Help me not mess up this baby
I'm having a kid in about 5 months. What do I need to know?
Disclaimer: I don’t have kids, so maybe I shouldn’t be answering this. But I’m here and you’re here and let me tell you what I have learned about kids.
First we start with the trite answer: your life will drastically change. No longer will you be able to live fully for yourself. Instead, you will be responsible for a screaming mucus machine that will revel in destroying all you hold dear and then smearing feces across the remains.
And you’ll call it love.
Look, it’s going to suck. It’s going to suck a lot. When done properly, it’s a lot of work for little reward. When done poorly…well, watch the evening news. There is no immediate gratification. Eventually, as your spawn matures and goes through the varying phases of hating you, if you did a decent job they’ll come around and see that maybe you don’t completely suck. And in all those years, you’re going to be beyond stress with worry, fear, anger, happiness, jealousy* and a bunch of other emotions you didn’t even know existed. It’s true; becoming a parent unlocks the New Emotion Achievement. You’ll get all these weird feelings and no idea how to handle them or even what they are but they revolve around the kid and look, isn’t it cute how they painted the couch?
And that, I’m told, is worth it.
On the plus side, you get super powers. Eyes int he back of your head, a kind of Spider-Sense that automatically lets you know when your crotch cricket is getting into mischief, the ability to make people of all ages stop when you start counting (3 is the magic number). You’ll also get some deep psychological scarring that will make you tell people things like “I’ve never been happier” and mean it. That’s always nice.
There is only one piece of advice that matters: don’t freak out too bad. You’re going to make mistakes. So is your kid. And trying to compare one kid against another or one’s parenting experience with another is a little silly (which explains why I wore dresses until I was 13. Daddy wanted a girl).
Oh, and remember – if you screw it up, everybody will know.
*Anyone who gets older and doesn’t envy the young is a liar. Smack them with a herring.