There is a lot of advice veteran parents give (solicited and unsolicited) to those who don't have children yet, or are in the throws of early parenthood. BUT, what about the real details? The things that really cause all parents to experience their own fails? Who tells parents the nitty gritty?
Have you heard that raising kids costs serious bucks? There are many ways to save money on babies like breastfeeding in lieu of expensive formula, cloth diapers save from the cost of those disposables. Don't buy what you don't need right? Babies don't need much, just love and snuggles. Until they start talking, and requesting, and demanding, and begging so sweetly with those big brown/blue/green eyes that you just cannot say no to, if you are the weak link (like my husband). The truth to why raising kids can be so expensive, is because YOU are the reason it's expensive. Bottom line.
I haven't added it up, but I am pretty sure that all the crap we have purchased has already bypassed the cost of college tuition and she's only 6. I am going to do new parents a favor and divulge the secrets to how your budget takes a nose dive when you have kids.
When I was a kid, we had dolls and etch-a-sketch and Sesame Street. We had roller skates, soccer balls, bicycles, and our imaginations. One day I was chatting with a young lady who was seriously traumatized that she didn't get her first iphone until she was 14. I mean, how awful, how would her life ever be able to be normal now? I didn't get my first iphone until I was 46, and my first cellphone when I was 31, and that was only because I worked for the company and got a $5 employee cell phone plan.
You hear things like "they grow up so fast, you blink and they're 18". It's normal for every parent that can’t wait for their kids to talk and compete against who can get them to say mama or dada first, but nevermind that. When they do start talking, they talk incessantly and repeat your assigned name over and over. Even though dada was her first word, Mama, moma, mommy, mama, mooooooommmmmm!
Let's tell parents how important parental control passwords are... How much they will spend on learning and game apps, Disney movies, Netflix subscriptions, movies accidently purchased for $27.99 because parental controls weren't set because we couldn't figure out the fricken cable menu to get five levels in to the parental setting. Yet you only need to click purchase once to get the damn movie. Oh, and the desperate need to have every character toy after watching said movies. Songs stuck in my head, but when I sing them out loud she tells me to stop because I don't sound good.
Let's talk about Pull ups or diapers well past potty training years for nighttime wetting. My daughter is 6 and we are still donating to the pull-ups empire for the nighttime bladder. AND laundry, goodness, no one ever shared what would happen if you washed a pull-up. If your day wasn't already plate-ful, washing a pull-up just may push you over the edge and consider taking out a line of credit to buy a brand new washer and dryer because like a bottle of spilled glitter, it seems the absorbent beads number in the millions just for one diaper. Ya, figure that one out for yourself new mommy. You're screwed and no one will volunteer to help you with this mess.
ALWAYS CHECK DIRTY LAUNDRY FOR DIAPERS OR PULL - UPS !!!
Is it just girls, or is laundry pre-prep a managerie of untangling the underwear from the pants legs like a jenga puzzle and folding clean laundry to find 8 individual socks and no matches. I started to buy white socks, but same prob. Can’t find the dingy one to match the other dingy one and where is the mate for the stretched out ankle sock? Do I just save this sock for a dust mitt or wait until I do another load of laundry for the mysterious sock to appear?
I don't recall hearing about the never ending barrage of picking shit up and how kids take wrappers off things and chuck them on the floor like it’s second nature - like blinking when you sneeze. Everyone hears jokes about legos on the floor. Hell, there are viral videos showing people competing in LEGO walking- blindfolded like fire walking. The ante keeps getting upped in my house, now that I discovered a whole other barrage of tiny microscopic toys. New to me as a parent, prob been around for decades... The little pet shops, the shopkins and every other little hatchimal lallaloopsy fricken LOL and barbie accessories - the crap that leaves trails of miniature parts and pieces everywhere. For $1B I would not be able to correctly assemble anything to it’s originally built by instructions design if given a ten minute challenge. I've thrown my back out picking up so much shit that I finally just started to vacuum whatever will fit up the tube. OMFG my vacuum cleaner sounds like those child poppop ones when I suck up another LEGO hatchimalistic pet plastic and four more sets of earrings, three hair bands, 2 dried up apple slices, and a partridge in a pear tree.
So, let's play some games. FUN! I was so excited to play Candyland with my 3 year old, until I learned that Candyland is the gateway game - to cheating. Cheating starts with Candyland. The kid gets to spin the dial until it lands on the one she wants. Or we will argue. I will argue with a 3 year old that she moved three REDS instead of two. The only person that wins at Candyland, is the child, I learned that the hard way. AND how come no one told me that my favorite childhood game "Chutes and Ladders" would be the bain of my existence as an adult. Longest game I've ever played, so I started cheating just so the game would be over. Damn chutes. You think I would have learned my lesson with games, until we got Sorry. The game is called "Sorry", so why are you crying when mommy wins the game? SORRY! So when you accidentally lose so they can win and stop whining, but instead they cry cause you let the win. Cannot win for losing, oh now I know where that saying comes from.
Oh and all the slime doh, sand and powder kinetics, molds and meltybeads and water beads, and broken crayons. Did you know broken crayons still color? I learned that on Pinterest. But trying to do that fricken DIY melty crayon Pinterest picture where you melt the crayons with a blow dryer. Try it if you want. Then I can laugh at your pinterest fail.
One day you learn about the concept of time. You make mistake of telling a child with no concept of time, that 24 hours from now something exciting will happen, and for the next 23 hours and 59 minutes they ask you how much longer before we go do it. As you are getting ready to literally walk out the door to leave, now is when you cannot find the other shoe. We have had 23 hours to plan for this and now we cannot find the shoe. Never mind making the tragic mistake of telling same time challenged kid them they are going to see their cousins the following weekend. Forget hours, how many days? When is Saturday? Is it Saturday yet? Not soon enough.
We all hear jokes about middle of the night and 3 am feedings, but what about when your kids start sleeping through the night and you now you cannot sleep because it is so quiet, you think they stopped breathing, suffocate on their favorite teddy bear, or you fear they were abducted through their bedroom window that is locked tighter than the gun safe. After checking on them sleeping soundly, you lay in bed worrying. Then just when you fall asleep, in wanders the toddler to your bed, and proceeds to sleep like a windmill kidney kicking ninja for the rest of the night.