There are a lot of things about parenthood that people expect going into it. The exhaustion, bodily fluids, and constantly trying to appease a crying little creature are all pretty much known hazards. We all know the huge life changes are coming. However, there are a few unexpected side effects to parenting. These are just the little surprises that never really crossed your mind beforehand.
4 Odd Little Surprises of Parenthood
4) I See My Parents More Than I Did When I Lived With Them…
OK… that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. I love my parents, and I am very close with them. That being said, when I moved to Massachusetts (a state that 15 years later, I still cannot spell without a little help from spell check), my parents would come visit about twice a year. They live five hours away, and it was fine. This is no longer the case. I see my parents, like clockwork, once a month. Furthermore, they actually have the gall to pretend that my wife and I have anything to do with these visits. It’s OK mom, I know you love us, but I also know that these are needed doses of granddaughter.
As for my father… when did you turn from grumpy dad into happy grandpa? Seriously, where was Smiles the Clown when I was a kid? My dad is basically a mix of Red Foreman and the dad from Frasier… except when his grandkids are around. All of a sudden he’s the happiest guy in the world. This all leads him to say extremely loving things like “Kids are a necessary evil to get to grandkids…”. Love you too pops.
3) I Have Legitimate Preferences on Kids Shows
I am probably going to do a “Kid’s Show Review” thingy down the line. In the meantime, you need to know one thing. All kids shows are not created equal. On one side of the spectrum, we have cute little educational shows with positive characters like Daniel Tiger and Doc Mcstuffins. On the other side, we have badly animated, content-less time sinks like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and that awful one Caillou with the whining kid who isn’t allowed in my home.
I have legit feelings about these shows. Some of them I will flat out reject a lot of the time due to the fact that I’m pretty sure they are actively making my kid lose motor skills. Still, there are mornings where dad is just too tired for arguments. Those are the mornings that Mickey and his “Baby’s First CGI Class” cast of friends reign supreme.
2) I Don’t Want To Get A Babysitter
I used to love going out and partying. Now, most weekend nights, I really don’t want to. This isn’t a reflection on my friends. My friends are great. It’s not even usually based on what the event is (unless the event is camping… camping is awful). However, my wife and I both work full time, and our time with our daughter is basically relegated to Saturday and Sunday. Nights during the week are a rushed combination of dinner, a short amount of hanging out, and then it’s bedtime. Therefore, on the weekends giving up time with our kid isn’t an idea we’re all that keen on.
Obviously there are exceptions, and the occasional night out is a nice break, but most of the time I just don’t want to leave my daughter for any more time. This is why if I ask someone if an event is kid appropriate, it’s not because I expect you to adjust your event for my kid, or that I will be upset if it isn’t. It is simply because if it’s not kid appropriate, then I probably am not coming.
1) I Like The Activities I Never Thought I Would
By all accounts I’m a pretty token guy. My favorite past times mostly revolve around sports, video games, and laughing at things that my wife will never find funny. However, since my daughter was born, I have discovered I’m a pretty big fan of shopping for sundresses. Yep, I basically can’t walk by a kids store in the summer, and not look at the little dresses my daughter would like. If you asked me 4 years ago what activities I would really like as a dad, I can’t imagine dress shopping would rank real high on that list.
There are other activities that I do now that I never cared about, but this one sticks out the most. I think the main point is just that as a parent you will find yourself enjoying things you never thought you would. So keep an open mind, and try some new things with your kids even if those activities aren’t ones you would expect yourself to enjoy. Who knows, you might really like dress shopping too.
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