It all begins so innocently.
You’re going to be a parent.
No matter how it is you enter into parenthood, either by pregnancy, adoption, or becoming a stepparent, nobody EVER gives you the full story.
Parents are notorious liars.
I mean, think about it.
“We don’t have any candy.” when you know darn good and well *exactly* where your secret stash of chocolate is.
“Mommy and Daddy are going to go talk in their room while you guys watch a movie for a few minutes.” Uh huh. Suuuuure.
“Mmmm! Yum! Strained green beans are nummy!” when you know you wouldn’t put that green guck in your own mouth for anything less than $100.
Or, one of my personal favourites, “No, you can’t stay up until 10pm, because you need sleep to grow and stay healthy.” when the honest truth is, “Mommy needs to you to go to bed at 7:30 because *she’s* exhausted, and needs an hour or two of quiet before collapsing in a heap.”
So, it seems, along with a baby, a liar is also born.
And you know who we lie most to?
Non parents. Seriously. When talking to a childless person, you don’t talk about diaper blowouts, screaming meemie fits, projectile vomiting, boogers, and sleep deprivation.
Nope. We paint a happy rosy picture of the blessings of children and parenthood, and how wonderful life is with wee Minions in our lives.
And of course, it is wonderful…just not 100% of the time.
But, if we told the complete, unvarnished truth, nobody would ever have kids again. And the human race would die out, so we lie in the interest of preservation of the species. Yup. It’s a public service, that’s what it is.
Misery loving company has nothing to do with it. Nope. Nuh uh. Never.
So, in the interest of honesty, I’m going to peel back the lid and shed the light of truth on to some parenting essentials nobody ever told you about.
1. Ear protection. Seriously. Be it earplugs, ear buds with music streaming, every now and then, you need to muffle the noise. Happy shrieking is still SHRIEKING, dang it, and is like a drill bit in your ear, boring into your brain.
2. A secret. You need something that is solely yours. Be it a chocolate stash, ice cream squirreled away behind the frozen broccoli, a book or movie for after the kids are in bed, you need to have something just for yourself that the kids can’t take over. Sharing with a spouse is optional. This is of special importance to any stay at home parent, and imo, a survival skill for one that homeschools. You may not have time, money, or the energy for an actual *hobby*, but, by golly, you *can* ensure that you have one indulgence that is completely yours.
3. People who call you by your name. Another sanity saver. Once I had my first child, my primary identity became, “Mom”, second only to, “(first name)’s Mom”. Wolf tends to call me “Dear” and “Doll”. Hearing my actual first name now and then reminds me that there’s more to life than diapers and laundry.
4. A song. Yes, I’m serious. “Wheels on the Bus” gets stuck in your head, and you need something to drive it out. A parental exorcism, if you will. Having a good song that always makes you grin is a fantastic way to destress. And, add it in to #1, and it’s a total win-win.
These four points go a long way to explaining to Wolf why he sometimes comes home to find me locked in our bedroom, talking on the phone, chocolate smeared on my lips and, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” blaring in the background.
Survival, man. Survival.
No baby or parenting book ever talks about THAT.