By Sane Mama
How delusional we are when we say, “I want a baby.” The imagery of a sweet, soft, cuddly little baby to call our very own. We’ll hang out with them on the nursery floor while they
We’ll hang out with them on the nursery floor while they coo and stare lovingly back at us. We’ll buy tiny little outfits and parade them around for all our friends and relatives who will just be dying to meet our new little human. And then at night, we’ll stand next to our husbands in the doorway and gaze adoringly at the little sleeping bundle. So sweet and peaceful in their crib. And we’ll smile at each other, basking in the glory of what we made.
Yep, what you want when you say, “I want to have a baby” is straight up delusional.
Sure, I wanted a baby. Several, actually, and that is what I got.
The full baby deal. I got thrown up on, peed on, pooped on. I got bitten during nursing. I got no sleep. I forgot how to take care of myself. I got worn down from ALL THE CRYING.
Guess what else you get? Toddlers. What, you didn’t realize that babies turn into toddlers?
Oh, the tantrums that come from not being able to express yourself or get what you want. Potty training? So much fun.
And the mess. Epic mess, all the time. I bet you didn’t realize that there is very little time for playing and fun stuff because you spend a majority of your time cleaning. Unless, of course, you are just better organized than I am, which is quite possible.
“I love you. I hate you.” “Red is my favorite color; no, it’s not.” “Why can’t I say bad words?”
“Red is my favorite color; no, it’s not.” “Why can’t I say bad words?”
“Why can’t I say bad words?”
Something about toddlers just brings out the grown-up tantrum in me. Heaven forbid you have two at one time.
See where we are going?
The kid years. These years might not be so bad if you can get the whining under control and establish decent routines. It’s really just a way station, a short-term reprieve, otherwise parents wouldn’t be able to make it through what is coming next.
Pre-teen years. There’s attitude brewing. Get your schedule out because you’ve just been promoted to taxi driver. And errand runner. And task completer. Don’t expect a thank you.
How about the teen years? Are you thinking of this when you decide you want to have a baby? The full-on head to head fighting necessary to establish a young adult. A separate identity from you as parents. The strain of having to give your child enough rope to hang themselves while sitting at home, panicked that they actually will.
Take a look at the parents of teens. See how much they’ve aged? That should give you a more accurate idea of what it’s really like.
Think it’s over after the teen years? Think again. Many young adults are still just as dependent on their parents as they were when they were in high school. Now they are just sucking your bank account dry and otherwise ignoring that you exist.
Speaking of people who don’t exist. Your husband is around here somewhere. While you’ve both been caught up in this parenting thing, you’ve completely forgotten that image of holding hands while you admire your offspring.
Don’t pay attention to the media or some phony Hollywood version of parenthood. Shit’s hard. It’s work. And sometimes you won’t even like your children.
It’s shortsighted to think that having a baby is just the “baby” part.
You’re signing up for the full-on package deal with no lifetime warranty. Don’t forget to read the fine print.
About the Author
Sane Mama is short for “Barely Sane” Mama, “Wish I Were Saner” Mama, and “I’m Running Away Until I Find Sanity” Mama. Follow her as she attempts to fight the impending chaos of parenting, stepparrenting, wifing, working and otherwise juggling at TheSanityPlan.com, @TheSanityPlan on Twitter, and @TheSanityPlan on Facebook.