1. Many, many mornings at 5:30 a.m., you will spend inordinate amounts of time bargaining with God for just one more hour of sleep.
2. There is no painless way to extract a baby from a womb. You will spend lots of time arguing with other mothers about which is less painful, a C-section or a vaginal birth. In reality, they both hurt more than any other hurt you’ve ever experienced in your entire life. But it’s the kind of pain that’s worth it, for the most part.
3. You will become so used to touching your child’s bodily fluids-snot, urine, poop, spit, and blood-that they will no longer gross you out.
4. You will become an expert at the art of “poop reading,” which is the ability to tell whether your child is sick based on the size, color, shape and frequency of his or her bowel movements.
5. You will develop a condition known as “momnesia” at the moment of conception. Experts say it lifts about a year or two into parenthood, but any honest mother will tell you that it lasts a full 20 years, at which time you will develop senility instead.
6. During pregnancy, you will find all sorts of crud in your underwear, crud that makes your worst yeast infection ever seem very, very, very tame.
7. After you give birth, you will begin to hate your spouse and wish he or she would just drop dead.
8. Your child will embarrass you on a deeper level than you’ve ever been embarrassed in your life, especially when you are standing in line at a store and your 3 year old exclaims, “Whoo-wee Mommy, you farted! It stinks in here!”
9. Your boobs will look Pam Anderson fantastic during breast-feeding. Love it while it lasts. As soon as your child weans, your boobs will deflate faster than a balloon with a hole in it. And they will get saggy, too. This is the single most common reason why many women decide to have more than one child.
10. Not long into parenthood, you will trade off your goal of being the “perfect parent” for the goal of “just help me survive this experience.”
11. There will be a day at some point after parenthood when you find yourself out in public and realize any or all of the following: a) your shirt is inside out b) there is food on your shirt c) you forgot to brush your teeth… and your hair d) you forgot to put on your pants.
12. All of those expressions you learned from your parents that you swore you would never repeat? You will say them to your child, and you will say them many, many times.
13. If you did not curse before parenthood, you will afterward. If you cursed before parenthood, you will curse even more.
14. Your child will start to manipulate you starting around 4 months, a process that will last until your funeral. You will learn to see this for what it is: how your child displays his or her love for you.
15. You will find yourself Googling all sorts of oddities, from, “How to teach a kid to poop on the potty” to “I have a crush on my pediatrician. Is this normal?”
16. You will ask yourself, “Is this normal?” many, many, many times, and you will never really know the answer to that question. For instance, while eating dinner at a restaurant, your child might slip his or her hands up your shirt and exclaim, “I’m touching your nipples!” Is that normal? I’m still not sure.
17. You will realize just how much you really do not know, especially when your child asks you, “Whose head is on the quarter?” and “Why do Zebras have stripes?” and “Why can’t I put my hands up your shirt when we are out in public?”
18. You will constantly worry that someone will call Child Protective Services on you, even though you are truly a good parent. Your child is just clumsy.
19. Time will become your most precious commodity, and you will haggle with your spouse over it as if it were gold.
20. You will learn to fear birthday invitations.
21. Grocery shopping will never quite be the same experience again.
22. If you had extra money before you became a parent, you won’t have it afterward.
23. Diapers cost more than you would ever imagine. Daycare costs even more, and don’t even think about the cost of a college education. If you do, you will probably decide not to have children.
24. The expression, “All shit stinks” is inaccurate. The poop of newborn breast fed babies doesn’t stink. Poop only starts to stink once babies start eating solids, and some solids make it stink more than others. You will soon become an expert at sniffing poop and knowing exactly what food led to that precise odor.
25. You will find yourself throwing away all sorts of things that make you feel guilty, such as your child’s artwork.
26. The day you give birth, your hair will start to gray and you will start to grow a mustache. It happens to the best of mothers. Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap hair removal products, not to mention dye.