10 Things No One Tells You About Being a Parent

By on June 7, 2013

Things No One Tells You About Being a Parent

Most parents would tell you that having children is such a magnificent experience that simply cannot be described with words. These are the same kinds of parents who would shove angelic pictures of their children into your face. "Little Timmy is the best thing that has ever happened to us," they'd tell you. "He's just so perfect."

Well, maybe not so perfect. Parenthood isn't all roses and glitter like some people would want you to believe. While raising a child may be a rewarding experience, it also comes with a lot of vomit, stress, and tears. Don't know what I mean? Just take a look at some of the things experienced parents aren't quick to tell you.

Your kid will be brutally honest with you.

Here's a funny story. I have a friend with a 5-year-old son. One day, she invited this guy over for dinner. She had just begun seeing him and she wanted to make a good impression on him with her stellar cooking skills. The house was clean, the elaborate dinner was laid out, and her son was dressed in his Sunday best. Everything was going well until my friend's son said that he had to use the bathroom. "Sure," my friend said. "Use the bathroom upstairs."

The boy went upstairs and returned only a moment later. "I don't want to go in the bathroom, mama," he said. "It smells like your poo!"

Once your child learns how to talk, he'll start calling you out on things ("your zipper's down!" at the grocery store, for example) and tell you how fat, ugly, or smelly you are. They're not trying to be mean. They're just being truthful. After all, kids have absolutely no filters! "Appreciate [your child's honesty]," says Adam H., a devoted father who gave me a few pointers for this article. "We all need that kind of person in our lives."

You will never have nice stuff again.

Just check out this crazy blog: Sh*t My Kids Ruined. If that won't convince you to hold off on buying that nice leather sofa set until your kid's out of the house, then I don't know what will. "[Your stuff] will start developing stains and crayon marks almost magically," Adam says. "You'll do your best to protect your stuff, but your kid will find a way to draw a doggy on them in marker. The world is their canvas."

Your kid will embarrass you in public… over and over again.

If your kid is not loudly repeating your colorful complaints about your boss at your company picnic, she's throwing a tantrum at the library during story hour. "The great thing [about tantrums] is that the only people who might look at you like a bad parent are the ones who've never had a child themselves." Adam points out. "Other parents will just look at you and know exactly what you're going through." Your child will always say and do embarrassing things in public. The earlier you accept it, the more prepared you will be when your child points at a woman at the park and asks why her butt is so big.

There is more poop than you've ever imagined in your life.

A few years ago, I was visiting a friend who just had a baby. My friend was cradling her baby when a "thrrpppppt" sound interrupted our conversation. Yellow diarrhea immediately exploded out of the baby's diaper and landed everywhere - on the couch, the floor, and my friend's clothes. I must've had a horrified expression on my face because my friend laughed and said, "It's OK. It's the second time this has happened today." I responded with, "How could something so little produce so much poop?!"

A baby can have as many as ten bowel movements a day, and you're supposed to change his diaper every 2 or 3 hours. That's a whole lot of poop to deal with on a daily basis. Don't think it will get better when the baby becomes a toddler. It will only get worse. Once your toddler masters the art of removing his own diaper, you'll find poop everywhere: rubbed into the carpet, smeared on the walls, and all over his hands and clothes. With a child comes poop; lots and lots of it.

You'll turn into that annoying camera-happy parent you used to mock.

If you have some extra cash to throw around, invest in a 1TB external hard-drive to contain all the pictures you will have taken of your kid. Believe me, you'll need it. As soon as your child is born, you'll start snapping pictures and showing them to people. "Look, there's little Poppy drooling on her pillow," you'll say. "Oh, now she's drooling on her shirt! This picture, she's drooling on her bib. And here's another one, but with her left eye half closed." You will think that your baby is the most interesting thing in the world, and you'll want to capture every single moment of her life. Not only that, but you'll feel the burning desire to show off 200 pictures of your baby eating peas for lunch. If you don't want people to duck for cover whenever they see you coming with a new pile of baby pictures, keep it cool. Don't go overboard with sharing pictures of your baby. Just share the funny or interesting ones and only show pictures when someone asks to see them.

Drool, boogers, and vomit won't gross you out as much anymore.

Okay, maybe you'll still dry heave at the sight of somebody else's kid puking all over the slide at the playground, but as far as your own child's bodily functions go, you're not grossed out at all. You won't even hesitate to wipe snot off your child's nose with your bare hands. Remember that time when your college roommate puked all over her bed after drinking too much wine? You refused to enter the room until the smell was completely gone. Now, when your kid has done the same thing (after drinking too much apple juice, that is), you'll be on your knees, scrubbing away the dried-up vomit while whistling merrily. Puke, schmuke, right?

You need mad negotiation skills to get your kid to do anything.

There are some kids who will sweetly listen and do anything you ask them to do. Unfortunately, such little angels are extremely rare. You'll probably end up with a stubborn kid who wants cake for dinner every night. You'll have to convince him to forget cake and take a bite of his dinner… every single night. If you use the same bargaining chip night after night, your kid will catch on and refuse to negotiate with you any further. That's why you have to brush up on your negotiation skills and stay one step ahead of your kid all the time.

Friends without kids will slowly drift away.

Whether you like it or not, your whole life will revolve around your kid. You'll lose some friends in the process, especially those without kids. "Your needs are secondary [to your kids' needs]," Adam says. "Some people without kids don't understand this fact, so they drift away. It's okay, though. You'll make new friends who have kids."

You will be more exhausted than you've ever been in your life.

With an infant comes many sleepless nights. With a toddler comes the need for undivided attention. With a child comes a lot of play dates. With a teenager comes tons of clubs, soccer practices, and sleepovers. You'll constantly wait on your kid hand and foot until he becomes independent enough to support himself. Every single day, from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep, you'll worry about your child's meals, schedule, clothes, schoolwork, and everything else in his life. "Just consider the fact that [you'll be so exhausted that] you may accidentally pour orange juice on cereal," Adam advises. "Stuff like that will happen."

Having a child will change you.

Children don't ruin your life; they change it. Whether it's for the better or worse is up to you. Johnny Depp put it best when he said:

Before [my daughter's] birth, I was living in a kind of fog. The second she was born, everything lit up.

Some parents will tell you that their lives had no meaning until they had a child. Of course, there are some people who believe that having children ruined their lives. Again, it's entirely up to you. Someone once told me, "having a child is 10 times worse than you can ever imagine, and 10 times better than you can ever imagine."

Your kid will eat up every penny you make for the next two decades, but you probably won't mind at all. You just love the child too much. After all, many parents will tell you that having a child will teach you patience, tolerance, generosity, joy, and love… only if you allow it.

Chiara Fucarino
Chiara Fucarino
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
A proud resident of the pristine High Rockies, Chiara Fucarino happily spends her days writing in front of a breathtaking view of the mountains. When she's not crafting words, Chiara cooks innovative meals, embarks on scenic hikes, travels to exciting new places, hangs out with domesticated animals, and takes her motorcycle out for a spin.

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