Bringing a baby into the world is just the beginning of initiation into parenthood. For the next 18 years of his or her life, your child will test your parenting skills in ways you never imagined. No parent is immune to these challenges, which test their mettle and spirit of strength as they face these 10 rites of passage into parenthood.
10 Rites of Passage Every Parent Goes Through:
1. Sleepless Nights
That newborn may look cute, but he will test your stamina with a 6-week baby boot camp that inevitably leads to sleep deprivation, which may cause chronic fatigue, clumsiness, decreased energy, headaches, raccoon eyes, and moodiness. Did I mention sleep deprivation is also a form of torture?
2. Diaper Blowouts
When soon-to-be parents practice changing diapers on baby dolls, it’s kind of cute, and, I should add, not at all realistic. The true test comes when they find themselves facing their first major diaper blowout, and they question how such a tiny human being could create such an explosion. Naturally, this always seems to occur after the baby’s bath or when he or she is dressed in his or her cutest clothes.
3. Stomach Bugs
For the most part, diaper blowouts are one and done, but they’re nothing compared to facing a parent’s worst nightmare: the dreaded stomach bug – an endless night of vomiting and diarrhea. First time parents look around the room to see who is going to clean up the gigantic mess on the otherwise perfect nursery. Finding no volunteers, they spend the rest of the night giving baths, scrubbing floors, changing sheets, and praying – lots and lots of praying – for the nightmare that is the stomach bug to end.
4. Toddler Hostage Negotiation
Then come the toddler years and suddenly parents become experts in toddler hostage negotiation, doing everything in their power to avoid an all-out meltdown.
“Don’t move! Drop the permanent marker and move away from the furniture!”
5. Science Fair Projects
Do teachers really think that third-graders do science projects by themselves? As if they could even go to the store to get what they need. That dreaded piece of paper comes home from school, and parents realize they’ve just been given homework. Who has time to plant little seeds and document their growth? Thank goodness for the Internet, so parents can BS their way through that whole mess.
6. “The Talk”
Parents starts sweating just thinking about explaining the birds and the bees to their son or daughter. So much awkwardness coupled with that deer in the headlights look that they give you as they come to terms with how they came into the world.
Puberty isn’t easy on anyone. It’s not easy on your adolescent, and it’s not easy on you as a parent. Making it through the years of puberty – that’s a rite of passage for the parent, just as much as the child (or whatever you call them now that they can shave).
8. Teaching Your Teenager to Drive
White knuckles and mild heart attacks – that’s what you should expect when teaching your teenager to drive. The only thing scarier than teaching them to drive with you in the car, is letting them drive without you in the car.
9. Teaching Your Teenager Anything
The only reason your teenager “lets” you teach him or her how to drive is because law requires it. You’ve raised a genius who knows everything there is to know about the world, so getting through to them in any area of life is a huge accomplishment.
10. Learning to Let Go
And who would’ve thought that after all you’ve endured as a parent (those sleepless nights, stomach viruses and more) that letting go would be the hardest part and you might be tempted to do it all over again (minus the stomach virus).