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When you’re expecting your first child there are a few things every parenting book and magazine tells you. Good things like how much joy you’ll feel when you first see her precious face and not so good things like how you won’t sleep for months. There are other parenting truths however that are so terrifying that popular parenting books don’t dare mention them for fear that every reasonable adult on earth would immediately line up for voluntary sterilization if they knew and quickly cause the extinction of the human race.
These are truths you’ll only hear about from your closest friends, like how breastfeeding will not only make your boobs sag but get smaller at the same time, and how there’s a good chance you’ll poop on the delivery table. Well consider me your best friend because I’m here to tell you ten truths about raising kids that you probably won’t ever find in any parenting books.
1. The toddler years are way easier than the teen years.
You think that temper tantrum your two year old is throwing is rough? Just wait until she’s thirteen and you can’t throw her over your shoulder and put her in the time out chair anymore.
2. Eventually you will cave.
Via Flickr Thijs Knaap/ Creative Commons
Remember before you had kids and you were all “My children will never use electronics!” Soon you realize that the iPad equals getting to take a shower, clean the house, or read a book uninterrupted, and all those perfect parenting ideals you once had are out the window.
3. Bribing your children may seem like a shamefully poor parenting technique but it’s not because it works, damn it.
I potty trained my kid in three days using M&Ms. Ain’t no shame in my game, yo.
4. Parenting will make you hate your spouse.
Try to take turns changing poopy diapers.
5. You won’t know what that picture they drew you is but you will love it and you will hang it up anyways.
It’s important to encourage all of your child’s creativity, even if it’s slightly pornographic.
6. You will lower your standards of cleanliness whether you like it or not.
Via Flickr Elizabeth/Creative Commons
Remember when your house looked like something out of Better Homes and Gardens? Now it looks like Jackson Pollock vomited in your living room.
7. You will imagine that your kids will be best friends and always get along. They won’t.
It would be prudent to get some referee training to get through the first twenty years.
8. Your idea of family fun and their idea of family fun are totally different.
Educational trips are never a good time.
9. They hurt themselves all the time.
Via Flickr Môsieur J. [version 9.1] /Creative Commons
Parenting tip: Making them wear helmets every waking moment can really cut down on trips to the hospital.
10. You will get surprisingly good at pooping with an audience.
Via The Stir
However, when you want them to go to bed at night, all of a sudden those little jerks are nowhere to be found. Try calling in a sing songy voice “Ohhhh guys, mommy’s heading to the potty, just a quick poo…” then wait until they all come running and make a quick turn into their bedroom and lock the door. Works every time.