Here's Why Parenting Is Weird And Why We'll Never Be "Ready"
Being a parent is really weird. No matter how many books or articles you read, how much advice you glean from your parenting friends and forums, there are still so many things that can take you by surprise once you embark on this new chapter in your life.
Parenting is weird because you:
- Look forward to going to bed at 10pm even though you were a proud night owl before baby.
- Never felt more alive even though you're dead tired.
- Chase the baby with your breast (if you're breastfeeding) because they just won't keep still.
- Eat incredibly fast – when you can remember to eat.
- Constantly pick up food baby has thrown onto the floor. And eating it. No wasting!
- Smelling baby's butt. Everyday. 10 times a day. Even in public.
- Constantly worry about poop. Did baby poop enough? Is it too hard? Too watery? Too green?!
- Sleep like a pretzel to avoid waking the baby (if co-sleeping).
- Learn to become a ninja to avoid waking the baby when you creep off stealthily for a cup of tea while they nap.
- Suddenly becoming obsessed with discount coupons and vouchers.
- Go from buying a new outfit every month to wearing the same t-shirt over and over again.
- Stare at other babies.
- Stare at other babies' strollers.
- Inexplicably cry at every newspaper story or movie where a kid gets hurt or kidnapped or killed.
- Talk in a new language. It goes something like this: Gibble gabble bibble babble do dodododooo zoom zoom NO DON'T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH!
- Talk in third person - "Mama needs to go to toilet now. No you can't come with Mama. No you can't. Ok FINE, you can come with Mama."
- Suddenly becoming very well acquainted with kids' entertainment. Your video playlist now consists of Sesame Street songs and Disney music, My Little Pony and so on.
- Hope and pray for baby to go to sleep, only to miss them when they fall asleep and feeling impatient for them to wake up again.
- Do nothing all day but change diapers and keeping baby away from sharp objects and licking the cat. And considering that a perfect day.
Becoming a parent is a weird, wonderful journey. It's the hardest job in the world but also the best job I have ever had. And the weirdest thing is realising that none of the above is really that weird at all when you are a parent.
Because becoming a parent changes your life utterly and completely. You cease becoming the most important thing to you, because the most important thing in the whole world to you is your baby. As author Elizabeth Stone says so perfectly: "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body."
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