No matter how much time you’ve spent around kids, there’s no way to gradually ease into the fact that becoming a parent means your life changing dramatically and instantly.
• You'll hit a point a month-in where you've been running on fumes for weeks living a bizarre twilight existence and life as you knew it is unrecognizable.
The baby won't stop wailing, your husband is a buffoon, and your mother made a tactless comment about how she had no trouble nursing.
Your daily thoughts will be consumed with a log of
• feeding times,
• and bowel movements.
You'll suddenly feel like an anthropologist observing a foreign species when everyone in the room is talking about the new iPhone and the World Series and you realize you don't even know (or care, on particularly harrowing days) how your husband's day was, let alone the events of the world.
Your dream of hiking Half Dome will be replaced with the dream of spending an uninterrupted hour at Target.
• So universal is this that my hospital birthing instructor actually took the expectant moms aside during one session to warn us.
A low-grade general pissed-offedness will stew for weeks until it reaches a critical breaking point and the tiger becomes unleashed - perhaps
• when your husband requests sympathy for his lack of restful sleep,
• or when he complains he never gets a break when he arrives home at 7 from Happy Hour,
• or when he accidentally dumps the breast milk you painstakingly pumped for 45 minutes.
The dentist involves lying down in a passive state while someone takes care of you.
• Sex (if you're doing it right) involves slightly more work on your part.
Combine that with
• leaky breasts,
• and a human being helping itself to your body parts 24/7
and sex will sound a lot like one more person asking a favor of you.
Here’s how this one goes down:
• The toddler is going batshit because you couldn't find the orange hat and the baby is shrieking because she can't get herself to sleep.
• Suddenly you’ll see your life as a sort of third-person omniscient narrator juxtaposed with the image of your childless friends who are no doubt enjoying a lovely glass of chardonnay while they plan their trip to Brazil.
The reality of your new life will hit home when you realize your Netflix Recommendations are entirely composed of Barney holiday specials.
Particularly if you're naturally introverted and you have multiple children, the constant noise will destroy you.
It's not a background din that can be tuned out.
• No. This noise demands a response.
You've tried four times to tell your husband one thing that happened during your day and each time been interrupted by a toddler’s complaints of a hurting elbow.
The narrative typically takes the form of a MadLibs as follows:
• Your face will hurt from smiling so hard.
• You’ll want to inhale your child, so consuming is the love.
• You’ll rekindle the magic of your own childhood.
• Your heart will soar with each coo and grin.
As my mother told me, get ready for the ride of your life.