I know a few people that are always going on about wanting children, how they’re going to have a baby in a year when things “settle down”, how they think they’d make great parents, how they’re going to do everything right when they have a little one of their own. And in nearly every single fucking instance, I think to myself, “You are the exact type of person who should not have a baby right now.”
And it’s because they really have no concept of what a baby is. What it means to have a child. They do not comprehend that once you decide to have a kid, the life you have led for however many years is gone. You have a new life now. In many ways, it will be better, and in more ways it will be harder, and that is due in no small part to the fact that parenting is one of the few things in life that you pretty much have to completely fucking improvise. There is no manual, no two week training period, no documentary. You just kinda have to, you know, do it, and hope like hell no one dies.
So. For those of you who think you can like, omigosh, so totally handle having a kid cuz maybe you’ve babysat a few times and your nieces and nephews seem to like you – read on. This is for you.
1. A baby is not a doll. You’re having a human, not a Barbie. And if you knew shit about kids, you’d know that the last thing you need is a plethora of cutesy little goddamn outfits, since a baby will just shit and puke all over them, then promptly get too big to wear any of it.
2. A baby is not a relationship Band-aid. Your marriage/partnership will not improve by bringing a human life in to the mix. My guess is it’s probably going to get worse because babies are stressful and exhausting. If your relationship is on the rocks, work that shit out before you drag an innocent child in to it.
3. A baby is not proof of your maturity. If you think it is, you’re not mature enough to have a baby.
4. A baby is not fun. Yeah, there are parts of parenthood that are fun. But in those early, formative months, it’s a lot of craziness, trial and error, questions, stress, confusion, worry, and sleepless nights. You aren’t going to have fun for a while, champ.
5. A baby is not temporary. Your life is changed now. You can’t just dump the kid off with someone and go about your pre-kid existence. You can’t party every weekend. You can’t party in the middle of the week. You don’t get to sleep 12 hours a day anymore. Your shitty minimum wage job will no longer cut it. Your child deserves all of you, they require the absolute best that you have to give.
6. A baby is not a dog. I shouldn’t even have to fucking say this. I don’t care how much you love your dog. I don’t care that your dog has pet insurance and is doted on and worshipped. I don’t care that you think dog owners have it harder because they don’t qualify for government assistance (yeah, I’ve actually heard these words come out of someone’s mouth). YOUR DOG IS NOT A FUCKING HUMAN BEING. PERIOD. IT IS NOT THE SAME.
To help put this in perspective: Let’s say your apartment building is on fire. A baby is trapped inside. So is your dog. Now let’s say your best friend comes along. When given the choice between rescuing YOUR DOG and a STRANGER’S BABY most people are going to pick the baby. Yes, the fact that you take such good care of your pet is a good indicator that you’ll be good with a child. But if you think caring for a dog and caring for a baby are basically the same thing, you’re a fucking idiot.
7. A baby is not leverage. Pregnancy is not how you keep a man in a relationship. A child is not a pawn for use in your divorce/break up. If you think a child is a good way to manipulate people, you are a shitty person.
8. A baby will not grow up to be your best friend. It’s your child, not your buddy. You did not give birth to a minime. You gave birth to a goddamn individual. If you are still operating under the assumption that you won’t be like your parents, that you’ll let them wear what they want and talk how they want and do what they want, you are delusional. My kids’ grandmother put it best: “if your teenager doesn’t hate you at some point, you’re not doing your job as a parent.”
9. A baby is not a trophy. You are going to fuck up this kid. No matter what you do, you will do something wrong. And chances are, your kid is still going to be okay. If you have this grand idea in your head that feeding a kid only organic food and never letting them watch TV and making sure every hard surface in their life is covered in foam, you are totally missing the point of being a parent. A baby is not something you parade around and show off so everyone knows what a stellar person you are. You aren’t perfect. Your kid won’t be either. And that’s okay.
Please breed responsibly.