10 Things I Wish I Knew About Parenting – 6 Month Edition

Following the success of my Newborn Edition of Top 10s, I figured I’ve learned enough to write another one. Here’s a basic summary of my last 6 months; hopefully it helps you out in some way or at least makes you laugh. Cheers!

1) You won’t care what you look like in public anymore.
Bags under your eyes? So what? Dried spit-up on your shirt as you walk in the door at work? No biggie. Hair all askew from the rushed 30-second shower with no dry time? Pffft, you should get credit just for showing up. Wear it all as badges of pride. To quote the great Patton Oswalt, “I want to apologize to anybody that I ever made fun of for wearing sweatpants in public. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, they’re a miracle. I thought that the pinnacle of mankind would be a Mars colony or teleportation. Nope. Sweatpants!

2) Jet lag is no big deal after you’ve had a child.
Staying up for an extra 4 hours to adjust your clock to the opposite end of the world seems like peanuts after you’ve stayed awake 6 extra hours for 3 straight days tending to a sore and frightened infant who’s going through a growth spurt.

3) The reason time flies is because your child changes literally Every. Single. Day.
Just when you’re done adapting to one skill, mannerism, or habit your child completely switches directions. Time as you know it becomes completely relative to your child’s daily development and activities. That’s why 6 months feels like 6 weeks but 30 seconds of solid crying feels like 30 years.

4) You’ll never know how much disposable diapers suck until you use cloth.
Full disclosure: I’m not a shill for the cloth diaper industry but we use cloth diapers 100% of the time at home and 85% of the time when we travel. I don’t care how you diaper your children. Seriously, you do what’s best for your family. But it is an irrefutable fact that no disposable diaper will ever hold a candle to the quality of a cloth one. Absorbency, containment, softness, ease of use, everything and anything you need a diaper to do, cloth does it better. I completely understand why people use disposables – the upfront cost of cloth can be daunting. BUT, if you are fortunate enough to have a baby shower, the total amount of money people will spend on disposable diaper “cakes” or “towers” and all the required accouterment (diaper “genies”, rash cream, etc.) is roughly the same as they’ll spend on a complete set of cloth diapers for an infant. And the water bill from doing laundry every day? Mine has increased a whole $5 per month. Watch out now! Sarcasm aside, if you want any info or tips on cloth diapers just send me an email or check out some of the links under “Merch” on the right side of the main page.

5) Core strength is underrated.
Hauling a 15-pound 4-month old is no joke. You’ll wish you didn’t go soft on all those ab crunches and twists at the gym before you had a kid when you weren’t feeling motivated because you only got 7 hours of sleep. Seriously, lift with your legs. Speaking of……

6) Leg strength is underrated too.
We have TWO sets of 16 stairs each in our house. Needless to say I see a ranch or a retirement home with an elevator in our future. Bend deep to maximize the power from those quads and calves.

7) You’ll gain the “First Child 15”.
Unless you’re Tiger Mom (and why would you want to be?) or you hire your own personal chef, you’ll gain the weight. Why? Motivation, or lack thereof. Now, before you panic, remember that it’s okay. It’s only temporary, and as you figure out how to adjust your life to get your eating and exercise habits to compliment your new addition, things will eventually drift back to normal. Or they won’t, and that’s probably okay too. Just stay focused on the fact that you are doing the most important job on earth. Period.

8) It still takes two.
Again, a HUGE shoutout to the single parents because I still have no idea how you pull it off. Having a second parent there to share the load is the best thing for everyone’s sanity and for the health of the child. 2 mommies, 2 daddies, or 1 of each, it doesn’t matter. Two is always better than one.

9) Going out in public is like being in the mafia.
Whenever you enter a room you quickly scan for hazards, identify all possible exits and escape routes, and always sit facing the door. When your meal is finished you ask for the check as quick as possible and tip big for any “inconvenience” you’ve caused the staff. Then after you clip the kid in the car seat and close your car door you breathe a sigh of relief, just grateful you’ve survived the night.

10) It’s all still worth it.
Every single moment. I wouldn’t trade any of this for the life I had before my son. It’s everything I wanted it to be and then some.

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