As it turns out, parenting is a lot harder when you actually have kids. I mean, it's easy enough to say how your future kids will always eat whatever fabulous meal you make for dinner and will choose to read books instead of watch television, but those ideas can all go out the window when your kids are actually born. This is something all parents (and these Reddit users) can sympathize with.
Here are 17 thoughts parents wish non parents knew:
1. I will try to help
"My kids may sometimes act up in a public place like a restaurant. If they do, I will quickly correct them and try to not have it interfere with your dining experience. I cannot prevent this from happening entirely."
2. You're not flawed and it's quite common
"You don't necessarily love your kid at first sight and it can take months to bond with him/her. You're not flawed and it's quite common, but it's rather taboo so not many people talk about it."
3. As it turns out
"Changing diapers isn't really that bad."
4. I am their parent, not you
"I don't know why people can't seem to comprehend that kids develop at different rates for all kinds of reasons. Mind your own business, Linda."
5. Something so small means a lot
"Asking how your friends' kids are doing means a lot. I am still close with several of my friends from high school, but there's only one that asks about my daughter. He is genuinely interested enough to make plans with us so he can see her. One friend asks once in a blue moon. The rest though don't seem to care and it hurts my feelings."
"That you have to pick your battles. To me, it's not the end of the world if my toddler wants to go shopping in his Batman costume. Maybe it looks like I'm not putting my foot down as a parent, but clothing choice always seemed like an odd hill to die on. As long as it is appropriate, I really don't care. There are much more important things to worry about. I'll save putting my foot down for homework, teeth brushing and things that actually matter."
"That I had no idea how much I would love my children. I didn't know such a wonderful, pure, fantastic love existed. When my little boy picks a flower or an interesting leaf from the garden and presents it to me with such love and wonder, it is the most wonderful feeling in the world"
8. Life doesn't just stop
"Don't assume that we stop having a life just because we have kids."
9. I'm still a person
"That while I love my kids with my whole heart, and would do anything for them, they don't define me.
"Telling me I don't look like a mom, or I'm too cool to have kids, or seem shocked when I talk about my hobbies and interests because clearly my only interests should be my kids, is really offensive. I'm still a person, I still have likes and dislikes, and I can still have fun. Yeah sometimes that fun is crawling through tubes at the indoor play ground. But sometimes that fun is going to a concert."
10. It's not an insult and it's not a complaint
"The phrase 'it changes your life in every single way, and you just don't know until it's happened to you' is not an insult. And it's not a complaint."
11. I will have my revenge
"That if you buy my kid noisy plastic toys with repetitive songs/sounds, if you ever had kids I will pay that back to you twice over :)"
12. Trust me on this one
"I don't wanna listen to my kids scream and throw a fit just as much as you don't...trust me."
13. That feeling
"What I wish non-parents knew? The feeling of having a really bad day at work for example, where everything is going wrong and everyone has been annoying you for 8 hours straight and when you go home, you enter the door to your 10 months old little boy, looking up to you, looking surprised, then realizing its mommy. They smile, they are happy. They start saying funny sounding words and reaching out their arms at you because he wants you to pick him up so he can hug you or give you a kiss on your cheek."
14. "My future kids will be perfect"
"It's much easier in theory. Hypothetical kids are pretty simple to discipline and take care off, real kids, however, are unpredictable and individuals and don't care what people think."
15. Toddlers can be well traveled
"You don't have to stop traveling when you have kids. Do you have to make concessions? Sure. You have to do that when you travel with anyone."
16. I'm not a babysitter
"I'm their dad. I'm not 'babysitting' them when their mom isn't around. I'm raising my children. The notion of fathers being incompetent or incapable just because we're men is really irritating."
17. Pure joy
"That the joy they bring by far outweighs the work and hardships you endure raising them."