Guest blogger: 10 ways to know you’re REALLY ready for parenthood

Our very own Jesse’s Girl has contributed a guest blog for us also. You would know it was her even without the byline. It just sounds likes her! Sorry no photo! She is still anonymous.

By Jesse’s Girl

One of my dear friends has gone and done something she swore — under oath practically — that she would never  in a million years do. She has procreated. Yes, my granola-crunching-the-world’s-population-is-too-big-already-and-to-make-amends-for-this-travesty-she-must-become-a-Peace-Corps-junkie….has spawned!

Recognizing the fact that I am the foremost authority on all things parenting/child related — due to the fact that Jesse and I have been slapped with every monster-rearing nightmare imaginable — she called me seeking wisdom. After I stopped laughing and crying, I told her I would do my level best to calm her fears. I did however remind her who I was, who my children were and that calling me was akin to asking Shirley MacLaine for advice on Christianity or Brittany Spears for the best place to pick up some pretty panties.

So in honor of my friend, I decided to compile a list of things by which she and her betrothed can ascertain whether they are truly ready for this journey. Although, she’s already knocked up, so this will just help her suss out her parental constitution. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves and add your own words of wisdom to the list:)

1. If gaining an obscene amount of weight…if waking up with a new set of fat rolls around parts of your body you weren’t aware of the night before…if swollen feet and earlobes don’t make you cringe too much…you may be ready.

2. If you go out to eat with your honey and the super-awesome people next to you bring their bundle o’ joy, and that swaddled mound of cuteness SCREAMS LIKE THE EVIL SPAWN OF A WILD BOAR AND A CHUPACABRA and you don’t get the urge to scoop out the parent’s eyes with your tea spoon…you may be ready.

3. If in the middle of what proves to be your first good night’s sleep in…oh I don’t know, FOREVER…you wake up with a damn near uncontrollable urge to smother the love of your life with his own pillow because you have been awakened yet again with satanic leg cramps that wouldn’t be happening had he not given you that fourth glass of wine six months ago…but you let him sleep because he’s just so cute….you may be ready.

4. If at your 18-week check up, the really sweet ultrasound tech thinks she hears TWO heartbeats but then corrects herself in that “oh silly me” way and you don’t jump off the table and beat her to death with a tongue depressor….you may be ready.

5. If after you arrive at the hospital and your precious birth plan is fashioned into a spitball ready to fire at the next SOB to walk through your door…but then the anesthesiologist walks in and you act as if Jesus himself has just brought the LAST Last Supper to you….you may be ready.

6. If after pushing for eleventy billion hours and the only action anyone is seeing “down there” is you pooping all over yourself and this doesn’t bother you in the slightest…you may be ready.

7. If your significant other witnesses this “action” and still looks at you as if you are a Greek Goddess…HE may be ready.

8. If after your sweet, perfect, pink, sticky, crusty and alien-like baby arrives and all you see is the sweet-perfect-pink-part….you may be ready.

9. If your marriage and/or relationship survived the fresh hell that is installing a carseat for the first time….you may be ready.

10. If you managed to baby-proof your home, made sure the chords to all the blinds were safely tied up, washed every stitch of clothing in unscented Dreft, changed to organic EVERYTHING, warned your love that poker night lives somewhere else now, read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” in both Spanish and English just cover all your bases, promised yourself you will NEVER be like your mother, pooped for the first time after the delivery and didn’t wish to die right there on the toilet, succumbed to the fact that everything for the next six months will make your boobs leak, and had a lovely funeral for the word “PERKY…..you just may be ready to have this kid and not totally suck at it.

58 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania, ajcparenting. ajcparenting said: AJC's Momania blog: Guest blogger: 10 ways to know you’re REALLY ready for parenthood http://bit.ly/9FHtte [...]

DB

October 15th, 2010
1:03 am

ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done, JG!!

