During a recent conversation it was brought to my attention that parents aren’t necessarily the pillars of child bearing promotional efforts. In fact, we tend to be quite the opposite. This observation was no doubt made by a non-parent friend who would like to preserve her chances of actually bearing children one day and apparently we, her parent friends, aren’t helping the cause with all our complaining. My friend is by all means right. Parents complain A LOT. But how else are you supposed to survive the time you spend with your children (which in my case is like 99% of my time), if you can’t blow a little steam when you’re with your adult friends? No parent, or at least none I know, is going to sit on their child’s play-mat and bitch to their kid about how little time they have to themselves as they play with a choo-choo train or sing along with the Mickey Mouse “Hot Dog Dance”. Quite honestly, when you’re with the little terror you don’t think about anything but preventing the next face plant into the cold tile floor. And that’s the thing, it’s when you finally do by some miracle get away for an adult dinner out that it hits you…Holy shit, I can’t remember the last time I had dinner without Baby Beethoven in the background…let the parental flood gates open…bless the non-parental souls that are with you.
Granted, this dawning truth is not an excuse to use your poor childless friends as verbal punching bags. If anything, we parents should restrain ourselves and let them live on with their fantasies of one day bearing rosy-cheeked, powder-smelling bundles of joy. Buuuuuut…forgive me if I think that giving other childless adults a fair warning about what they’re getting themselves into isn’t such a bad thing. That’s why the oh so subtle “Must be nice…” is nonchalantly thrown in to the conversation when things like going to the gym past 6am, watching an R rated movie, or dare I even mention it…Happy Hour…is spoken of. But can you blame us? I haven’t gone to the bathroom with the door shut in 8 months, much less had time to “spend a night in with a book and a glass of wine” *cue photo of bubble bath, vino, and book* These facebook statuses make me want to drive over and drop my child right into the bathtub with the bearer of such good fortune. Tilly loves the water; she’d be great company!
Ok, back to my friend and her annoyance at our constant bitching. The truth is, we will never stop doing it. The reason behind this is that until you actually have children you won’t realize how unprepared you actually were to have them. No matter how ready you think you may be, it is impossible to actually fathom how drastically your life changes from one day to the next. With that said if you were to offer me my old life back at this very moment I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t even consider it. Babies are exhausting, emotionally and physically. But they truly are the most amazing experience in the world. If any able-minded adult were to sit down and analyze what having children means, they wouldn’t do it. That’s why you just have to take the plunge. Sorry currently baby-less, happy hour going friends, but one day you too will find yourselves at a dinner table venting about your mini-mes and all the things you once did. It just is what it is…and when that day comes, you’ll understand. Until then, drink until 4am and be merry!