20 Parents Reveal What No One Talks About Enough When It Comes To Having Kids

Except for the act of childbirth itself, having a child is easy. It’s raising a child that is unexpectedly complicated and draining. Twenty parents share tips about the unexpected twists and turns of parenthood.

“They Won’t Turn Out Like You Think”

“There’s a very good chance they won’t turn out like you think.” —u/weirdkid71

“You Don’t Have A Private Life Anymore”

“When they grow older, you don’t have a private life anymore. They stay awake longer than you.” —u/theofiel

“It Can Be Very Hard To Find A Balance”

“Once they get out of the toddler stage, it can become extremely worrisome and time-consuming to parent them to become good people….It’s a very delicate balance between trying to get them to listen to important things and trying to get them to become more independent.…It can be very hard to find a balance.” —u/katedid

“You Have To Parent The Kid You Have”

“You have to parent the kid you have. The books are fine for ideas, your experience, friends thoughts, pediatricians, therapists. But at the end of it all you have this complicated little person you’re in charge of with their own preferences, feelings, insecurities, abilities, and you have to do what works for them and your family and, of course, also raise someone who isn’t a blight on humanity or menace to society.” —u/Lilac77777

“How Important The Years Between 7 And 12 Are For Building A Bond”

“How important the years between 7 and 12 are for building a bond (one that lasts into the teenage years). They are so hard to listen to at that age with all the starts and stops in conversation and they talk about the most boring thing’s BUT it is so important to listen and converse at those ages.” —u/MajorTomato9191

“Practicing Diapers On A Doll Doesn’t Count”

“Practicing diapers on a doll doesn’t count. You’re ready when you can do it on a cat.” —u/Mashy6012

“Everything Takes Longer Than You Thought It Would”

“Everything takes longer than you thought it would….Everyone says that they won’t resort to screen time or frozen meals like chicken nuggets….You may have to compromise a few parts of your life….They do stupid shit all the time.…At the end of the day, you miss them.” —u/MisterEvilBreakfast

“The Days Are Loooong”

“The days are loooong and the years are so very short.” —udreamermom2

“It’s For The Rest Of Your Life”

“Parenthood does not end when they turn 18… it’s for the rest of your life.” —u/womanitou

“Nothing Prepared Me For The Sheer ‘Unrelentingness’ Of Parenting”

“Nothing prepared me for the sheer ‘unrelentingness’ of parenting. Every day for many years has to be finished with a dinner/bath/bed routine that takes two hours, regardless of how tired, upset or unwell you are. Difficult enough if you’ve been at work all day, yes. But also if you’re on holidays and got a little bit sunburnt, or been to a family wedding and overeaten, or spent the day assembling Ikea furniture and are just exhausted.” —u/zalie222

“Every Thought Seems To Get Interrupted”

“For me, I stopped having a chance to think anything through without interruption. I had a very hard time with that. I couldn’t remember anything, couldn’t make decisions, etc., because every thought seemed to get interrupted….I’d just sit in my car alone sometimes so I could think.” —u/ElsieDCow

“You Will NEVER Sleep The Same Again”

“You will NEVER sleep the same again. It’s just different levels of fear and worries as they get older….Also, I stupidly thought once I had a child I would automatically ‘know’ how to parent. You’re the same dummy before and after having a child, and you realize how much your parents were winging it.” —u/Lividlemonade

“The Sheer Terror Of Losing One Of Them”

“The sheer terror of losing one of them….And the fear is even worse when they’re little and innocent and haven’t at least had a life lived.” —u/pgabrielfreak

“How Judgmental Other People Can Be”

“How judgmental other people, especially other parents, can be.” —u/TrainDriverDad

“Once You Have Kids, You Have Kids”

“It is one of the two or three most absolute and permanent decisions you can make in life. Once you have kids, you have kids. No going back, no choosing differently, no letting time pass to heal any wounds. Not saying this is good or bad. It’s just a permanent decision (if you don’t take giving them up for adoption into account).” —u/Soyuz_Pilot

“Make Sure Your Mental Health Is Up To Par”

“Make sure your mental health is up to par when they become teenagers. I swear my youngest was going to drive me insane with all the worry she put me through with her mental health after her first bf cheated on her with her best friend after a year of dating.” —u/Daddys__Babygirl

“You Can Lose Who You Are”

“You can lose who you are while you’re raising them. But it’s so important to take time for yourself to keep this from happening….Also, that you have to teach them to pull their pants up.…I was so caught off-guard about having to explain how to pull pants up when getting dressed.” —u/NashvilleJM

“Try To Remember That Your Kid Is A Person”

“Try to remember that your kid is a person, no matter what problems arise. Remember what life was like for you growing up in different stages of your life, and try to empathize whenever possible.” —u/RevolutionaryStart70

“The Mere Thought Of Them Being Harmed In Any Way Can Completely Destroy You”

“If you felt invincible at some point in your life, you will never feel that way again. The mere thought of them being harmed in any way can completely destroy you.” —u/ilovelasko

“You Are Always Listening”

“With kids you are always listening, are they crying, are they fighting, are they too quiet, what just got opened, etc., etc. Gets better as they get older but nothing can prepare you for it.” —u/chuppiecabra