There’s no shortage of people who will tell you having a baby means the end of everything: no more outrageous nights out; the slow, sad death of your libido; the awakening of an obsession with sweatpants and ponytails.
Well, screw that. Yeah, seriously. Aside from the obvious bonuses of breeding (“My existence has sooooo much meaning now”), having babies can bring some unexpected positives to your life.
1. You’ll be more courageous. Delivering a small human takes major balls, and to those of us who make it through labor, (or watch it all go down, Dads) climbing Everest will forever seem like a cakewalk.
2. You won’t have time to climb Mount Everest.
3. Sex is better (thanks in part to #1).
4. Your arms will be awesomely toned from constantly lifting infants and carrying all the other stuff associated with parenting, like strollers and beer.
5. Your time management skills get super sharp. There’s no time to dwell at this point…
6. Your productivity improves. Hand me my laptop as soon as my tot goes down for a nap, and I’ll get more done in two hours than someone who sits at their desk from 9 to 5.
7. You laugh harder.
8. You cry harder.
9. You laugh more.
10. You cry more.
11. You fight harder for the things that matter. Like the safety of your child, date nights and quality sleep.
12. And say goodbye to the things that don’t. Like the lingering anger over the boy in high school who once told you your knees were knobby and hideous when in fact they’re quite lovely.
13. If you’re fortunate to have good parents, you’ll appreciate them more (and lean on them like never before).
14. Going out will be more fun because you’ll be more selective; spare time is rare and you won’t waste it on going to places you’re only mildly curious about or hanging with people you aren’t wild about.
15. Realizing that you need to be at your best in order to survive the parenting experience, you’re more proactive about seeking things that bring calm and energy to your life; yoga, meditation, organic vegetables etc.
16. That said, you’ll probably drink more. But drinking is fun!
17. You’ll do a better job at staying alive. Risk-taking things like jumping out of airplanes and swimming with sharks lose their appeal when said activities could leave the giggling bub at home down one parent.
18. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose your edge. Just yesterday, I taught my daughter to moonwalk across the living room. I know.
19. You’ll be re-exposed to every color of the rainbow. Kids’ toys and clothes aren’t all gray.
20. This will inspire you to buy a scarf the color of Big Bird’s feathers and a bright blue couch (you may regret these purchases later).
21. You’ll learn that multitasking is a load of crap. Try frantically mashing potatoes while making funny faces at your restless infant while talking to your boss on the phone while trying not to lose your mind. Impossible.
22. You’ll master how to multitask.
23. The tiniest things will amaze you; tiny toes, tiny fingers, tiny toots.
24. You’ll learn that it’s okay to ask for help. And that’s good because you’ll do it often.
25. You’ll find out who your real friends are. Sadly, some might run for the hills when they find out you’re having a baby; my friend Geraldine says some of her male buds treated her like she’d “switched species” after getting pregnant. But that’s okay, because it’ll make you even more grateful for the friends who stay.
26. You’ll meet interesting people you wouldn’t have otherwise. Like clowns. And the babysitter who’s an aspiring opera singer and belts out a killer “O Mio Babbino Caro” while changing diapers.
27. At times you’ll feel like a kid again.
28. You’ll also feel really grown up.
29. See #3.