I don’t typically do list posts but I’ve been itching to do a post and lists are easier than formal paragraphs. So, here goes.
Things I’ve learned about life with kids. In no particular order.
- You will be judged on everything. Things you never thought you could possibly be judged on. The less personal you take it, the better.
- Find a hobby. Even if you’ve dreamed about being a mother your whole life sometime between four and 14 months postpartum you want to be more than just a mother. Having a hobby helps this feeling of loss.
- At some point you will feel like your partner is doing it wrong. Let them do it wrong. You probably can get the baby to stop crying in half the time. But in nine months you will want your partner to be able to get the baby to stop crying without you.
- Some days your child has seven hours of screen time. Other days you bake cookies and picnic at the park. Everything in moderation.
- Because you are an adult and contributing member of society, your parents (or in-laws) will feel like they did it right. And you are doing it wrong. Regardless of the fact that times have changed and we know more (car seats, sleeping positions, brain development) they will still have an opinion on your parenting.
- They will also magically forget that when you were a toddler you were an asshole. They will ask you things like “why won’t he listen to me?” (the 2.5 year old.) “Well, because he is 2.5 and needs to be told things three thousand times.”
- It doesn’t matter how much you love your partner before kids, there is a reason marital satisfaction decreases after kids. It’s hard. Sometimes you just co-exist. “That won’t happen to us.” It will. And that’s cool. Just do something about it.
- Having your baby “fit into you life” is much easier in theory than reality. Betsy and I wanted to see Chicago on a business trip. We planned to have a day in Chicago before flying out in the evening. Noa was done napping, Atticus would nap in the carrier. Ha, nice try moms. Mid-July, 100+ temps, Lollapalooza, a delayed flight, arrived home at 3AM. Maybe we’re just not that family.
- Co-sleeping might not be for everyone, but damn it feels good to snuggle a sleeping child.
- The best prep for a child is a Boxer.
- Never ask a moms group for parenting advice. Made that mistake once. A mother told me that if I just screamed in my child’s face the behavior would stop. Also, don’t google shit. Trust your gut. Or ask a well trusted friend.
- Parenting feels super overrated for the first 6 months.
- Your partner will constantly surprise you with random shit they can do, like braid your daughter’s hair.
- And finally, if you’re in the pre-kid stage, relish in how good of a parent you are now. We should all get “Best Parent” award because we pop those babies out. Because let’s face it, we’re all way better parents before we had kids.