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Kid Punishments Are Adult Rewards And 8 More Keys To Understand Parenting

flickr / Nom & Malc

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

What do you learn from your first year of being a parent?

You Have No Idea What The F–k You’re Doing

One of my close friends recently offered to take in her 2 nephews temporarily due to a complex family situation. She approached me saying she was worried she wouldn’t know how to care for them if she ended up having to deliver on her promise. I laughed. Then I laughed some more. “Friend,” I replied, “Here’s a little secret about parenthood: None of us have any idea what the hell we’re doing.”

Everything Fun Is Now Officially A Pain In The Ass

Welcome to parenthood! Want to go to the park for an hour or two? Good luck, because that’s really a 3 1/2 hour time commitment between getting out of the house and actually being there. Fun = Time Consuming. And it’s not usually worth it anyway. When you spend as much time preparing/commuting as you do on the actual event, it really kills the vibe.

Your Childhood Punishments Are Now Your Adulthood Rewards

Remember when mom used to say no going out on the weekends/no phone calls, as a punishment? Yeah, well, that’s your idea of an amazing weekend now.


Your Kid Will Only Get Really Sick At The Worst Possible Times

Pneumonia during midterms? Been there, done that. Lice on mother’s day? Check, check! Up until 1 am the one day that week when I have to get up at 4 am the next? But of course. Breaking a bone during mandatory overtime/peak period/double penalty time frame at your job? Naturally. It becomes so commonplace you finally begin to laugh at the orchestration of bad luck that has become your life. But you only get the bad luck when you need it the least.

You Previously Had No Idea What The Word “Tired” Actually Meant

You know what? I’m not even going to explain this one. You can only understand true, hardcore sleep deprivation once you’ve lived it. I’ve fallen asleep driving countless times, during sex, on the toilet, walking, etc.

People Without Kids Really Piss You Off When They Say They Are Busy/Tired

I’m also not going to explain this one other than to say, I’m sorry. Yes, I’m a jerk for being jealous of you. Yes, I’m also a jerk for pretending like your version of busy is less valuable than my version of busy. The thing is… I’m sleep deprived. I’m mad at the world. Being tired makes you grouchy.

my baby's daddy movie still

Your Idea Of Parenting Is Very Different From Everyone Else’s Idea Of Parenting

Ultimately, the majority of us want to protect our children and assure that they live happy lives. The thing is, everyone has a unique perspective on how to achieve this. My idea of chaos is another parent’s idea of order. From co-sleeping to breastfeeding to self-soothing, we all have our own ideas of what is best for baby.

Projectile Vomiting Really Does Look Like That Scene On The Exorcist

And babies will rouse themselves from a nap for 10 seconds just to remind you of that fact when you least expect it. I once gave my daughter soy formula. 10 minutes later, she’s sleeping soundly in her car seat. As we’re preparing to leave, she momentarily opens her eyes, looks me square in the face, and then proceeds to cover the entire wall across from her with the formula that was just in her stomach. Yes, it was gross and creepy. Even creepier, the moment the last drop escaped her mouth, she passed right back out in the car seat… vomit-soaked and all.


You Didn’t Know What Love Was Before

Not even a little bit. Not at all. All you know is that you see it every time you gaze upon your child’s face, and the feeling grows more and more. One day you’ll finally be so full in your heart, you’ll expect that your chest will burst, but it never does. It just keeps on filling with the most amazing emotional sensation you’ve ever experienced: Wholly unconditional love.

Amanda Bankston is a writer. Read more from Quora below: