Anyone who has ever been a parent knows that the job is nothing like the situational comedies we see on TV or in the movies—with all of the burps, fusses, and mess-making timed just a little too perfectly to truly mirror the real world. While we all expect these quirky fictions from screenwriters, most of us probably thought we could depend on our own mums to give as an accurate depiction of what parenting is really like. But in the effort to be viewed as “super parents” they, too, have left out and/or fabricated some important details. Here are some things she forgot to mention about parenting:
1) You’ll never get a good night’s sleep again.
Whether it be your baby’s dirty nappy or your ten-year-old’s terrible nightmare, truth is that once you become a parent, you’ll never be able to get the blissful night’s sleep you once enjoyed. So get used to your kids waking you up for the next several years, and remember that unlike your alarm clock, there is no “snooze” button for crying!
2) You’ll spend more time in sickness than in health.
Your mum may have told you that she enjoyed taking care of you when you were sick—making you soup, taking your temperature, putting a wet towel on your forehead. What she didn’t tell you was how often you and your siblings got sick. When we send our kids off to daycare or school every day, what we’re really sending them to is a breeding ground for germs—and all of the common colds, flu-like symptoms, ear infections, and chicken pox that come with it. Oh, and between the germs and constant sleep deprivation, you’ll be more susceptible to sickness as well. Lucky you.
3) You’ll become an expert in bodily fluids and functions.
Being a parent often requires you to know your child more intimately than you ever wanted to know another human being. That’s right, I’m talking about all the snot, spit, urine, and defecation you have to deal with on a daily basis. To some extent, you were probably expecting this when you became a parent, but what you may not have known is that sometimes, your baby’s health depends on you paying attention to what’s inside the nappy—size, colour, and shape of bowel movements can tell you a lot about their health.
4) Your children will embarrass you.
While we’re all certainly proud of our children—and often take great measure to display that pride in our conversations with other parents—there will be moments when your children will make you wish you were invisible: screaming in the middle of an important ceremony, knocking down boxes at the supermarket, throwing a temper tantrum at the shopping centre, etc.
5) Your kids are a lifelong financial investment.
Forget your mortgage and your credit card bills. The biggest expense of your adult years will likely be raising your children. According to the latest data from LV, the average cost of raising one child from the cradle to college is now a whopping £222,458. Education, childcare, and food are the biggest expenses, but costs crop up everywhere you can imagine: diapers, clothing, toys — even the cost of baby furniture! If you have a big family, get ready for the financial pinch.
Cherrie West knows way more about parenting than she lets on…!