Oh, parenthood. What a wild adventure. Whether it's a mother or a father, a grandparent or friend who warns you about the mishaps and difficulties that come along with parenting, it's often enough to frighten the heck out of you.
We're not here to scare the reader, though. For a bit of light-hearted fun, we have prepared 10 reasons why parenthood should come with a manual. Like, literally: a written manual. Something well-organized; so that at any point of panic you have a handy-dandy book to pull out and find a solution, quick. Though one does not actually exist in real-life, parents all over the world would find their lives much easier if it did.
10 BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT WARNED ABOUT MEALTIMES
Have you every finished an 8 hour day of caring for you child and/or children, only to notice you haven't eaten? Perhaps you ate the crust of their toast (because the toddler refuses to eat the ends) or you are sipping away at your cold coffee from that very morning. Nothing truly prepares you for how nutrient-deficient you may become when you welcome parenthood into your life.
Remember those romantic dinners you prepared with your partner? Kiss those long, enjoyable evenings goodbye (for the meantime). You will (likely) be preparing multiple meals for everyone's dietary preference.
9 BECAUSE YOU JUST BOUGHT A NEW COUCH
Spills...vomit...diaper explosions. They will happen anyplace, anywhere. "This is why we can't have nice things," you may find yourself yelling 2-200 times a day. Whether you saved for years to invest in that beautifully reupholstered couch you've been dreaming of, or had your partner spend 6 hours making that beautiful, hand-crafted coffee table- be aware: you will either have to cover it, put baby-proofing covers on its edges or simply hide it away for the meantime (the next 18 years or so).
With that said, you truly won't know what will get ruined until it does. Like that feature wall you painted emerald green that now has sharpie all over it.
8 BECAUSE BABY-PROOFING IS A JOKE
We mean that very lightly. But, quite literally. Don't take that as "don't baby-proof". We are just trying to get across the fact that you will not know what actually needs to be "proofed" until it gets tampered with.
Baby-proofing is absolutely necessary for things such as outlets, stairs and sharp counter-top corners. But, some would never consider taping down the edges of their living room carpet for new walkers in case their foot gets stuck in it. Or to have door stoppers so their little one's fingers don't get jammed in the bathroom door when their sibling slams it shut for privacy. There's danger everywhere. We say that jokingly. But also- you never know until it happens.
7 BECAUSE YOU KNEW YOU SHOULD HAVE MOVED INTO THAT HOUSE DOWN THE STREET FROM YOUR PARENTS
It takes a village. Whether it's support from your Mom Group or being able to call your cousin to vent for a few hours, every parent needs their (healthy) vice and support system.
A lot of new parents think they'll be "just fine," which they often are. Still, the ability to call a trusted loved one at a moment's notice is an absolute privilege. When you do not have this luxury, you feel it.
6 BECAUSE YOU NEED A LIST OF COMEBACKS
From snarky in-law's opinions to the comments strangers love to yell out, it would be nice to have an automated comeback at everyone's rude and unhelpful remarks.
When we're stressed enough trying to get the little ones out of the house and someone judges how "underdressed" they are for the short distance between the car and school's doors, the ability to find an appropriate and convenient throwback would be pleasant. Wouldn't you agree?
5 BECAUSE HOW DO YOU SAY “NO” TO THAT SWEET LITTLE FACE?
It's hard enough to discipline your child at an early age, but we know it's important for their over well-being. Having to say "no" to someone you love more than life itself can be more difficult than you imagine.
If saying "no" is not your cup of tea, here's a great article on how to respond to your child without using that specific word. Though it's important to express your concerns when needed, it can be very hard to when you're looking at such a sweet and innocent face.
4 BECAUSE A PERSONAL ASSISTANT WOULD BE NICE
Google calendar will do… right? Let's be honest: managing time as a parent is absolutely ludicrous. From nap schedules to getting your kid to soccer practice on time, you are not only managing your own personal schedule but your child's/children's.
If you are a partner who likes to take on the responsibility of controlling and managing their partner's appointments and schedules, too, you're not alone (and you're also a hero).Whether it's a mole-skin, using the Siri application or an old-fashioned calendar to mark down important dates, managing your family's time is no joke. You only (truly) experience its pain when it occurs. So, good luck!
3 BECAUSE VISITING THE HOMES OF FRIENDS/RELATIVES WITHOUT CHILDREN IS... CHALLENGING
Again, it is difficult to bond over a child-themed situation when the individual receiving the information has not experienced what it's like to parent. By the same token, when you visit a home without a trace of a child, it's absolutely nerve-wracking.
Is there something breakable at my child's eye-level? What if lunch runs late and it comes into their nap time? Are they awkward around kids and will they only speak "baby talk" to my 11 year old? Nothing prepares you for the small (or big) anxious thoughts you may conjure up when visiting a child-less home.
2 BECAUSE SAVING CAN BE A NIGHTMARE TOO
From RESPS to Child's Life Insurance, there are numerous savings plans that we are often offered the moment baby arrives. Whether they are right for your family or not, we're not sure which one of us even learned how to do our own taxes, let alone (suddenly) decide on our child's financial future. Now we're supposed to budget saving for our 3-month-old's post-secondary education, their private-school tutor and their (potential) 75K wedding?!
We're exaggerating a little bit, but still. It can be quite overwhelming to think of the amount of savings options that we were never knew of until we became parents.
1 BECAUSE WE NEED A LIST OF (CLOTHING) SALES
Children grow so fast. It would be nice to have a curated list of sales from specific stores. Perhaps this algorithm does indeed exist. If so, we need to know where it is. It would be nice to flip open our computer, punch in our child's age, size, location (for weather-appropriate attire) and preferred clothing brands and boom: their #OOTD is chosen and sent to us by end of day.
Perhaps someone reading this article will produce this type of site or content. For now, though, we will wish that something like this existed in the "Parent's Manual" we should have received on day one. Until then, we'll be dressing our babies in clothes that barely fit until next weeks' sale arrives.