No. You’re really, really not.
Look, let’s get one thing straight: I absolutely love all babies. I think they are the most adorable barrel of magical, monkey craziness that humanity will ever know. They are beautiful blessings and are worth every bit of love and devotion that we can give them.
Thinking that someone might want to have a child and yet, for whatever reason, is physically unable to have one breaks my heart a million times over.
But let’s get another thing straight: Babies are not exactly a cake-walk. In fact, as adorable as they can be, babies have the potential to perhaps be the biggest time, energy, and mental/physical health drain on this planet.
Anyone who is a full-time parent or who has spent an extended period of time caring for a baby knows this is true. Hell, most people who aren’t parents probably know that this true as well. It’s so blindingly obvious. Babies (and the whole parenthood shebang) are the biggest, heaviest, most endless source of energy-sucking madness.
Which is why it confuses me to no end whenever I see a newlywed bride just dieing to jump on the parenthood wagon a mere second after she’s signed the nuptial agreement. It is seriously one of the biggest mysteries to me. Because the crazy thing is that a lot of these women are totally aware of the fact that babies are very, very hard work. And yet they still try to convince me that they’re “ready” for this constant pooping, vomiting, sleepless tornado.
Some of the most ridiculous reasons I’ve heard from women telling me they’re “ready” are the following:
- “I LOVE BABIES!” – Look, think of it this way: Just because you love babies, doesn’t mean that you love toddlers, or pre-teens, or (gulp!) teenagers. You better realize that babies don’t always stay that way. So if you commit to having a child, you also better make sure that you completely understand all the endless drama that you have to put up with in every single stage of your child’s development. It’s not like you can return the kid after you’re done playing with it.
- “My husband is totally willing to have one!” – Yeah, and your husband could also be “willing” to buy a six-figure sports car and put himself in debt. Or “willing” to rewire the house himself and possibly set everyone on fire. So just because he’s “willing” does not guarantee that he’s actually equipped and ready enough to take on fatherhood.
- “I’ve already done a lot of fun stuff.” – Okay, why is it that people think that doing a bunch of fun stuff now won’t make you want to do it again later? Hello! The very concept of ‘fun’ is sold on the idea that it makes you want to do the same thing again and again and again. If you think that all the fun stuff you’ve done in your life is going to make you feel better about getting no more than 2 and a half hours of sleep per day for a year, or changing an overflowing, poopy diaper, or dealing with a severe banana allergy then you are wrong. And if you think you’re actually preparing for parenthood by doing a bunch of fun stuff now then you are wronger.
If you still insist on the fact that you’re “ready” to have your own child and have gone beyond these bottom-less excuses, then here’s what you basically need to do in preparation: everything that is the opposite of fun/relaxing/easy/within normal human management. This will be your baby practice.
Practice suggestions might include:
- Simulate bath time by trying to wrestle with a large, very slippery fish three times a week.
- Set a very loud and obnoxious alarm to wake you up every hour or so, have someone whack you with a bat, and then walk around aimlessly for about half an hour. Reset the alarm clock for another hour. Attempt going back to sleep.
- Cut your socialization down to about 30 seconds per conversation.
- Memorize a Dr. Seuss book and then re-tell it every single night from 8 PM to 9 PM.
- Every time you leave the house take two extra, huge bags of stuff with you wherever you go.
- Have someone throw baseballs at you and try to catch every single one while trying to make breakfast at the same time.
- Record the sound of a baby screaming it’s lungs off. Turn it on whenever you have to take an important call, study/work, open your laptop, or, basically, do anything marginally important or relaxing.
- Practice watching movies and TV shows in thirds. So a one hour TV show will take a whole day to completely finish. A two hour and a half movie is probably something like a week.
The list could pretty much go on and on, but you get the gist. If you want to start preparing yourself for parenthood start doing every unpleasant, energy-consuming thing you could possibly imagine. Keep doing these things for a whole year before you even think about getting pregnant.
If you can actually get through doing all these things for 365 days of your life and you still think you want to have a baby at that point then–AND ONLY THEN–could you possibly be ready to start taking on the responsibilities of having your own permanent, adorable, squishy, loveable beyond all imagination, tiny poop-machine.
All my love!