Everyone knows that parenting is simultaneously wonderful and stressful and changes your life forever. But unless you really press your parent friends, they might not tell you the juicy details of child-rearing.
Over on Quora, people with kids of all ages share the stuff they only learned after becoming parents. Some of it’s good; some of it’s … less good. If you’re expecting a kid, or thinking about having one in the not-too-distant future, read on to find out what no one else will remember to tell you — or have the guts to share.
‘You’ll develop a new sense of what you consider gross’
“You’ll eventually notice baby barf on your pants and think, ‘Eh, not bad enough to change to go to the store.’
“You’ll go out in public and realize you have a little poop on your sleeve, shrug your shoulders, and continue your shopping.
“You’ll show up in three-day old clothing to drop kids off at daycare and not even flinch.”
— Janice Schwarz
‘You are scared of silence’
“Children make noise from the moment they wake up until they go to bed at night. So when you hear running/screaming/throwing things/arguing/whining/complaining for 15 hours a day nonstop it becomes eerie to hear silence.
“When they are asleep at night sometimes I will go in the room to check on them to make sure they are still breathing. When they are awake and not making noise I get especially concerned……………………..because I am sure they are up to no good and I need to go and check on them RIGHT NOW!!!!!!”
— Weston Goodwin
‘Your child could be exactly like your partner’
“After conceiving, carrying, and delivering our baby, when she finally arrived, I expected her to be … well, like me!
“When I first laid eyes on her, my thought process went: Thank goodness we are all alive, I need sleep, and then, wow, she looks a lot like Jay.
“That first night she slept ‘skin to fur’ with Dad. They frequently snoozed together. Nobody told me how often I’d find her out of her crib and in his arms, nor how cute I’d find this.”
— Mira Zaslove
‘Nobody told me how much my emotional range would expand’
“In just the first year, I would have feelings I’d never even imagined myself capable of, good and bad …
“Your little baby can make you feel lower than low, exhausted, upset, inept and angry, and the next minute you can feel like everything on earth was smiling on you; you hurt from laughing and your heart feels like it’s literally going to explode.”
— Valerie Fletcher
‘You will often make the mistake of parenting the child you were instead of the child you have’
“That’s OK, as long as you recognize it and stop it immediately.”
— Imogen Moore
‘People tell you but you don’t believe it: how much you will love your children’
“Nobody can convince you that a new person, a complete stranger, one who didn’t even exist just a year earlier, will trigger this sort of love.
“You may have searched years for a person you could marry, but now one is just given to you (well, that’s the man’s point of view) out of seemingly nowhere.”
— Richard Muller