It’s cliche but true, becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. And without a tiny human of your own, it’s hard to know what to expect when you become a mom or dad ⏤ parenting can seem equal parts exciting, confusing, and daunting. That’s why Buzzfeed decided to give non-parents the chance to ask moms and dads the questions they always wondered about but were too scared to ask a friend or relative. Unsurprisingly, things got real fast.
A few of the questions kept things on the lighter side, like when one non-parent asked, “Do you ever get used to touching poop and vomit pretty much on the daily?” Buzzfeed user missmandagal confirmed that parents do get completely used to having to face feces every day, as she wrote, “It’s funny ’cause when my son poops everyone says it’s so stinky, but I can’t even smell it anymore. It’s like my nose just got used to the stench.”
Another non-parent asked about whether or not a parent ever realizes that their baby was ugly. It turns out that episode of Seinfeld wasn’t too far off, as user mrsemilyn wrote, “I think parents have ‘blinders’ on when it comes to their own children. We made this tiny human and he/she is beautiful to us, whether Nosy Nancy thinks so or not.”
Of course, not all of the questions were lighthearted. One non-parent asked, “Are you afraid of fucking up your kids?” User zthom11141 got extremely real with their answer and said, “Every day. You try to do your absolute best, but sometimes you wonder if your absolute best will be brought up in therapy sessions 20 years later. It’s terrifying, especially when you have to make an immediate choice. You wonder if you thought it through or if it was a horrible mistake. You just really have to try your best.”
And of course, one of the biggest fears non-parents have about having kids is losing the person they were before kids. A non-parent asked parents if they felt like they had lost their identity when they had kids. User j48ee8166c summed it up best: “I think briefly, yes, you do lose your identity. Part of it is because everyone else focuses on the fact that you are a new parent, and part of it is because there’s this tiny human who is suddenly reliant on you for literally everything, which is a task that takes a lot of emotional energy and labor. You just don’t have time or energy to think about yourself. But then you get into a rhythm, and the child gets a little more self-reliant, and you start to feel like you again.”