What No One Tells a New Parent

Casey Scream

There are parts of being a parent that is really rewarding. It is magical to see your child take that first step, sleep through the night, ride a bicycle without training wheels, give you a hug and a kiss each morning and another one just before bed. I love the smell of my kids’ right after a bath and breathe in that Johnson & Johnson smell as I give them a big squeeze. I can watch them run around outside in the sprinkler for hours.

Then there are the parts of parenthood that are shall we say, less rewarding. All new parents think the first year is the hardest. They are sleep deprived. They clean poop daily. The baby cries. Diapers cost a fortune. New parents are in for a rude awakening once that first birthday comes and goes.

There are two really big lies that are told to new parents. The first is that it will get easier as the baby gets older. It just isn’t true! The baby stage is the easiest part of parenthood. Sure, they puke on you, wake up multiple times during the night, and generate so much laundry that the laws of physics must be broken. Even with all that the baby stage is still the easiest. Babies stay where you put them. They don’t break things. They don’t demand that you give them mac and cheese for lunch eight days in a row like toddlers. You think a colicky baby is loud, wait till you have a toddler or a preschooler who gets told “no” while shopping in Target, or told it is time to go home after doing something fun like playing in the mall or sledding.

Plus, babies are still wearing diapers. Sure diapers are expensive if you go the disposable route, but it is even worse when you are away from home and your just recently potty trained child announces that they need to use the bathroom right now. Toddlers and preschoolers never give you a five minute warning. One minute they are fine, the next they are doing the potty dance and you are running around like a mad person trying to find a toilet.

So now you’re thinking it gets easier when they start school. Think again! With school comes homework, band concerts, holiday performances, fighting with friends, and juggling multiple birthday parties (Although I am famous for messing up the dates and going to the wrong party at the wrong time…twice!) Also add in piano practice, t-ball practice, t-ball games, and karate lessons. Not only does all this stuff keep you trapped in your car driving back and forth like a maniac, but it also costs a bloody fortune!! Yet, if you live in the suburbs and your kid isn’t part of some sport, some artistic or musical endeavor, or at least in boy scouts or girl scouts you are labeled a lazy parent.

DCIM100SPORT

Surely it gets easier when they are in middle school. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Sorry, let me catch my breath. Living with a middle schooler is like living with someone suffering from split personality disorder. On the one hand they are a “big kid” now and no longer need you to do things for them. On the other hand they are still “just a kid” and want you to do everything for them. The problem is you can only help them when they want you too, or you will start an argument and your tween or teen will turn into the anti-christ. But how do you know when they want you to help them?? If someone has figured out the answer to this question please feel free to share it with me because I am at a loss. The only time I know for sure my middle schooler wants my help is when he has homework, but then he tells me I am doing it wrong. I am a teacher!! You would think I would know how to help my child with his homework but not according to him.

The next big lie is that two kids are easier than one. I admit, when I had one little boy it was my job to play with him and entertain him. Now that I have two boys it is my job to keep them from killing each other. It’s not that they don’t like each other. They actually love each other a lot. But boys live to wrestle, jump down as many stairs as possible, climb trees as high as possible, and encourage each other to come within an inch of killing themselves. This year my oldest broke his nose from a tree and right now the youngest is sporting about 30 bruises on his legs. You ask him how he got them and he will tell you he doesn’t know. Last year the big one put the little one in a big cardboard box and was just about to push the box down a flight of stairs when I walked in the room and screamed! Both boys looked at me like I was the crazy person in the house.

up a tree

Also, with two children you get jealousy, competition, and five times the volume. Yes, I said fives times. You would think two kids would just be twice as loud but kid noise works on a level similar to the earthquake Richter scale. The volume goes up exponentially with the addition of each kid.

So my message to all new parents is to stock up on ear plugs, buy lots of band-aids, take a course or two to refresh your memory of all that homework stuff you forgot years ago, and learn to enjoy those good moments, and even the bad ones, because it is the bad moments you will laugh your ass off over as you retell them to friends while sharing a bottle of wine.
~Tina
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Comments

  1. My Favorite in this blog are the comments about the middle school child. As you know I have a 6th grader too. It’s so scary because the “split personality or anti-christ” as you put it happens almost overnight! Almost everyday is a full moon and hormones are raging! I just hope I get a break from the split personality in 7th grade. I need a rest!

  2. Well said. Well said. x

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