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had a good friend who wanted to know EVERY detail, especially about the delivery. Her complaint was that “it’s like you guys join some secret sorority or something when you become mothers and pledge a vow of silence, or something!” So, I did tell her exactly and precisely what happened during my 46-hour labor and emergency c-section delivery. EVERY gory detail, every bodily change, etc., etc. She had a baby 11 months after mine. Two weeks after the birth, I visited to ooh and ahh and she glared and me and said, “YOU LIED — YOU DIDN’T TELL ME HOW MUCH IT HURT!” I started laughing, and said, “Oh, yes I did — but God made sure you didn’t hear THAT part!” I often teased her about “joining the sorority” after that — she allowed as how the initiation was a bitch, but membership was definitely worthwhile :-)

It's Me

October 15th, 2010
6:37 am

Good Morning,
This was toooo cute & funny as EVER! Excellent post Jesse’s Girl!! Great laugh for this beautiful Friday morning!
Have an amazing Friday & a wonderful weekend!

Now THAT...

October 15th, 2010
7:13 am

…is a Fun Friday piece of prose…not to be confused with the original “piece” of which JG writes…

shaggy

October 15th, 2010
7:17 am

JG.

Is Jeff Foxworthy getting royalties off of this “piece”?

madmommy

October 15th, 2010
7:20 am

Ha Ha, that was a great read for a Friday morning. One other that could have been added to the list. Forgetting to shower or not remembering when you last washed your hair. I have found this to be the case since I am now experiacing what it’s like to be a SAHM. I feel like I need to go back to work so I can have a break and eat one hot meal a day again. :-)

mom2alex&max

October 15th, 2010
7:25 am

Very funny post. I would expect nothing less from JG.

But in seriousness, no one ever is really ready. We all know that.

As my sister always says...

October 15th, 2010
7:48 am

…”Oh, what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to conceive”…

JATL

October 15th, 2010
8:00 am

Great job! Here’s an addition -if you don’t mind wondering at 4pm why your teeth feel so furry and then remembering you haven’t brushed yet that day -or, wait, did you do it last night? When was the last time again….you may be ready (ditto on wondering why you have B.O. and realizing you kind of forgot the deodorant portion of the getting dressed process that morning because one child was hugged to your legs screaming, “Mama mama mama mama” over and over while the other child was freaking out in the bathroom about peeing).

I agree w/ mom2alex&max -there are certainly better times and “more ready” times to enter into parenthood, but it’s one of those things that you just really don’t know about until your drowning in the middle of it!

Oh -and one other -if you’re prepared to gain weight in areas you never EVER put on weight before pregnancy or to have abs that cannot be rendered viewable ever again by anything other than major surgery -you might be ready.

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
8:18 am

Thanks JG….good stuff.

If after reading every book and listening to every tidbit of advice from Atlanta to Alaska and realizing that being a parent involves accepting every curve ball thrown at you and actually dealing with it ….you might be ready.

If, at the end of the day, you realize that you can love another individual no matter if they have green mucous coming out of their nose and smell like poop but their smile lights up your day…you might be ready. ( hint: picking up your dog’s poop does NOT compare with some of the stuff you will have to deal with as a parent)

If you realize that your kids are not perfect….they have your genes,,,,and will make mistakes just as you did …you might be ready!

If the phone rings and you see who it is ( your college student or child at camp) …you can drop everything you are doing: shaving your legs, coloring your hair, watching the last minutes of a season finale, sleeping at midnight….you might be ready. BUT if they call you all the time…asking for MORE money, or help with every little episode of their life…you were never ready ( to be a parent) because you did not do a good job of raising them ( to be independent) in the first place. I loved this line that Beth shared yesterday:
“forward to a greater period of self-respect and autonomy” This is the way I want my own children to move.

If, as single young adult with no offspring , you recognize that while you have seen/known lots of children and enjoyed their company….you have not been a parent and may not have all the answers to being a good parent….you might be ready. As some know…I taught early childhood for 5 years before children and thought I knew it all….I DID NOT AND STILL DON’T. I just know a LOT more.
( Becky…I consider you a parent because you have endured it and live with those wonderful kids each week as their 24/7 guardian)

If you are willing to ask for help ( like JG’S friend who thinks she is ‘the foremost authority on all things parenting/child related”) and that you can never do it alone….you might be ready.

