Little Things That Prove Parenting Is Not for the Weak
The moment you find out that you're going to be a parent will likely rank in the top-five best moments of your life — someday. The truth is, once you take that bundle of joy home, things start getting real, and you may begin to wonder if there’s a return policy on this whole parenthood thing. Those cute little toothless smiles must be evolution's way of tricking us because, a lot of times, parenting is kind of the worst.
All the Tantrums
Before you were a parent, you likely saw a toddler throw themselves down on the floor of a store and scream until their face was blue. And you thought to yourself, "Wow, what a horrible parent to allow that kind of behavior!"
The Sass Starts Early
People talk about how tough the teenage years are because it seems that, out of the blue, kids develop a real attitude. Apparently, the sass that comes along with the teenage years will make the toddler phase seem like the easiest part of parenting.
The Daycare Colds Are Never-ending
It's a struggle to drop your baby off at daycare for the first time. Suddenly you have to trust a stranger to take care of the tiny human that you created from scratch. Then, once you leave them, you'll spend the entire day checking in with the daycare to make sure everything is okay.
So Much Sleep Deprivation
Whoever came up with the advice to "sleep when the baby sleeps" was clearly not a parent. If they had been, their advice would’ve been more like, "Do whatever you have to do to get some sleep. Sleep on the baby's floor if that's what it takes."
Screen Time Rules (and Guilt)
The American Academy of Pediatrics is always coming out with new information and research findings when it comes to kids and screen time. There's a lot involved in the guidelines, but the gist is this: Don't let your kids watch TV. Ever.
Foot Injuries Thanks to Small, Pointy Toys
When you first become a parent, you get so excited over the idea of reliving your childhood with toys like Little People, green Army men and LEGOs. It only takes a couple of late-night walks down the hallway to truly regret gifting your child those toys.
Stains on Every Surface
Before kids, you probably had a few really nice pieces of furniture, and maybe even some clean carpet. Perhaps you made the chic design decision to go with upholstered chairs at your dining table. What a fool you once were.
Arguing With a Tiny, Illogical Human
There are some things that are just basic common knowledge. You don't eat dog food, you shouldn't try to crawl across gravel and you should never put your mouth on the handle of a shopping cart no matter how nice the store is. Kids, however, lack common knowledge — and sense.
Cooking Anything Besides Chicken Nuggets
Some parents are obviously wizards because they’re able to get their children to eat anything from lamb chops to a side of vegetables without so much as a peep or complaint. The rest of us muggles dream of a day when we can simply cook something other than chicken nuggets.
It seems like any time you have somewhere to be, your kid will either take the longest nap of their life, requiring you to choose between waking them up or missing the event, or they’ll skip their nap altogether, requiring you to decide if you want to risk taking them in public.
Saturday Morning Practices and Games
At some point, some grown-ups got together and decided, "Hey, we're all used to sleep deprivation anyway, so why not make all sports practices and games at 7 a.m. on Saturdays?" No one's sure who these grown-ups were that decided this, but everyone hates them.
Every now and then, a couple will have a baby who eases into sleeping through the night all on its own. These babies are little angels, and they’re not the standard. Most babies keep waking all night every night until you've had enough and decide to sleep train.
Toys Literally Everywhere
If you're someone who struggles to concentrate in a disorganized environment, then parenting might not be for you. It starts off small: a basket of toys in the corner of the living room. Then, seemingly overnight, it takes over your house.
Always Having an Audience in the Bathroom
Before parenthood, you probably never considered going to the bathroom as a luxury. In fact, it was probably more of an inconvenience because you had to stop in the middle of whatever you were doing to get up and go. Those were the good old days.
Attempting to Travel
Remember traveling before kids and getting jealous that families with small children got to board the plane early, giving them access to as much overhead storage space as they needed? Back then, you probably didn't notice that, by the time you were boarding, those families still weren't settled.
Paying for Childcare (or Staying Home Full-time)
Having a baby means — at least for two-parent families — that one parent has to make the decision whether or not to keep their job and pay for daycare or stay home full-time. Unless you have a really nice grandparent nearby. In which case, the rest of us kind of hate you.
Scheduling Life Around Naptime
Naptime is crucial for parents. It takes something very, very important for us to actively schedule things during naptime. In fact, a lot of us would rather hire a sitter to come to the house while the baby naps than mess up their sleep schedule for just about anything.
Constant Parent Guilt
Donna and Tom, from Parks and Rec, had one day a year when they'd treat themselves to anything they wanted without feeling guilty about it, no matter how unnecessary or expensive. Parents wish they could feel that way about taking a shower while the other parent does the bedtime routine solo.
Why humans haven't evolved to the point where we know how to use the bathroom from the moment we’re born is a mystery. With all the technology and medical advances, can't this be something that experts start working on? Is it so much to ask?
Ever-changing Car Seat Standards
Staying up to date with the ever-changing safety guidelines for kids is difficult, but a lot of those recommendations seem easy to ignore if they don't pose a life-threatening risk (looking at you, screen time). Car seats, however, are an entirely different monster.
Never Getting to Watch Your Own TV Shows
Remember the day your little one finally sat still long enough to watch 15 full minutes of TV, giving you a much-needed break? It was the best feeling. Then, before you knew it, they were snuggling up next to you watching all your favorite Disney movies.
Potty training is a huge milestone for children and their parents. Finally, the day has come when you’re confident that your little one can understand how and when to use the toilet, and you can get rid of that "diaper" line item in your monthly budget.
Cleaning Up Wall "Art"
It only takes one mishap to learn the importance of hiding any and all Sharpie markers and only investing in crayons, paint and/or markers that are 100% washable. Even this doesn't guarantee that you won't have mishaps. It just means that you'll be able to clean them up.
Longing to Read Anything Other Than Dr. Seuss
Once upon a time, you got to read any book you wanted, any time you wanted to. Now, you have a stack of books sitting on your bedside table that are collecting dust and are (more than likely) parenting how-to books, not your normal genre of choice.
School Spirit Week
Whoever the daycare director is that decided the one thing missing from busy parents' schedules is spirit week needs to be fired immediately. It's hard enough to remember a packed lunch every day, let alone some theme that requires parent organization and/or participation.
Crumbs in Every Crevice
Before kids, a Ritz cracker was simply a buttery treat, and a Goldfish cracker was just a quick and easy snack for a little extra energy. After kids, these are the physical manifestations of the reason vacuums were invented.
Going From One to Two Kids
Once you make it through the baby phase, it's easy to get a little cocky as a parent. You got one child to sleep through the night, learn to eat solid foods and learn to walk without faceplanting, so you can totally do it again. And your kid will have a lifelong playmate!
So. Many. Poop. Jokes.
At a certain age, children learn that some words get a reaction from their parents. Kids love a good reaction, especially laughter. That's when the poop jokes start coming. At first, it's really funny and you have no problem leaning in and laughing right along with your kid. Then, the public poop jokes start.
The Crash After a Sugar High
If there's one thing a parent can count on, it's a grandparent, aunt, uncle or well-meaning teacher giving their kid some candy every now and then. It starts out innocently enough — just a couple M&Ms. Then, before you know it, your kid has learned the glory of candy.
Constantly Wondering If You're Doing It Right
Parenting is messy, crazy, frustrating, infuriating, exhausting, embarrassing and just about every other thing you can think of. Still, even on your kid's worst days, the hardest part of being a parent is wondering if you're doing it right — or at least well enough that they won't end up talking about you in therapy in 20 years.