As this monumental moment in your life approaches, let me first say that I am proud of you. I don’t want this to come off as me being resentful of your reproductive success. I’m not jealous. I’m not trying to mock your choice to bring another life into this bleak, overcrowded world of systemic injustice. Your decision makes perfect sense. The following are merely things you should keep in mind, for like, the rest of your life.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not a parent, but I was a child at one point. Most of my ex-girlfriends would argue I still am.
1. Raising a child is not easy. For the first 10 years of the child’s life, you will have very few pieces of clothing that won’t get ripped or soiled in some fashion. Men, you might want to consider not wearing ties around the house, as they are perfect for your child to yank on or vomit on. I suggest plenty of solid black t-shirts or a potato sack of some sort. Maybe a burlap bag? Anything you can get your hands on that’s sturdy and easily washed is preferable to an article of clothing that’s fashionable/expensive/attractive.
2. Kids also put a major dent in your social calendar, or more to the point, they get one of those giant flamethrowers from Prometheus and set your social calendar ablaze. You might want to sweep up that giant pile of ash that used to be your weekend. It’s unsightly and potentially harmful to your child’s respiratory system.
3. Your children will not always like you. For seven and a half years, I pretty much didn’t care for my mom or my dad. The only thing they could do right is remember my bank account information so that they’d be able to keep putting money into it. To me, they were overbearing, nosey, judgmental and passive-aggressive. It wasn’t until I got a job and a life that I realized I was equally as overbearing, nosey, judgmental and passive-aggressive as my parents.
4. Suits look stupid on babies. I had to wear a suit through most of my formative years, because my mother thought I looked ‘sharp.’ In truth, I actually resembled a well-dressed dwarf. Adult clothes are for adults. Invest in plenty of overalls and t-shirts. You might as well put your kid in Crocs, since, unlike adults, they don’t look stupid wearing them — and I hear they’re super comfortable.
5. Keep the Facebook pictures to a minimum. “Here’s a picture of my baby smearing chocolate frosting on his bare chest while wearing a Mickey Mouse hat!” is the last thing I want to see on my Facebook News Feed. The next-to-last thing I want to see is a picture of your dinner at Outback Steakhouse. The next-to-next-to last thing I want to see is that Kony 2012 video. I mean, how OLD is that video now? Probably older than your baby.
6. Don’t let your newborn play with your dog. Dogs bite things. Dogs are stupid animals. Babies are also fairly stupid. Putting two stupid creatures together in a confined space makes you almost as stupid. Your baby will be attacked and suffer from a deformity that will make them resent you, or worse, turn them into a Batman villain. PRO TIP: Deformed person = Batman villain.
7. Children are not a cure for a dysfunctional relationship. You may think that having a baby will bring you together, but it only exacerbates the problems you are going through with your mate. If your significant other doesn’t pay attention to you now, he or she certainly won’t when they have to tend to a living creature with no capacity to take care of itself. Instead, try couples counseling or become insanely rich. Both of those options should take care of your dilemma. After you become rich, just adopt a child from a Third World country. They tend to be a lot more independent than an American baby.
8. Your child is not magically self-sufficient when it turns 18. They certainly will think they are, up until they get out of college and realize they have no clue how to function. Don’t listen to them. Ever. Help them financially when they need it and you can afford it. Offer them advice, no matter how many times they tell you that you’ve ‘said this before.’ When they come to visit, make their bed for them. Teach them how to cook when they’re growing up, but make their food when they come home. The less safe I feel in the world, the more I want to know someone is looking out for me.
9. Babies do not need to see movies in theaters. First of all, please refer to number two on this list. Kids affect your life because they need attention. That does not mean that you bring your baby to every social activity as a compromise. No matter how ‘clever’ your baby seems, he or she does not understand what is happening during Men in Black III. They will not remember the experience of seeing the film. What they will do is ruin everyone’s good time by crying during the the super cool action scene where Will Smith jumps off the roof of the building. Get a babysitter. If a babysitter is not available that night…pick something else to do that doesn’t involve interfering with the rest of humanity. And if you took your baby to see Prometheus, Child Protective Services will be calling you in the next three minutes. Try and tidy up your house a bit.
10. Take care of yourself. Quit smoking. Don’t drink so much. Exercise. Cut back on the fried foods. Go to the doctor more than is reasonable. If you take medication, take it every day. Your kids need you. Don’t let them down.