Bottom line….YOU ARE NEVER READY…I agree with mom2alex&max

I have been a parent for over 23 years and many things still baffle me! I still do not think:
“I have been slapped with every monster-rearing nightmare imaginable ”

At one meeting in Texas, I met parents whose son was in jail and another Mother whose daughter just buried the first grand child…I do not know if I could ever be ready for that!

@ madmommy re: your blog name… are you angry or out of your mind mad? How old is your child/children? Once they get a few months old, you should be able to at least get a shower and brush your teeth on a regular basis. Make some time for yourself or you will go crazy!

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
8:20 am

@ JATL…I keep deodorant in my car, as I have been there done that! LOL

JJ

October 15th, 2010
8:28 am

JG THAT was hysterical. Thank you so much for a fun Friday topic!!!! FINALLY!!!

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
8:30 am

ooops…this is wrong and not really what I meant: If, as single young adult with no offspring

I should have said:

an adult with no children….you do not need to be single…sorry….we were married and thought we knew what to do…..NOT

northgateach

October 15th, 2010
8:39 am

i am SO not ready. thanks for the reminder. :)

TechMom

October 15th, 2010
8:42 am

Love it. My [soon-to-be] SIL had our first niece this week so we are getting to experience a new baby without all of those fun mommy/daddy moments first hand- THANK GOD! Now everyone in our family is on the bandwaggon that WE should have another – hahaha. I just ask them if they’re willing to be pregnant for 9 months, give birth and come over at 3am when the baby needs to be fed. Oh the joys of being a parent and the greater joy of watching someone else do it! I tell people all the time, “I love kids, other peoples’ kids!”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddo & love what it means to be a parent but it’s hard work and I don’t plan on going through it all over again.

1911A1

October 15th, 2010
9:01 am

JG, that was hilarious. Nicely done.

FCM

October 15th, 2010
9:13 am

JG as always lovin’ how you lay it out there. However, I cannot help but feel that since the friend is already pregnant…the list is a bit late. Wishing her a happy healthy baby. FCM

Becky

October 15th, 2010
9:15 am

OK, now that I have finished laughing..Love the word “eleventy”..

MJG is right, when you realize just how much you can love that little bundle that has green snot coming out the nose and goodness knows what coming out the other end, then that seals it..

When you can relax over something that in the past you never would have relaxed over..

When you realize that you would rather save the money normally spent on a new outfit and put it into a savings account for the new one..

When you realize that you enjoy staying home on Fri. night with the baby, instead of being out with friends..

There are a lot of ways to know that you are ready, but as has already been stated, sometimes even when you think you are ready, you’re not..I have been around children since I was 7 (first babysitting job) and now at the ripe old age of 48, I am still learning things..

Just do the best that you can do and remember that babies actually need very few things..Food, love, warmth, clean clothes…..Money doesn’t make you a super great parent, so stick with the little things and most of the time, you will be a good parent…

deidre_NC

October 15th, 2010
9:21 am

lol…that was great…perfect jesses girl style…
*if you are ready for your shirt to become soaking wet at the grocery store just because you thought of your baby-or because you hear another one cry
*if you are ready to answer to every voice that calls out “MOM!!”
*if you are ready to be known as “so-and so’s mom” and realize people you have known for a while at school functions dont even know your name lol..
*if you are ready to praise the lord when you get to FINALLY take a bath all by yourself!!! you will think you died and went to heaven lol
*if you are ready for, 17 years down the road to panic everytime the phone rings
omg the list can go on and on….

FCM

October 15th, 2010
9:21 am

Oh and mine were toe cramps…Those have got to be the worst pains (other than actual child birth) out there.

I also want to add:

“If your sure that you can stand having your heart shatter into a million pieces only to somehow get stiched back together by a smile…and then have that same person have you feel like hugging and strangling them at the same time…and also feel that having a cherubic face tell you that you cannot possibly understand because your OLD … then you might be ready.” However, this last one doesn’t happen until several years after that baby shows up.

DB

October 15th, 2010
9:23 am

My post is in cyber-jail again . . . *sigh*

deidre_NC

October 15th, 2010
9:31 am

oh yeah FCM….if you are prepared to feel the most overwhelming love for a person…that was my first shock..i couldnt believe you could actually have feelings that strong for anyone ever…when i was prgnant with my 2nd i was so worried because i couldnt see how you could feel that way twice…but you can…in fact 5 times…then come the grandkids..its amazing the HUGE love you feel for your child.

