A few weeks ago I was relaying to one of my friends about how horrible of a day I was having and how my daughter had to be along for the ride. But later, while holding my daughter I turned to her and told her how sorry Mommy was for being so agitated, and my daughter, who still hasn’t spoken beyond a few words leaned her head toward me so I could give her a kiss on her forehead (something we usually do, but usually I have to ask for it). When I told my friend she “oohh”ed and “awww”ed and said something that almost made me yell out in horror. “I can’t wait to have kids now!”
As much as I love my daughter, I have to say, this whole picturesque baby thing is sort of annoying to me, especially now that it seems like its turning into a craze. I’m one of those (I’ll admit it, annoying) people who avoid fads like the plague. I still don’t know what “Gangem Style” is, I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey and I could really care less about Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (though I did like the 2nd movie). I don’t know, and I don’t care. So when celebrity couples started popping out children, it seemed like some people were so quick to want to emulate that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-baby, I’m pro-truth. And I wouldn’t want you to take on the role of taking care of an individual if you don’t have a clearer vision of it other than celebrities who have nannies trailing behind them (usually out of focus from the paparazzi photos).
First, a baby isn’t a trend. While shopping two weekends ago at the mall a pregnant girl and her friend were behind me talking about how she can’t wait to be a fashionable pregnant mom, just like [insert multiple famous pregnant women]. To fight the urge from turning to her and saying: “A baby is not like a pair of jeans, when they’re out of style you can’t just throw them in the back of your closet and wait until they go back in fashion again.” I had to fight the urge as she continued to go on and on about how she knows that having a baby is easy because she’s seen [insert misguided teen mom here] and she’s fine. The sad thing is, I feel like a lot of people tend to forget the huge responsibility that having a baby entails.
Speaking of that responsibility, yeah, it’s a little overwhelming. Though I was slightly prepared, due to a stint as a nanny a few years ago, I knew that when I had my daughter, no matter what was going on in my life, it had to come secondary to her. Whether (note: these incidences are very graphic) she was sick, vomiting and spilling diarrhea all over the floor and her freshly washed bedding, I had to tend to her, even when it was happening 3 to 4 times a night. After I caught the same bug she had and was vomiting I still had to scrub myself down and continue to cater to her; and when she wakes up in the middle of the night crying or whining, I have to tend to her no matter how tired I am or how comfortable my bed is. It’s a lot of work.
Then… ugh… you get these girls who talk about how they’ve never had love in their lives and they’re gonna have a baby to love them. Okay, if that’s your point of having a baby, you’re going to be sadly [insert expletive here] mistaken. It’s going to take a good minute before you get that “Oh, my child loves me moment,” because babies are motivated by their needs, and honestly, loving you isn’t one of them. Being fed is one of them. Being comforted is one of them. Being changed is one of them. They’re not thinking about you right now because they’re not really thinking about anything right now.
I guess I’m writing all of this because you can go to any news website and see a new story about how parents abandoned their children, or hurt them because the baby was crying too much, or how they threw the baby down a trash shoot because it was too hard. I’m just letting you know that before you have your baby, it’s not going to be as fantastic as you think. It’s not going to be as comical as your television portrays it. You giving your child a bowl of spaghetti-ohs and then they push it off of their highchair isn’t going to make you look up at the sky, chuckle and say: “Wow. my baby is kooky!” If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to burst into tears, because the spaghetti-ohs were the last option of food, after your child rebuffed the 3 previous meals and cried nonstop until you fixed her something that she liked. The guilt is going to set in when your child doesn’t seem to hit the same milestones at the same time other children have (seriously, I can’t tell you how much I blame myself for my baby almost being two and hasn’t started fully talking yet) and you have to read her thoughts because she doesn’t know how to properly articulate: “Mom, I want foie gras, not chicken nuggets.”
I’m not trying to scare you, I just want you to be prepared. And honestly, reading this article isn’t going to have you fully prepared for the journey you’ll take when your bundle of awesomeness comes out of you, but just consider these things before you go on the trip.
Kendra Koger has been a mother since 2011, and awesome since the ’80s. Hit her up @kkoger.