A friend who is about to embark on motherhood asked for the ‘real scoop about motherhood, not the cheesy stuff they write in books.’ Well they may not write the truth in books, but the council of ‘Mothers Who Pretend Kids are Great’ doesn’t have jurisdiction in the blogosphere, so here goes.
1. Kids kind of suck. They wrap their suckiness in cute coos and smiles and adorable outfits from Janie and Jack, but this is just a mask for their putridness. They are disgusting creatures for the majority of their first 24 months. No one will offer to change their diaper. Why? Because IT’S DISGUSTING. People that don’t have kids will not offer, because well, why would they. And your friends with kids have already done their time and don’t want to do it again. Your mom may help occasionally but your Dad never changed yours (it’s a generational thing) and he sure as hell isn’t going to change the baby’s. You are on your own. Don’t get bitter and be a hater. It will pass.
2. Be prepared that THEIR nastiness renders YOU invisible for about 2 years. Because you are ducking into rooms to breastfeed or accompanying your toddler on her daily death hobble you can’t have a real conversation with anyone. You will constantly be saying ‘Oh, hold on a second..’ while you snatch a lego out of their mouth. Or ‘I’ll have to call you back…’ when you see them about to dump your wallet into the toilet. NO ONE LIKES YOU DURING THIS PERIOD. THEY ARE TOLERATING YOU. Remember this and be grateful for the friends that are still around when your kid turns three.
3. You will HATE your husband. This man that you pledged to love forever is now beneath you in every way – socially, physically, intellectually, financially, any –ally. This is hormonal and due to lack of sleep. You will lay in bed at night plotting how to kill him. You will sneak into the garage after a 3 AM feeding to check the life insurance to see how much you’d pocket after his untimely demise. This is normal, don’t be ashamed. No one will judge you for these thoughts. But here’s the kicker, and why a lot of marriages fall apart after kids, you have to remember in that little part of your brain where the real you still exists, that this is all temporary. So be KIND. Don’t say anything too hurtful that you can’t take back. This man loves you and this baby more than he loves himself, try to remember that as you have the pillow poised over this sleeping head.
4. Hygiene is still one of the basic tenets of a civilized person. Do your best to bathe once every 5 days. Try and brush your hair. ALWAYS WEAR DEODORANT. There is an 87% chance you will take the kid to pre-school in the shirt that you slept in. This is totally normal, so it’s really important you’ve kept up on your deodorant routine. Other moms can forgive the tussled hair and wrinkled shirt, but we are not so forgiving on the smell. So instead of registering for dumb shit, ask for a case of deodorant and tooth paste. This will be the best gift you ever received. Oh, and remember to pluck, we are not so forgiving of lip hair either. You’re a mother for God’s sake not a wookie.
5. Buy USED baby stuff. Don’t waste money on new bouncers and strollers, this stuff does not matter. No one is looking at your stroller or your diaper bag. Go to a consignment store and buy all your stuff and clothes there. Pricey outfits and jogging strollers are for grandparents and showers. Everything gets trashed so don’t get the good stuff.
Once the baby gets older we can cover off on What They Are Not Telling You – Ages 3-7. Topics include ‘No, your kid is NOT a genius’ and ‘Teachers Need HOW many days off?’ and ‘IPADS the best invention. Ever’ but for now keep breathing, stay healthy and know that we will be waiting for your after your time on the dark side. You are loved.