it felt like all was right in life. I felt very settled – until. He was a few months old when we rushed him to the ER – where they remembered our names from the first two. He had some of the same symptoms as his middle brother. We got off easy this time – it was a bad bacterial infection that antibiotics readily took care of with only a few days in the hospital.

    Life continued to take interesting turns and we ended up in the ER numerous times (I still think every black Nissan is the one who jumped a curb, hit my youngest and sped off). Each time we came out once again thanking God and our incredible doctors. There were a few more surprises along the way.

    Where are they now? The 25 yr. old is independent and has a great job in IT and is starting an MBA through his company in September (after being suspended for a semester from college as pledging a frat was more important than grades. Lesson learned well.) The 22 yr. old (the one we almost lost) just graduated from college and started a job in a small company and is loving it. (Both went to state schools.) The 20 yr. old is in the military and I’m not allowed to say what he does, but he is overseas and he has never been happier. Please keep him in your thoughts.

    My final thoughts… Being a parent means putting the life of your child(ren) before your own. It means knowing that expectations can be a hindrance. It means accepting change and growth – for you and for your children. It means dealing with what you are dealt and not saying, “Not my family, not my child.” It means balancing. It means loving with your entire heart and soul. If children are your choice, it means a bond that even if at some points hangs by a thread, is still there and can be caught. Being a parent also means taking care of your marriage. Have strong roots and the tree can bend far. Be a united front for your children. Remember you are the adults.

    Finally, finally, decide before hand who is less squeamish when it comes to cleaning up vomit. 🙂

  26. Bryan, please research postpartum depression. It is real and may help you understand another aspect of having children.

  27. Yes, love is an action word, but it’s also a feeling word. I did a huge amount of loving actions in the first weeks of my son’s life, but didn’t feel love. I felt strange after about of week that I’d never even thought to kiss my son. I have since made up for that lack of kissing time. 😛

  28. After almost losing a child when he was 9 months old, I would never roll my eyes at anyone saying to enjoy every moment. When my child was on life-support, every moment had to be enjoyed as I didn’t know if it would be the last. I have three boys, all in their 20’s. I did and still do enjoy every moment, no matter how bad it is, because my children are alive. I may not enjoy every moment at the moment, but I realize how precious every moment is with them.

    Sometimes life gives us interesting perspectives.

  29. Thanks, Dan. Outstanding stuff, as always. My advice, as the parent of a two-year old and three-year old?

    1. Don’t Panic. Adams nailed that one.
    2. One of the worst feelings in the world is knowing how much of the innocence of youth will be replaced by experience, which comes only from hardship and struggle. You’ll want to wrap your kids in pillows and fight all their monsters for them, but the best thing you can do is teach them how to do so, themselves, regardless of how much it hurts to.
    3. Be the kind of adult you want them to grow into.
    4. Keep a journal for them as they grow. Record everything that you already don’t though pictures and movies. Some of the most amazing and adorable moments are one-shots. Record them however you can, and look forward to sharing them.
    5. As you prepare your children for the realities of the world, pay attention to the innocence and wonder they naturally possess. We can learn amazing things from one another.
    6. Ask for help. Admit your weakness, and embrace your ability to do so.
    7. Discipline is love. If you *must* spank, make sure it is understood as a consequence of continual bad behavior and not just the people they look up and and love most in the world hitting them. Stand behind your decision to do so; don’t apologize, no matter how much you want to. They need to see strength and conviction behind your decisions, always.
    8. Take a page from Kipling and live sixty full seconds of life with every minute. There is no experience like parenting, and anger or frustration or shame can make it too easy to miss that which is ephemerally fleeting.
    9. Let them figure things out on their own.
    10. Love them as if every second with them may be your last.

    And…that’s all I got. Rambled a bit. Sorry about that. Good luck, parents, regardless of experience.

  30. Wow! I’m sorry if I came across as glib or dismissive. I’m sorry your family went through that, and so glad that your son pulled through. It truly is amazing how life colors our perspectives–the life of a parent dealing with their own depression and a colicky baby gives a much different perspective than one dealing with a baby’s life-threatening illness.

  31. Your kids will do something to horribly embarrass you. Something you’re ABSOLUTELY SURE you taught them better than to do. Its OK to talk about it. Don’t take your shame to your grave. Sharing your experience with people can/will connect you to them in new ways. As a mother of three boys (27, 19 and 14) I’ve had to take them back into stores to return things they stole and have even had to take two to the police station for some idiotic BS (different reason for each kid). They’l make you smile and cry, sometimes even in the same freaking sentence.

  32. We were neutral on kids for years. We love our lives as they were. I’m 37 and he’s 39, though, so last year we decided we’d better hurry up and decide!

    A couple months ago, we had the coolest little girl in the planet. Its not been as hard as I would have thought (yet), and it’s been MUCH more fun than anyone told me it would be. Not every day is a win, but we’re having a blast. I never comment on these things but I wish someone had given me something other than the “your life will change” talk, so there ya go!

  33. People will come over to visit immediately after you have kids. Put them to work. If they came solely to hold the baby, they’re offering a redundant service; you’ve got baby holding covered. Get them to load the dishwasher, fold a load of towels, or deal with your recycling, all with baby as leverage. Babies are sort of the difference between a normal quest and a raid. With a baby you’ve doubled the number of tasks you’ve got to deal with, having more party members and using them appropriately just makes sense.

    Newborns are also more floppy than anyone gives them credit for. You can add that in your worry bucket.

    Don’t be ashamed to take many of the cute clothes that people give you to exchange. With the number of fluids that spew forth from babies and the number of diaper changes, anything with fasteners is a pain in the ass for the first 2 or 3 months. We bought about infinity gowns for each of our boys. They are just little tubes of fabric that more or less reach down to their feet. When it’s time for diaper changes, the gown slides up, the diaper gets changed and the gown slides down. Time spent on fasteners, nil. It’s great for low lighting as well, which is important barring infravision on your part.

    Finally, newborns are also much more resilient than we give them credit for, at least in my experience. We didn’t whisper or tiptoe around just because the baby was asleep. They seemed to do pretty well.

  34. Oh my God, so true! Once you have a baby it seems like your house is an open letter. Everyone wants to come along, from vaguely known third cousins to that weird guy from the place you worked 3 years ago.

    Great points, thanks for reading and contributing.

  35. Yep, i’m on my third and already I can tell we’re much more…not negligent…but relaxed when it comes to parenting.

    Thanks for reading and contributing.

  36. Congratulations mate. When can I rock up to your house unexpectedly to come and see it?

    Thanks for reading and contributing.

  37. So true. Also on the flip side too. Parents who have their kids first out of their group of friends (like I did) will often feel left out of the group. Glad you found a new set of mates in a similar life situation though.

    Thanks for raising the point and reading.

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