Quite a lot of movies, books, and even songs represent parents as saints or people with few personal needs. Meanwhile, in reality, most parents feel annoyed, frustrated, and even driven nuts when dealing with their children. We are only human after all. The little people in our lives are extremely proficient at finding our weak spots. They seem to instinctively know just how to get our goat.
1. You never wake up naturally
I never wake up by myself. I never even wake up with the alarm clock. I’m usually woken up by a small face appearing in front of mine and loudly asking, “Are you awake, Mom?” From the moment you become a parent, the days of waking up naturally are gone. Everyone acts like that’ll change. Here’s a newsflash – it won’t.
2. You never stop cleaning up messes
It never fails. Your little one asks for a glass of water or milk and two seconds later – it’s on the floor. Or down your shirt. Or in your shoes. You might think you’re clever and put the liquid in a sippy cup. It doesn’t matter. They will find a way to spill it.
3. You never get to eat dessert without sharing
My kids are experts at wolfing down their own desserts, giving me sad eyes, and asking for “just one bite” of mine. I have been known to actually shield my dessert from them with my hands while growling, “Get away from my cake.” It’s like Lord of the Flies when it comes to dessert and kids. Ever tried eating a piece of cake in front of your two year-old and offering them fruit as a “healthy snack option instead? You only try that one once and live to tell of it.
4. You can’t leave home without packing half of the house
Leaving your home used to be so quick and easy. You’d grab your purse, maybe a drink for the road, and you’d walk out the door. Now you need at least 30 minutes to prepare. The world might end if you forget a sippy cup, a change of diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, bottles, a special blanky, a change of clothes, and so on. Leaving your home requires roughly the same amount of planning that some military missions do. There are no quick errands anymore. If you get brave enough (IE: crazy enough) and leave the house without the all important diaper bag, you know your kid is going to have a blowout so epic that they’ll be talking about it at the grocery store for some weeks to come. Trust me, I know this from personal experience.
5. You can’t have nice things
Do you have a beautiful and intricate rug? Not anymore. With kids running around, you might as well go ahead and rub chocolate all over it yourself. Perhaps you have a priceless heirloom mirror from your grandmother? Just break it now. That’s what it’ll look like in the near future if you leave it in your home with kids around. No matter how much you love your little rug rats, rest assured that they will trash everything in your home. It’s their job.
6. You never pee alone
For some reason, young children think that going to the bathroom is a group activity. You think you’re going to steal away for 2 blessed minutes to pee in peace – you’re not. They will find you. And they will have urgent needs the minute you sit down. They need a snack “NOW!” They broke your favorite vase. They lit the kitchen on fire. If you don’t get off the toilet, what’s next?
7. You find that vomit is magically attracted to your body
It starts when kids are tiny babies. They spit up on you – a lot. And it usually happens right after you’ve put on a fresh shirt or dropped the burping cloth. Then they become toddlers and get the stomach flu for the first time. You know what comes next – they throw up on you. You tell yourself it’s because they don’t understand the feeling of nausea and what usually happens next. Then they become preschoolers and they come into your room to tell you they don’t feel well – and throw up all over you. Even elementary school kids seem to do this. Parenting is rife with puke. It nearly always ends up all over you.
8. You repeat yourself 10 billion times
Ever tried to teach a small child manners? Or tried to explain why dragons can’t be pets? It takes a special kind of patience to torture yourself daily with explaining the same things over, and over, and over again. The next day it’ll start all over again. Ever had your four year-old give you a puzzled look when you say, “I didn’t hear the magic word” for the twelfth time that day? You patiently explain that when you ask for more milk, you have to use the word “please”. They will look at you in confusion. I swear.
9. You reheat your coffee at least 10 times before you drink it
Remember the days when you sat down to the paper and a steaming cup of Joe on Sunday mornings? You could relax and drink your delicious beverage while it was hot. Once you have kids, you have two choices. You either chug your coffee while it’s so hot you actually get third degree burns on your tongue, OR you drink it in small sips in between its trips back and forth from the microwave.
10. You face resistance to sleep every single day
No matter how tired your kid is, they will fight sleep. In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation between tiredness and sleep resistance. As in, the more tired and hyper your kid is, the more viciously she will fight sleep. Your kiddo will always come up with some amazing reasons she can’t go to bed just yet. Ever heard the one about how there is a dragon in her room that only comes out when it’s dark and no parents are around? Or how he is so thirsty he might just die without water? Or how one more bedtime story will surely bring immediate and glorious sleep? Or how it’s not fair that grown-ups get to stay up late and do amazingly fun things like the dishes? I could go on and on… like an annoying little (lovable) kid.
Featured photo credit: Man and child at Occupy Wall Street/Timothy Krause via flickr.com