Steve Wiley's Five Realities of Parenthood
Steve Wiley is Jackalope Ranch's Parent Hood. He's a slightly unorthodox father of five who will weigh in weekly with his mildly-rebellious views and observations. If you'd like to see how he came to write this column, watch the intro video. This week he enlightens would-be parents about what to actually expect.
What to Expect When You're Expecting... For Real
I wasn't really ready to have kids. Hell, I wasn't even ready to have a dog. The shortened version of each scenario, in successive calendar years (dog first), went like this: I said, "Let's wait. I don't think I'm ready"; She said, "You're never going to be ready... so let's do it."
So we did it.
Thanks for the Visit. Enjoy Your New Human Being.
I still wasn't ready. I remember the terrifying moment when I pulled up the car to load up my wife and my son from the hospital. The thought went something like "You can't be serious, I have no idea how to do this." The nurses had given us a few instructions, but I felt like I needed more practice. A little knowledge beyond listening to my wife read the unnerving physiological details of What to Expect When You're Expecting.
Nope. Not a manual... nothing. They just sent us on our way.
Luckily, over the years, I've learned a little bit. Admittedly, I didn't have much of a choice. You could say I've been bludgeoned with some hard lessons. Like a reality steamroller, kids have a way of putting down a new set of rules. You learn it the hard way.
In order to save you currently young-and-hipster, soon-to-be parental units some of that learning, I thought I'd share a few of these "lessons":
5. Kids Don't Care About Hangovers.
That's right, kids get up really early... no matter how you feel. And guess what? You have to get up with 'em. This fact, combined with the wicked hangovers that kicked in when I was about twenty-eight, pretty much reeled in my alcohol consumption.
Sub-lesson: Your wife doesn't care about hangovers either. If she got up with Junior on Saturday, you'll be doing it Sunday morning... regardless of what you did on Saturday night.
So make sure you sew your wild oats before you come to the parenting party.