[Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the following post is meant to be humorous. It is not a list of scare tactics designed to scare anyone from procreating. It is not a whine-fest in which we, as parents seek pity. It's merely a look into some of the funnier, less glamorous aspects of being a parent. Kids are awesome. I should know, I'm about to have three of them. I wouldn't trade being a mother for all of the wine, fancy vacations and liposuction in the world. If you think you are unable to read the following post and laugh along with me, or if you are unfamiliar with my sense of humor, then I encourage you to click the "X" at the top of your browser immediately, saving us both the negative energy. This post was not written to be taken seriously. Proceed with caution.]
One of the questions I'm most often asked when it comes to mothering is "How did you know it was the right time to have a baby?" And for those of you who find yourself asking a similar question, I wanted to share with you just how I knew it was the right time for me and maybe after reading this, you'll find that you are indeed ready to have a baby after all.
I can't tell you the exact moment I felt we were ready to have a baby but I can tell you that once you have one, making the decision to have another is monumentally easier. That if you're ready to quit being selfish, to give up the majority of your time, your energy, your sleep, a good portion of your waistline and half of your finances to someone much smaller, much less forgiving and frankly, someone without any patience whatsoever who will be unable to mutter the words "thank you" for at least two years, let alone say them with any earnest meaning, then you're ready to think about having a baby. After all, "they" say that motherhood is hardest, most demanding job in the world.
I have to think "they" haven't tried lion taming or alligator wrestling because some days those two occupations seem inifnitely harder, although equally as dangerous...
Along that line, here are 8 Semi-Serious Reasons You're Ready To Have A Baby:
8. You Have Moments Where You Can Refrain From Smothering Your Spouse.
If at 3 o' clock in the morning, you can look over at your spouse sleeping soundly on the couch while you're holding a screamy, colickly newborn who is clawing at your nipples which are so sore from breastfeeding that you're certain they're going to fall off onto the floor at any minute, and while doing so, you can refrain from smothering your spouse with the nearest throw pillow, then you're ready to have a baby.
7. An Interior Design Palette of Primary Colors Tickles Your Fancy.
If you're ready to give up that Pottery Barn Meets Restoration Hardware picture-perfect vision of the inside of your home and you can embrace a living room (and dining room, and entry way, and office) that looks like something akin to the aisles of a Toys R' Us or the interior of the nearest preschool, then you're ready to think about having a baby.
6. You Prefer To Eat All Meals Standing Up.
If you're ready to eat all of your meals in the upright position, hovering over your plate near the stove and can put down your fork and stop eating approximately once every thirty-five seconds with a smile on your face, then you're ready to have a baby. Why? Because that is how often your baby, who will eventually grow up into a toddler, will need something. A new fork. More milk. Less milk. New milk. The old fork.
5. The Thought Of Sleeping In Two Hour Increments Sounds Glorious.
If you're thinking of having a baby, try having your spouse startle you awake wake one night every two-ish hours. Let him do so by either screaming into your ear or slapping you across the face. Believe me, waking up after either feels about the same as waking up to the shrill cries of a newborn. Then in the dark, have your husband hand you a backpack full of parenting books that you always swore you would read and strap that bad boy to your chest while walking around the room in circles trying to remember in your dazed and confused state just what those 5 S's stood for.
4. You Don Spit Up or Other Bodily Fluids As Your Latest Fashion Accessory.
And what's more, you don't even think twice about changing once you've realized the offending fluid and carry on with the rest of your day. Really experienced parents, meaning the ones who have become so hardened by parenthood, will take this a step further and actually lick said offending stain in order to determine with certainty what it is and where it came from. If you're ready to lick and/or sniff baby vomit on the collar of your shirt, you're ready to have a baby.
3. You Can Laugh In The Face Of Sheer Pain.
There is no singular pain that can bring a grown man (or woman) to their knees faster than stepping on a Hot Wheels, Lego or Little Person in the dead of night. No matter how hard you try to clean up those tiny toy fuckers, one of them undoubtedly will leap out of the toy box and plant itself right beneath your bare foot when you least expect it. If you can "take it like a man," (obviously one who doesn't have children and has never experienced this kind of pain) then you're ready to have a baby.
2. You Don't Care To Finish A Movie, Book, Phone Call or Hell, A Thought In Its Entirety. Ever.
Babies have a keen sense of awareness regarding any time you try to give 100% of your attention to anything that doesn't revolve around them. Try making a phone call and having to interrupt your discussion every three and a half minutes to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. While on the phone, you must also talk three decibels higher than normal in order to be heard over the din that is having a baby. Start that movie you've been wanting to watch for weeks. Press pause at all of the really exciting parts because that's usually when someone wakes up crying after a nightmare, or they've wet their bed, or they're covered in vomit, exorcist-style. Oh, you like to read, do you? Put down your favorite piece of fiction and memorize Chicka Chicka Boom Boom because it's the only book you'll be reading for at least five months. If you're prepared to do (or not do) at least half of the things mentioned above, then you're ready to have a baby.
1. You're Ready To Become That Parent.
The one who in your pre-baby days you rolled your eyes at, made fun of and insisted you would never, ever become. The one who posts baby picture after baby picture after baby picture to Facebook, each picture looking awfully similar to the last. So similar in fact, it's like playing "Can You Spot The Difference" at the end of People Magazine, a magazine you haven't read in months, despite having a subscription to. The kind of parent who celebrates with an award-winning red carpet roll-out, the first tooth, the first word and the first steps of their offspring. The ones who thinks they have the cutest baby in all the land because, let's face it, nothing less than cute could come from you.
If you're ready to become that parent, and trust me, we've all been there, then you're ready to have a baby.
Tell me, how did you know you were ready to have a baby?