If you're a responsible human being, you should put yourself through several of these tests to see if you are ready for parenting... trust me, these lessons are more true and relevant than anything in any book. For me, the following would have helped prepare me:1, 2, 3, 5, and especially 8.
ARE YOU READY FOR MOTHERHOOD?
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the newspaper.
5. Read it for the last time.
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their.
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breast feeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behaviour. Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
My addition to this one is to get used to people doing the same to you - because very often parents who have kids older than yours (and forget the "early days") or parents who have kids younger than yours (and don't know what their in for) will do this to you as well.
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel.
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.
My addition? Have someone wake up with you each time and tell you "my baby has slept through the night since day one", bragging to you as they go back to sleep. That'll help you from hitting people in the future. ha ha ha. :p
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out.
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favourite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.
My addition... all morning? Fine when you're one maternity leave - but time allowed when you're back to work is much less, I'm sure. Try doing it in five minutes.
Second to that? Fill a diaper with a jar of baby food prunes. Try to put it on your dog or cat. This is what it's like to change a poopy diaper on a 10 month old plus. Trying to get a poopy diaper off a wiggling, flipping, moving baby is more impressive than cirque du soleil.
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.
My addition: Take a jar of baby food, a flexible spoon and sling shot some food onto your ceilings and your walls. Leave it there for two-three hours (which is how long it would probably take you to get around to it with a baby). It will dry. It will be impossible to remove without stripping your paint. I still have dried prunes on my wall from 6 months ago.
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
Hope you enjoyed! Mom's to be - if you find this scary... here's the truth of it. All of the above "challenges" and "annoyances" are wiped out within seconds by any of the following:
(1) One big smile
(2) A giggle
(3) A hug or kiss
(4) An "I love you Mommy"