Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I've Been Hoodwinked

As my best friend recently stated, "Who's the genius who convinced us that having children was something we WANTED? Who convinced us it would be a GOOD thing? I feel tricked!"

This was said, of course, in jest during a birthday party after some of the kids got into a bit of a row. But there's some truth to this... and I think any parent who is willing to be brutally honest without coating everything in pink sparkley fairy dust and chocolate will say the same thing. Someone tricked us into thinking that having children would be amazing and rewarding, but for all the wrong reasons.

Here's what happens, and tell me if I'm wrong, but the process usually goes like this:

  • I babysat as a teenager, and did a pretty good job even though the kids were little heathens. Thank God I could leave at the end of a couple of hours.

  • Babysitting wasn't so bad. How hard could it be? I bet I'd make a great mom.

  • Awww, everyone in my graduating class is starting to have kids, how sweet! Thank God it's not me. I can't imagine being a mom just yet, I'm too young.

  • Geez, am I the only one not having kids yet? I don't want to wait until I'm too old.

  • Wow, my close friends are starting to have kids. They're so cute and sweet and cuddly!

  • That doesn't look so hard, I can deal with lack of sleep and a tighter budget.

  • Man, I really would love to have a baby. Why do I have to wait? She says having a baby is so rewarding, and there's nothing like it.

  • Damn it, being a mother is more important than ANYTHING, I would love to have my own baby RIGHT NOW!

  • Wow, it's pretty cool being pregnant.

  • I'm so tired, I've never been so tired before. Everything hurts.

  • Damn it, when will this morning sickness stop? When will this kid get out of me?

  • I want a natural birthing experience. I can handle pain, it's worth it for MY BABY.

  • OMG OMG OMG give me the farking epidural NOW!

  • Awwww she's so cute!

  • WTH is that black stuff? POOP?

  • Breastfeeding is so natural, and this is easy!

  • WTF is with the blisters on the boobs? OMG how many times a day can this kid poop? Do we have enough diapers?

  • HEY! WAIT A MINUTE! I just changed her outfit! How can she just have leaked poop AND spit up all over it already?

  • Meh, I can deal with the mess. Babies are messy.

  • Whoa, is this normal? Should she be crawling yet? Why isn't she walking yet? Is this rash enough to go to the ER? Holy moly, I can't believe she fell off the changing table!

  • I wish she could talk well.

  • Holy crap, why did I want her to start walking? She's into EVERYTHING! AAAHHHHH! I can't leave any of my valuables out or she'll break them! WTF?

  • Damn, what kind of attitude does this kid have?

  • NO! No, you may not have that $29.99 Barbie doll.

  • I wish she didn't argue so well.

  • Why did you color a mural all over that wall?

  • All right, who smeared peanut butter into the curtains?

  • Please, go to bed. It's 9:00 and past your bed time.

  • Holy hell, there is nothing like being a mother. It's so HARD.

  • Thank goodness for those hugs and kisses and "Mommy, I love you's" because they make this all worthwhile.

  • Man, I wish there were more hugs and kisses and "Mommy, I love you's" in between messes, tantrums, shouting matches, sibling rivalry competitions, and arguments.

  • How sweet, it's so nice to see them getting along and loving on each other!

  • I can't believe she's old enough to be in first grade!


  • I can't believe she's lost her first tooth!

  • Darn it, I have to scrounge up another $2 to put under the pillow for the damned Tooth Fairy.

  • I'm so sad, my youngest is a toddler and growing up far too fast.

  • Awww, I miss the infant stage.

  • HEY let's have another!

  • Lather, rinse, repeat process.

And that's before they even become tweens and teens. Seriously, who thought this would be a good idea? What's rewarding is that we can be good parents IN SPITE OF OUR CHILDREN and the messes they make. That we can love our children while still being completely embarrassed and angered by them as they're fighting with another child, or being sent to the principal's office because they lied about there being a boy in the girl's bathroom.

Yes, being a parent is rewarding. But not for the reasons you think of before you actually have your own real, live baby.

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