You read the books. You took the classes. You survived building a crib – and you didn’t even kill your husband during the process.
You are definitely ready to take on parenthood.
Or are you?
Sure, the nursery is painted. The car seat is installed. And I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is simply the calm before the inevitable child rearing storm.
What else can you possibly do, you ask?! You packed your hospital bag, you interviewed potential pediatricians, and you even enrolled your future newborn in the best (and most expensive) daycare possible.
Sadly, these things will not truly prepare you what’s coming your way.
Stay calm. Skip your Lamaze class this afternoon and continue reading. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled 15 real-life, authentic exercises for you to complete that will most certainly better prepare you for parenthood.
1. Turn off all the lights in your family room, throw a bucket of Lego’s on the floor, and attempt to avoid stepping on them for an entire week.
2. Eat Cheerios for dinner three nights in a row.
3. Drink a bottle of wine and then set your alarm for 1am, 3am, and 5am. Sounds fun, right? Hung over parenting. Get ready for it, people.
4. Use a permanent marker to color small areas on every surface in your house. Practice using a variety of cleaning materials to remove the marker from all surfaces. Take notes and save for a later date.
5. Buy three cans of Play Doh, mix it until it turns brown, then smash half of it into your carpets.
6. Record the following: “Mom? Mommy? Hey Mom?? Mooommmm? MOM?!” And then play it on repeat for twelve hours on a Saturday.
7. Put child locks on your toilets and then try to open them when you have to pee in the middle of the night. If you’re really up for a challenge, drink four cocktails before attempting this exercise.
8. “Accidentally” send multiple text messages to your ex-boyfriend with “hdnakbsnebwnannanabdjd. …$;&3@&/$/$!3shshehejjsbd” in the text field.
9. Show up to work ten minutes late and try to convince your boss that a poop explosion in a car seat is a legitimate reason for being late to work.
10. Take 400 photos of the floor on your cell phone and spend all night deleting them because your storage is full once again.
11. Fold three loads of clean laundry, dump it all over the floor, and squeeze a juice box all over it. Repeat.
12. Make a cup of coffee, set it down on your mantle, heat it up again twice throughout the day, and never take a sip.
13. Listen (and sing along) to “The Wheels on the Bus” for an entire three hour road trip.
14. Smash a box of goldfish crackers into tiny crumbs and gently scatter it all over the backseat of your car.
15. Study every creak in the floor boards of your house. Memorize them. Practice crawling from the crib to your bedroom in silence without disturbing any of the squeaky boards. Trust me on this one – you’re going to need it.
There you have it! You’ve completed the parenting version of a CrossFit workout. If you’ve done the exercises correctly, you’re probably exhausted, frustrated, annoyed, sore, hungry, and terrified of what’s to come (and rightfully so).
Now all you need to do is fit these exercises into your daily schedule every day for the rest of your life and you are officially ready to take on parenting! Congrats and good luck!