arenting. None of us are ever really ready for it. It's a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants endeavor that books and TV shows can loosely describe, but until you're thrown into the rewards and the chaos, most of it remains a mystery. So we try our best to plan for the unknown.
But most of the time? We're pretty much just winging it.
Leave it to the internet to cultivate lengthy lists of parenting "fails." There are few things funnier than watching other parents struggle to figure out the ins and outs of raising tiny humans, and we love to laugh along.
That is, until it's our turn to bumble our way through.
Parenting is kind of like jumping into the deep end of a pool. Except, you have no idea how to swim.
There are lots of things in life you can prep for. When you’re a teenager, there’s someone there to guide you on the road before your driving test. Jumping out of a plane? No worries, there’s a tandem instructor for that. But when it comes to being responsible for a brand new human and keeping him or her alive?
Good luck and welcome to Thunderdome.
Initially, you'll have a parenting plan, but that's before you actually have kids.
In fact, everyone seems to be an expert on kids — until they have their own. It’ll all be so easy. No sweets. Limited TV time. Potty-trained before their second birthday. The litany of things you’d have under control was far-reaching and comprehensive. Oh, and you were never going to be that parent with screaming kid in the middle of the store. Because your kids would never throw fits.
After your first baby arrives, the gameplan changes just a bit.
Usually the first moment you hold your bundle of joy in your arms, things shift. You start realizing that taking responsibility for a smaller version of yourself might be a little different than you had anticipated. It helps that babies are ridiculously cute, because the reality that this is an entirely separate person, with an entirely separate way of viewing life will dawn on you right away.
Six months in, eye-opening experiences abound.
It only takes a few months of taking care of your own child to figure out that it’s more about survival than a utopia where everything flows smoothly. Diaper changes and overnight feedings come together in a perfect storm of joy and sleepless nights. Only two things are certain. You love that little baby more than life itself. But you’re also going to need a plan to survive until their first birthday. What’s the sitter’s number again?
Survival tends to turn into creativity. Which harbors interesting results.
Once a parent’s weathered the initial shock of the newborn stage, things get pretty fun. And by “fun,” we mean mom and dad try to navigate each day, using the most creative means possible. Some people call them parenting “hacks.” Others say they’re shortcuts. We simply say they’re hilarious, and we’re so glad the internet cobbles together tales of parental trial-and-error, so we don’t have to feel alone.