Now, before I bear the entire brunt of the Internet parenting community, I wholeheartedly agree that becoming a parent can be a wondrous joy. Nevertheless, I would not be honest if I did not admit some aspects of being a parent that is quite a pain. Sure, you are bound to encounter that one parent that extols the sheer happiness and bliss of having children. And don’t get me wrong, in many situations, this is absolutely correct. However, as new parents will soon realize, there are some facets to parenthood that we unconditionally detest. Dislike. Hate. Loathe. Now, for the purpose of this post, I am going to exclude the usual suspects: changing diapers, lack of sleep, etc. Because, being a parent or not, who would love cleaning up feces 8 times per day on 4 hours of sleep? And Lord, for our first child, my wife wanted to use cloth diapers. That novelty was jettisoned out the window by the time our second child arrived. Soaking, scrubbing, and washing cloth diapers with OxiClean and a toothbrush did not lead to a happy disposition. I confess this particular pain point was self-inflicted insanity. However, parents-to-be, I am warning you. There are certain situations that you may not be able to avoid, and you may be caught with your guard down. I am here to provide a heads-up.
- My 5-year-old daughter can explain how a bat uses echolocation for flight navigation. My 3-year-old son knows his vowels and understands what doleful means. My daughter and son both can name all of the continents. There are science projects. There are spelling tests. Therefore, I cannot complain too much about my children’s schooling. Nevertheless, the cost of quality education can be financially debilitating for many parents. It is not unusual for one parent to take a temporary hiatus from work, stay home with the little ones, and forego the need for daycare or early education programs entirely. Seriously, the cost of daycare might as well be a second mortgage and car note. And if a school is closed for any reason, you may find yourself scrambling for child coverage, or you may have to forego work for the day. So you may miss a day’s pay and still have to pay for that day of schooling – double whammy! Trust, investing in your children’s future by providing quality education is one of the biggest responsibilities that a parent will undertake. Nonetheless, be forewarned, it is going to hurt.
- Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. Hey Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. When your child is an infant, you eagerly await to hear those magic words that indicate a verbal form of parental recognition. Hearing mommy or daddy for the first time is a milestone that every parent anxiously anticipates. However, when your child starts to seriously form thoughts and sentences, brace yourself for a torrent of inquisitive inquiries and miscellaneous proclamations – all prefaced with mommy or daddy. Let me tell you, forget waterboarding as an enhanced interrogation technique, play a voice recording of a kid repeating daddy or mommy on a continuous loop, and watch your subject snitch out the entire organization and identify intended targets. You can add sleep deprivation for good measure. We hate that too remember.
- Trust me, the installation will never be as easy as the instructions or video will illustrate. Simply put, properly installing a car seat will be a pain in your back. Squeezing into a backseat to engage in a life and death struggle to safely install a car seat is no fun. Ask any parent, once that car seat is properly installed, you never want to remove it again. EVER. However, you will not be so lucky. One night, my wife came home late with one of the kids and I was greeted with the task of cleaning up vomit from the car seat. So late into the night, I had to remove the entire car seat, remove the upholstery, wash it, dry it, put the upholstery back on, and then reinstall that bad boy. Keep that instruction manual close – you are going to need it.
Be a Referee
- My children can have the same color bowl with the exact amount of popcorn in each, and they will still find a way to bicker over who gets what bowl. If you have more than one child, prepare for the incessant arguing and bickering over the most meaningless subjects. Lord have mercy.
Daylight Saving Time
- Every autumn, you perhaps eagerly anticipate the time when you get to enjoy an extra hour of sleep. If your state observes Daylight Saving Time, you know what I am referring to. But guess what? If you have a little one, your child’s body has no idea the time has shifted back an hour, or the time has shifted forward in the spring for that matter. So if your child’s wake up time is 7 a.m., be prepared to be stirred from your slumber at 6 a.m. And conversely, if you’ve jumped forward an hour, prepare to drag your kid out of their bed from a dead sleep. The solution for “falling back”: adjust your child’s bedtime 15 minutes later each progressive week (up to an hour) leading up to Daylight Saving. The reverse should be done in the spring and adjust bedtime 15 minutes earlier. I was lucky with my second child, as Daylight Saving does not appear (3+ years and counting) to have affected his sleep schedule.