Parenting is unpredictable, but there are a few rock-solid guarantees. You will love your child with a love unlike any other. And yet, there will be times when you wonder exactly what you have gotten yourself into.
Beyond these parenting basics, there are a few unspoken parenting rules among those who have spent some time in the trenches. There are 10 commandments you can always count on once you become a parent.
1. One post-baby drink will knock you on your ass
Pop out a baby, and suddenly, you’re a cheap date — whee! The downside is that even a few drinks will give you a monstrous hangover in the morning.
2. Any home-cooked meal you make for your toddler will be thrown on the floor
Your child will welcome crappy, processed chicken nuggets with open arms. Try to make the same dish from scratch, and it will end up on the floor every time.
3. The one time your kids sleep in, your body clock will wake you up two hours early
Even when the opportunity presents itself, you probably won’t enjoy a real morning of sleeping in until your kids leave for college.
4. You will run out of coffee the morning after your teething baby keeps you up all night
And your husband will take the car with the baby seat so that you can’t run to Starbucks for emergency fuel.
5. You will cry at sappy long-distance commercials
Do they even make long-distance commercials anymore? Just know that every time you see a child calling his grandparents on TV, you will wipe a single tear from your eye.
6. You will be “that parent” who tells the cliché kid stories you vowed to never tell your friends
You swore you would never talk to your single friends about your kids learning to walk, talk and use the potty, but more often than not, it happens. Show your remorse by buying the next round of drinks.
7. Your child will always get sick on a holiday
If it is Christmas, a birthday or any other special event, your child will always, always wake up sick. I’m still waiting for the day when my 3-year-old can open presents without a rattling cough and runny nose.
8. Your child will be sick at every well-check appointment
What is the sound of one hand clapping? What is the point of a well-check when your child is always sick? The world may never know.
9. As soon as you start to like one annoying kid’s cartoon, your child will declare that they hate it
Once you finally embrace the bald-headed annoyance that is Caillou, your kids will protest him. Go figure.
10. Your child will only sleep in the car when you are racing home for nap time
Plan for your kids to sleep on a road trip, and they will scream for hours. Try to speed home in rush-hour traffic to make nap time, and they’ll knock out in five minutes — only to jump in their crib for hours.