7 Things You’ll Think You’ll Care About After Having Kids But Won’t

When I was an expectant mom, I thought I had it all figured out. I’d have perfectly behaved kids who sat still in restaurants without devices. They’d let me have a conversation with another adult for more than 30 seconds. They’re be perfect angels.

Bwahaha! Let’s get real. After I had a baby, I realized that eventually I would have to get over some things I thought I’d care about, because there is just no other way. Life does change, and it’s easier if you realize this ahead of time instead of trying to squeeze your preconceived notions about parenting into real-life situations (hello, complete meltdown in Target). So you won’t have to go through all the inner turmoil I did, here are some of the lofty goals of first-time parents and why it’ll be OK to let them go. Really.

Related-ish: 7 Things That Will Make You A More Badass Mom


1. You think you’ll still want to meet up for drinks with your kid-free friends, but you’ll want to be in bed by 9.

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Giphy

Before you have kids, you think you’ll be able to tote along your kid to your local beer garden (that’s what baby wearing is for, right?). You think you’ll be able to meet up for happy-hour drinks before heading home to your kid, or hire a babysitter so you can join your friends at the bar after bedtime. But let me tell you why this will not happen: You’ll be tired AF. All that extra energy you used to have for going out? Your baby will suck it out of you. Plus, babies need you around, and you’re going to want to spend time with them, too. So unfortch, friendships with your hard-partying, kid-free friends may change—but you can still try to prioritize the occasional night out.

2. You think you’ll still want your kid to only wear eco-friendly sunscreen, but you’ll end up slathering on the Coppertone.

Sunscreen
Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s so hard to keep up with all the “rules” about what’s bad for your kid. Did you know, for example, you shouldn’t use baby powder? I mean, it’s called baby powder FFS. (Babies can inhale particles, causing lung damage; plus there may be a link to ovarian cancer.) You do as much as you can, but you will hit a breaking point. You cannot possible keep your kids away from every environmental toxin known to man, unless you’re prepared to live off the grid and make all your own soap. So relax. Regular old sunscreen won’t kill them. Probably.

3. You think you’ll never serve processed food (ahem, Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese), but it’s so much easier.

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Asiantown

You probably think you’re going to feed your kid organic all day every day. Maybe you even aspire to grow your own vegetables and make your own baby food. The thing is, that shit involves a lot of work. Maybe some of you moms will be able to do it, but I eventually decided it just wasn’t worth the aggravation. I try to buy organic when I can (although, damn, that shit is expensive), but I don’t freak out if my kid wants pizza every now and again…or every day. Sometimes, something’s just gotta give.

4. You think you’ll be grossed out by vomit and poop, until you have no choice but to deal because it’s all over you.

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Giphy

It’s really, really hard to be a clean freak with kids. Because kids are messy. There is just no getting around it. There will be bodily fluids everywhere, including but not limited to: spitup, vomit (which is different), pee, regular poop, diarrhea, boogers and drool. You can try hard to keep your clothes and furniture clean (stock up on that rug cleaner and stain stick), but you’re fighting a losing battle.

5. You think you’ll spend every day dressing up your kid in cute little outfits, but why bother when they just end up covered in vomit and poop?

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Tina Donvito

You probably won’t be able to resist at least one adorable Janie and Jack outfit for a holiday or party (or for posting on Facebook), but day-to-day, guess what your baby will probably be wearing? A onesie. That’s it. Now there are some cute onesies out there, but it really doesn’t matter because all you’ll care about is easy access for diaper changes. And they are going to be making such a mess (see number 4) that you might not even bother putting clothes on them at all. For toddlers it’s much the same rule at home, although now they do need to wear clothes in public (but be prepared for a fight on that one because toddlers love to be naked).

6. You think you’ll keep your tot away from screens, but they work so well.

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Kotaku

This is a major hot button issue, if you are living under a not-yet-a-parent rock. Besides that researchers think that maybe looking at screens is not great for baby’s brain development, people will judge you if you pull out the phone to keep your little one occupied at a restaurant. Apparently when we were kids crayons and a coloring book sufficed. Whatevs, would they really prefer to hear your kid scream? For me, I tried to keep screens to a minimum until after age two (and that was a challenge), but now my three-year-old knows how to work the iPad better than I do. Sometimes, it’s just not worth your sanity—and that really goes for any hardcore rule you think you’ll be enforcing.

7. You think you’ll want to be the cool mom, but you won’t end up giving a fuck.

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Let’s face it: We still want to be cool after we have kids. There’s a fear that goes along with becoming a mom, that we are going to lose part of our identity and end up a frazzled mess who just can’t hang like we used to. Well, I hate to break it to you but that does happen, to an extent. The early years of parenting are probably the hardest in that sense, because little kids need you so.damn.much. But you’re still in there, ready to make an appearance when the occasion calls for it. Maybe you won’t have your hair curled and heels on every day, but you’ll come to realize that’s OK. It’s doesn’t mean you’re not “cool.” It just means you’re a mom.

Related-ish: 8 Fights You’re Definitely Going To Have When You Become Parents

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