The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at TheForum@Fatherly.com.
What do you learn from your first year of being a parent?
- Sleep is a luxury good.
- Baby poop doesn’t smell bad until they start eating real food.
- If you have a boy and the boy has a boner, he’s about to pee on you. Or he has already, and because of rule one, you didn’t notice.
- Baby bones are incredibly flexible and will tolerate your incompetent parenting better than you expect them to, but this stops by the time your kid is one years old.
- Your child will likely eat everything and then nothing within a span of 24 hours, and you’ll think it’s your fault.
- You won’t remember the last time you went out to see a movie with your significant other, and then, when you do, you’ll be disappointed and worried that the babysitter killed your kid the entire time.
- Your child will constantly amaze you with their intellect immediately before doing something idiotic.
- Your child will constantly amaze you with their intellect immediately before you do something idiotic as a parent.
- You’re going to become familiar with the idea of pump and dump, and think using it in a sentence is normal until you talk to your single friends, who will tell you that it’s the single-most disgusting thing that they’ve ever heard.
- Immediately after that, you’ll describe childbirth, because you’ll misinterpret their disgust as a challenge. This is due in large part to rule one.
- Virtually everything you bought for your kid besides diapers and a crib is useless for the first 6 months.
- You will become a connoisseur of board books for children as you determine which messaging in which books defines your parenting style.
- You will remember the days when you used to work out regularly and think to yourself, “Oh, that was nothing compared to this.”
- You’ve never felt joy like you do every time your son or daughter reacts to you, which makes all of the unfortunate messes you endure worthwhile.
- Your friends, relatives, other family members and co-workers will give you a constant stream of unwelcome, conflicting advice about child-rearing when all you want to talk about is TV or football or something equally inane.
- You’ll stop having friends for about a year, but then everyone worthwhile comes back around.
- You’ll think it’s normal to dress a 8-pound baby in 16 pounds of clothing to protect them from the cold when it’s 70 degrees outside because you’re ‘worried about the air conditioning.’
- You’ll think it’s normal to go out to the drug store in your pajamas to pick up a rectal thermometer because the one you have must be broken.
- You’ll start asking everyone around you what shots they’ve had and when so that you can pinpoint which people can be allowed near your child.
- Finally, you’ll wish, every single night before you drift off for your 3 hours of sleep, that none of this will end, ever, because it’s amazing.
Jonathan Brodsky is the former SVP of Chicken Soup for the Soul and fmr Director at 1-800-flowers. Read more from Quora below: