To Everyone Who Had Kids Before Me

Julia Arnold essays

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You know how before you had kids, you used to think your friends, siblings, and co-workers with kids were a little crazy? You and your spouse would look at each other and under your breath say, “We'll never do that.” Whatever that might be.  Oh, how wrong I was.

Here are a few thoughts I had pre-baby  that I'd like to now openly apologize for:

1.  Why on earth do they plan their whole day around their children's naps? Can't the kids just sleep in the car? 
No, they can't 'just sleep in the car' if you want them rested and happy and somewhat enjoyable to be with. And they plan their days around naps because that is their only salvation!

2.  We'll always manage to go out and have fun, even when we have kids.
Unless you have a babysitter, family member or friend who is willing to give up any of their free time, sadly you will not get to go out and “have fun” whenever you want.  You will need to find, interview, and pay a babysitter, and organize a “date night” on one of those huge family calendars you never thought you'd buy.

3.  I'll be sure to dress well even if I stay home with kids. 
Excuse me for a second, I just have to stop laughing at myself as I sit here in my old Adidas shorts from college with a t-shirt I got on sale at Target…ahhhh!

4.  So, if you quit your job to stay home with your kids, you just hang out, watch t.v, take them out to lunch, have lots of playdates, etc? That'll be a walk in the park compared to [whatever job you might have] full-time. 
It may be somewhat less stressful than the demands of a full-time career outside the home, but being a SAHM is certainly not easier or less exhausting.

5.  Why don't they ever come out anymore? I miss her!
Trust me, she misses you even more.

6.  They can't come to our wedding because they have kid(s)? Really?! I'm so disappointed! 
Yes, it is disappointing when some of your favorite people can't make it to your wedding, but once you have little babies/kids, you realize why it is so hard to travel with little ones (and if it's a no-kid wedding, what are you supposed to do with your children while there anyway?). Inability to go to a wedding certainly does not mean they don't care or value your friendship.

7.  What's with all this “picky eater” b.s.? They should eat whatever's on their plate. We'll never cater to our kids!
Ah, the sticky smell of ignorance. You can be oh-so-smug until you experience the joys of a picky eater for yourself. Because guess what? If you have a picky eater and don't occasionally make chicken nuggets? Your kid just might not eat anything but Goldfish that day (and yes, you'll probably buy those too. Don't judge).

8.  Did you see how many toys they have? No one needs that many in their house! 
Hahahaha. The innocence of youth.

9.  Oh, come on, potty training can't be that bad. 
My 3-year-old went through a stage when the only place he'd pee outside of a diaper was in our shower. Enough said.

10. Have you noticed how much Jack and Suzy bicker since having kids? We'll never be THAT couple. 
I love my husband, perhaps even more now that we have children together, but it's a lot harder to be lovey-dovey all the time when you haven't had a full night's sleep in a couple of months, you take turns changing diapers, and the last dinner out was the McDonald's Drive-Thru.

About the Author

Julia Arnold

Julia Arnold is a mom of two young kids living in the Twin Cities who is still coming to terms with the fact that her counters are always sticky, and her floor is never clean. She writes about the less glamorous side of new motherhood on her blog .

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