10 Hilarious Truths You Can’t Warn Parents About

Forget the stuff they tell you in parenting books. These are the real lessons parents learn in the school of life.

little girl drawing on the wall

You bought all the parenting books and combed all the websites. You attended a birthing class and a parenting class. You talked to your mom friends and your awesome midwife. You feel as ready as you’ll ever be to become a mom.

I know all those people mean well, but they’re not telling you the whole story. Here are 10 hilarious and horrifying parenting truths I found out the hard way…

  1. There’s no such thing as a quiet toddler

Enjoying a relaxing cup of tea in your kitchen while your little cutie plays quietly in their room? RED ALERT! Do not let your guard down! Toddlers never play silently in their rooms. They’re either redecorating with diaper rash cream or drawing rude-looking pictures on their walls in permanent marker. Then again, maybe you’re willing to pay that price for 10 minutes of peace. You decide.

  1. You’ll never cut your child’s toast right

Stop trying to “guess” what they want on their toast and how they want it cut because you’ll never get it right. You have to ask them every single morning and preferably have them supervise you while you make it. One of my four-year-old twins insists on giving me detailed toast instructions each morning even though she ALWAYS has it the same: “Peanut butter and honey and banana and cut.” One morning, after making her toast the same way for about 112 mornings in a row, I made it without asking her. She took one look at it and launched into an epic tantrum. “NOT CUT! NOT CUT!” she screamed as I skulked back to the toaster.

  1. It won’t be fine if you watch *just one* extra episode on Netflix

I know you were your child’s slave for 12 hours. I know you deserve Mommy Time. You do, you REALLY do. But I have some really bad news for you (sorry): there’s no point system in the parenting world. After a particularly hard day, no one will ever hand you a “get out of exhaustion free” card that allows you to stay up till midnight watching Sex and the City reruns and wake up fresh as a daisy at 4:37am (or whatever stupid o’clock your child wakes up). I mean, you can stay up that late. But you’ll feel like you were hit by a Mack Truck and you’ll spend the entire day cursing yourself and searching for coffee. Not worth it.

OK, sometimes it’s worth it.

  1. Sniffing your child’s underwear to check if it’s clean is NEVER a good plan

Kids’ butts might be cute, but they still smell like butts. I’d like to say I did this once and learned my lesson, but I still do it all the time *facepalm* I just really, REALLY don’t want to have to do any extra laundry, OK?!

  1. Your child’s favorite meal will become their most loathed meal without warning

Your child might demand spaghetti and meatballs every second day for a year, but one night you’ll serve it up and they’ll scream: “I HATE THIS DINNER!” and throw it across the room. Don’t bother trying to convince them to eat it by reminding them of the 537 previous times they devoured it because spaghetti and meatballs is dead to them. DEAD. You’d be better off trying to serve them a plate of steamed spinach with a side of boiled Brussels sprouts.

  1. If you let your child close their eyes for three minutes in the late afternoon, they’ll be up all night

Parenting is tiring and sometimes you need a break. I get that. But you should NEVER take that break in the car ride on the way home after a long day. I know how tempting it is to let your exhausted small fry close their eyes for “just a minute”, but you’ll get greedy once they’re sleeping peacefully and a minute will turn into an hour. You’ll really regret your decision when the apple of your eye is still singing the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme song at the top of their lungs at 10:46pm.

  1. The TV shows and songs you hate the most will become their favorites

Speaking of the Chipmunks, Dora, Caillou, The Wiggles, Elmo and all the other grating kids’ TV show characters out there, keep in mind this basic rule: the more you hate them, the more your child will love them. The same inverse correlation applies to irritating songs like Baby Shark and Who Let the Dogs Out? Your options are to: A) Throw away the TV and radio; B) Buy noise-canceling headphones; or C) Grin and bear it like the rest of us suckers.

  1. It will cost you $47 in snacks to take your child grocery shopping

The only way to maintain a modicum of sanity while grocery shopping with a child is to feed them a steady supply of snacks to keep them quiet. By the time you hit the cash register, you’ll realize that you could’ve bought a new pair of jeans with the amount of money you just spent on finger foods. Hot tip: Choose relatively healthy and bland snack items such as rice crackers and yogurt pouches while shopping. If you get them chocolate JUST ONCE, they’ll scream for it every time you pull into the Whole Foods parking lot.

  1. Your child will lick everything in sight

Public handrails, discarded pieces of gum (not theirs), shoes, the cat… nothing is too gross to lick. Is there a pandemic on? Oh, they’ll wash their hands 28 times a day. But they’ll still lick the counter while you’re paying for your take-out coffee. 

  1. Your child is an angel when you’re not around

Don’t believe me? Ask their teacher, babysitter or friends’ parents and they’ll probably tell that you your child has wonderful manners and is cute as a button. You’ll most likely have trouble containing your scowl because this portrayal will not compute with the brazen wild child you know and have come to love, but experts say it’s a common phenomenon. Apparently, kids save their worst behavior for their parents because we’re their safe place where they can be themselves and let it all out bla bla… Personally, I’d love some more good behavior at home, but at least they’re not being terrors when I’m not around. Silver linings and all that *eyeroll*

 

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