JJ

October 15th, 2010
9:38 am

When you trade in years of partying for a quiet night at home…….

When you cry at school Christmas productions…..

When Halloween is your favorite holiday…….

bunch of yentas

October 15th, 2010
9:56 am

You’re never ready. You just do it. If you try to wait until you’re ready, it won’t happen.

Kate

October 15th, 2010
10:20 am

So funny! I love the list, but there is NOTHING that could have even begun to prepare me for motherhood. Like the saying goes, if you wait until you’re ready to have kids, you’ll never have them. Personally, I made one of the most ungraceful transitions into motherhood ever! No postpartum depression or anything like that, just a whole lot of ineptitude. I had never really been around a newborn before, so I was pretty clueless. My hands shook every time I got my baby dressed or changed his diapers, I was a nervous wreck every time I had to drive with him in the car and don’t even get me started on all the times I got peed and pooped on! Yet, when I look back on that time I have to say those were some of the sweetest days of my life.

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
10:25 am

The moment that little life is shown to you, for the first time, is the most awesome moment you have ever known!

JJ…I cry at those prudctions even when my kids are not involved. They look so cute!

@ FCM and others:

When your 22 year old son tells his sister ( all in the same room with you):

“I know Mom has some goofy ideas but she did a pretty good job with us as we turned out o.k, so she must know something….” if you are ready, you will take that comment over any gift ANYONE could possibly give you!

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
10:26 am

typo…productions….sorry!

JJ

October 15th, 2010
10:29 am

When you hear the sweet little voice say “I love you Mommie”…….awwwwww…….

Then, 10 year later when that sweet little voice goes “God you’re so old you have no idea what it’s like to be a teenager”……

When that sweet smiling face becomes one of the moodiest people you have ever met……Who is this child?

CDD

October 15th, 2010
10:32 am

If you’re prepared to be embarrassed in public when your child decides to have their first temper tantrum. Or when they ask you why you to explain the topics that Cosmo (or whatever) has on their front cover. Be prepared to be embarrassed in private when asked how they got to be here, what your reaction was when you found out about them, and (my personal favorite so far) what is the anatomy of a penis… You might be ready.

I have never laughed so hard as after I became “Mom.” They crack me up. They drive me crazy too, but even so they’re the delight of my heart. Some days I do just want to run away and tell my husband that I’m sorry but I don’t think our cell phone plan will be able to reach me in Tahiti. But then they’re the days when, for no reason whatsoever, one of my kids will come up and say “Mommy, you’re the best mommy in the whole world. I love you.”

Oh, & one more: If you’re willing to try and take one day at a time… you might be ready.

HB

October 15th, 2010
10:35 am

Nice job, JG. :)

gpkbsin

October 15th, 2010
11:02 am

@Kate — as a friend of mine told me… “my kids survived infancy with me as an unprepared mother.. they’ll be fine now and i did good”. you did good.

JOD

October 15th, 2010
11:18 am

Classic JJ – hilarious! For me:

If you’re willing to get peed on, pooped on, and/or thrown up on from time to time and shrug it off to tend to your sick kiddo…

If you’re willing to admit that you will – at some point – call your spouse ‘Daddy’ (or ‘Mommy’), your dog said spouse’s name, the child the dog’s name, etc….

Becky

October 15th, 2010
11:19 am

JJ @10:29..I loved that one when I was told that I had never been a teenager, so I did not know what she was thinking..I laughed at her so hard, I was crying..

When you are able to go to work with less than 2-3 hours sleep and still love your little bundle..

When you love those sloppy, wet kisses more than any other..

When you realize that you could spend hours just looking at them and not worry about the “wasted” time..

Kate

October 15th, 2010
11:20 am

gpkbsin, thanks, that’s really nice of you to say! As parents, especially mothers, we can be really hard on ourselves, but I figure as long as I give my kids all the love I possibly can it will make up for my parental incompetence!

Whenever anyone asks me to describe parenthood I always think of that Peace Corps slogan: It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love!

