Lately, I have been thinking about some of the sacrifices that people make when they decide to have children. More than once, I have found myself shaking my head as I ask myself, Is this what I signed up for? And then I realize that, as a parent, whether I knew it or not at the time, this is exactly what I signed up for. To help those of you who may be wondering if you’re ready to take the plunge, I came up with this handy little quiz, which has been medically and scientifically not proven to actually determine whether or not you should have children, but for the sake of my blog, please go ahead and take it anyway.
Are You Ready to Have Kids?
1. Do you love poop?
You can’t just like it. You have to love it. You have to embrace it in each of its forms and you must be prepared to do so for years. Understand that you will be touching it, smelling it, and bleaching it off of every surface of your home until your child has left for college. There will be black tar poop, yellow newborn poop, and all the colours, textures and sizes in between. There will be blowouts and potty training mishaps to clean. Stain remover will become your best friend. Poop is your life now.
Yes, I am willing to accept poop as an omnipresent part of my life. – 1 point
No, I will not stand for this (literal) shit. – 0 points
2. Do you enjoy sleep?
The loss of sleep that comes with having a newborn is no joke. These little snooze suckers like to wake up whenever they damn well please and you best be prepared that you’re going to be doing it right along with them. And don’t kid yourself. Once they start sleeping through the night (and they will, I promise), they make you pay for it by waking up at the asscrack of dawn. There’s a reason why children’s programming on television begins with the first light of the new day and is over by 10:30 a.m. Embrace it.
Without sleep, I am nothing. – 0 points
Just call me Seattle. Because I’m sleepless. Get it? Too young? Either way… – 1 point
3. Are you attached to the current appearance of your body?
Whether you carry a growing human in your womb or not, there is something about having a child that encourages the gradual stretching and softening of your once-svelte physique. It might have something to do with the temptation to nibble at the chicken nuggets on your child’s plate, or it could be related to your aversion to paying for child care just so you can punish yourself at the gym. Whatever the reason, it’s okay. You might get back to the 25-year old version of yourself, and you might not. Either way, enjoy the nuggets.
BRING ON THE NUGGETS. – 1 point
This does not sound appealing. – 0 points
4. Do you like the idea of repeating everything you say at least 14 times?
Do you? Do you? Do you? I’m going to count to five, and if you haven’t answered me by then, there will be a consequence. So, do you? Do you? I’m serious, do you?
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. – 1 point
No. – 0 points
5. Are you prepared to share your food for the rest of your life?
Luckily for my husband, marrying me was training ground for having a toddler he would one day have to share “one more bite” of every single one of his meals with. Unfortunately, I am used to being the one who eats everyone else’s food while guarding my own like The Crown Jewels of England, so the transition has not been as seamless.
I am willing to sacrifice. – 1 point
JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD. – 0 points
6. Do you enjoy the movie Groundhog Day? Would you like to experience it in real life?
A wise mother on my friend’s Facebook feed once noted that the life of a stay-at-home parent is like Groundhog Day, with the added bonus of getting older with each day that passes. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything more true in my life.
I love that movie so much I’d Bill Marry [Murray] it. – 1 point
No, thank you. – 0 points
7. Does sweeping your kitchen floor 6 times a day sound appealing to you?
I like to live on the edge and feed my children such fun-to-clean meals as spaghetti, rice, quinoa and Cheerios because I enjoy chasing tiny morsels of sticky food around my kitchen with a broom for hours. You can circumvent the never-ending sweeping by investing in a drop cloth to place under your child’s seat (but keep in mind that you will then have to commit to cleaning said drop cloth). You can also send your offspring outside to eat every meal on the lawn, but then you’ll have your concerned neighbours to contend with (especially during the winter months).
That sounds like enough to sweep me off my feet! – 1 point
There is no way I am going to do that. – 0 points
8. Are you someone who likes having a mild heart attack at least once a week?
From the moment your child is born, he or she will delight in doing things that send you into a spiral of self-doubt and/or panic at least once every 7 days. Your newborn will develop a strange rash or learn how to sleep on his stomach when you aren’t looking. Your infant will learn to crawl before you were prepared and will manage to locate any object that isn’t bolted down and pop that item into her mouth quicker than you can say amuse-bouche. Your toddler will find great amusement in hiding in a secret corner of the house until you finally break down and call the police because you’re sure they have been kidnapped. Your school-aged child will knock the wind out of himself jumping on the trampoline and your teenager won’t answer their phone when out past their curfew. The fun never ends!
Bring on the AED! – 1 point
This does not sound optimal for my health. – 0 points
9. Are you able to speak in an overly-enthusastic voice three pitches higher than your regular tone for at least 65% of the day?
If you have a pet, then you are probably well-versed in the voice that adults also involuntarily seem to adopt when speaking to babies and young children. I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore. Sometimes I catch myself using it when speaking to other adults. If I’ve done it to you, I’m sorry. Ahem. *lowers voice 3 octaves* I’m sorry.
Yessy yes yes coochie coochie coo! – 1 point
I can not and will not. – 0 points
10. Would you like to experience the miracle of life?
There is nothing on this earth like the feeling you get when you meet your child for the first time. All of the waiting and wondering is over and they are placed in your arms. It is 100% the meaning of the phrase love at first sight. You might cry, or you might not. You might be completely frozen with emotion, or you might not move because you’re just too dang exhausted to. But your heart will be bursting and you will never look back. You are now responsible for the life of another and yours will never be the same (I truly mean this in a good way).
Miracle, shmiracle. – 0 points
Yes, I would like that very much. – 10000 points
11. How do you feel about watching a tiny human being learn how to do something for the very first time?
Before your very eyes, your child will change so quickly you’ll barely realize it’s happening. Suddenly, your completely helpless infant will learn the sound of his own voice and will spend hours babbling to himself and everyone around him. Their first smile will completely melt your heart and the sound of their laugh will be more addictive to you than crack (or scrapbooking, if you’re reading this, Ryan from The Office). You’ll be amazed as you watch your baby become increasingly independent as they begin to crawl and then walk. Their first words will be one of the most exciting sounds you’ll hear. You’ll continue to be their biggest cheerleader with every new milestone, and you’ll get excited about things you take for granted doing yourself every day.
This sounds better than crack (or scrapbooking). – 10000 points
I only celebrate my own milestones. – 0 points
12. Would you like to experience unconditional love?
Your baby’s life is completely in your hands. They trust you. They love you. You are their entire world. To your toddler, you are a safe place. A hero. There is little you can do to convince them of the fact that you are anything but perfect. The best person on the planet. I don’t think I could have put it better than this article does. Try not to cry while you read it, and let me know how that goes.
This unconditional love goes two ways. Your child will love you unconditionally and, of course, you will love them without bounds, in spite of your exhaustion, frustration, anger, or anything else. At the end of some of the longest days ever, you will look at your child(ren) in awe of the miracles that they are and be thankful, right down to your core, that they are yours. You will want to kiss them and hug them so tight that their insides come shooting out of their eyeballs (I think this is impossible, but probably still be careful). You will tell them a hundred times a day that you love them and it won’t feel like enough. You will say that there’s nothing on earth that you wouldn’t do for them. And this will be true.
I can’t think of anything better. – 10000000000000 points
Everyone wants unconditional love. – 1000000000 points
Do you want to have kids? Even a little bit? Then go ahead and do it. This is just like Whose Line Is It Anyway? The game where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. Except pretty much everything I wrote up there actually is true. But it doesn’t matter. Because if you have a heart for bringing a new life into this world, I can promise you that every single sacrifice you make will be worth it, and it’ll be the best dang ride of your life.