For some reason, coworkers and others sometimes ask me for advice on parenting. Maybe it’s because I am old and this gives me the illusion of having a clue, which I don’t, or maybe it’s because my child has at least survived these early years.
While I hate to give out unsolicited advice (okay, except for cooking) I figured if I just wrote down a few of these fantastic parental insights, it might be helpful to others.
Great Tips to Prepare for Parenthood:
- Repeat after me: When you have just fed your infant, do not hold her way above your head and look up, wide-eyed and open-mouth smiling. Don’t think about this one too much. Just trust me.
- Consider upgrading your kitchen to feature a cement floor with a center drain and handy hose on the wall. It makes a unique statement about your new lifestyle. Save water by washing the table, chairs, floor and child all at once!
- If you are compulsively neat or prompt, congratulations, your deprogramming is about to begin. Soon, you will be normal without all that therapy expense. Again, you’ll need the money you save.
- Take a box of cereal and dump it all over the back seats and floor of your car. Try and adjust to this. For an extra helper, have your spouse hide a partially full sippy cup of milk somewhere in the vehicle. You’ll figure out where it is in a week or so.
- Borrow toys, blocks and crayons from a friend with kids. Scatter these items all over your floor before bed. Set your alarm for 3 a.m. Get up and attempt to navigate the minefield in the dark. Hint: shuffle your feet.
- Instead of having intelligent conversation with your spouse at dinner, practice repeating over and over throughout the entire meal: “Sit down, please. No. Sit down, please. No. Sit down, please. No.”
- Chase the cat, naked, laughing, and brandishing salad tongs. He needs to prepare for the new arrival as well.
- Have dinner with your friends who do not have kids one last time.
- Practice sounding polite when you say the phrase over and over, “Gee, thanks for the advice, I am glad that worked for you.”
- Park the car at a green light in a busy intersection. Try to find your Special Happy Place of Mental Calm while dealing with yelling, honking and screaming nonstop.
Oh, c’mon. Do you really think you can prepare for parenthood? It’s harder than you think, and better than you can ever imagine. Buckle in and enjoy the ride.
[This post was written by Beth Bader.]