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
11:46 am

JOD…true and if you forget your own name because you have been called Mom so many times!

JJ…in fairness, I do NOT have any idea what it is like to be a teenager in today’s world nor would I have a clue about most of the classes my two college kids are taking. Metro Atlanta is tougher than it was when I was a teenager in Arkansas!

JJ

October 15th, 2010
12:04 pm

When a bunch of freshly picked weeds become your favorite flowers….you proudly display dandelions in your best vase.

MomOf2Girls

October 15th, 2010
1:18 pm

When you can listen to your favorite comedian for hours on end without cracking a smile.

Huh?

I have found that the hardest thing about being a parent is not laughing hysterically at something your darling child has said or done in all seriousness, but is the funniest thing you have ever heard in your life. I have had to run into my bedroom and practically smother myself with a pillow on occasion!

Jesse's Girl

October 15th, 2010
1:31 pm

Suck it Shaggy;)

FCM

October 15th, 2010
1:41 pm

When your prepared to face the “company” towels being used to wash the dog to help Mommy out…you might be ready.

When your prepared to smile through burnt toast, and shell filled scrambled eggs for mother’s day…you might be ready.

When you are prepared to forgo a mani-pedi to watch your child’s soccer team lose for the 4th week in a row…you might be ready.

If you can stomach the lastest Disney Channel marathon, endless rounds of Candy Land, and to read Goodnight Moon 65 times in a row…you might be ready.

When you can trade the latest trendy hang out for Chuck E Cheese…you might be ready.

When you decide that Ecopt will beat an actual trip to Europe (at least for now)…you might be ready…then be prepared to actually go to Magic Kingdom instead.

When you are ready prepared to have the WHOLE world hear your family secrets…THEN you’re ready for a toddler.

Jesse's Girl

October 15th, 2010
1:47 pm

Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Trade Epcot for the real Europe! Brilliant!

BlondeHoney

October 15th, 2010
1:59 pm

Great column, JG, and I agree with all those who said you’re never REALLY ready. But you do know you’ve done it right when your 24 year old Navy officer tells you how much he has missed you, and looks at the 5 year old son of a friend and says to you “I remember how much I loved you then…and I still do” :)

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
2:05 pm

Good Job Blonde Honey….did you eat at the Cattle Baron in El Paso?

Oh yeah, one teacher was using shaving cream in Preschool ( great for table fingerpaint and cleans the table too!). A child asked her what it was really for and she replied, “You know, when your Dad shaves in the bathroom and uses it on his face.”

One little girl replied, “oh yeah…my Mom shaves her tooty in the shower and she uses it there too!”

Do you have the visual…LOL.

BlondeHoney

October 15th, 2010
2:07 pm

MJG, I passed right by the Cattle Baron but didn’t get a chance to eat there and i was SOOO disappointed. I am off to Oklahoma City next week; any suggestions?

Jesse's Girl

October 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

Yes…avoid coyotes and twisters:)

motherjanegoose

October 15th, 2010
2:21 pm

I once stayed in Norman, at the Hilton Garden Inn and they were so nice but I do not remember where I ate!

JJ

October 15th, 2010
2:57 pm

FCM – Love your list!!!!! Me and my best friend always had to talk code about Chuck E. Cheese. We always called it Charles Au Gratin in front of the kids….they had NO idea what we were talking about….

jakesdad

October 15th, 2010
4:32 pm

there’s really only one test that matters:

if you think you ARE ready – you’re WRONG!

if you recognize you aren’t ready you’re marginally less unready than those who think they are…

the only encouraging thing I can say is that people have been surviving the 1st six months for thousands of years & >90% of those w/o disposable diapers, bottles/formula, etc…

Yep

October 15th, 2010
6:08 pm

Pretty funny stuff.

Paige

October 15th, 2010
6:54 pm

After the toddler years…..the first time that the pre-school asked me to be a chaperone on a field trip….I look at the teacher and said that I was not old enough to be the chaperone and still needed one some times (I was 25 at the time) Now I just want to survive the teenage male years.

deidre_NC

October 16th, 2010
6:39 am

@jj…i started collecting shot glasses and thats what i use as vases for my little weedy bouquets lol