Do you want to know a good rule to live by?

If you’re NOT a parent, you probably shouldn’t act like you know what you’re talking about when it comes to raising kids.

I know, what a crazy concept, right?!?!

Parents on Buzzfeed talked about parenting misconceptions that folks without kids have.

1. Not a nightmare.

“Raising these new humans and watching them grow and learn and show their personalities is amazing and fun!

Yes, there are a lot of hard or obnoxious things about being a parent, but it’s not the nightmare social media often makes it out to be.”

2. You can have your own life.

“I do, in fact, have an identity outside of my kids and family.

Yes, of course they take up a lot of capacity, time, emotions, etc., but I am still a whole person outside of them. Maybe that’s not the case for other parents, but being my own person – kids or not – is very important to me.

Also, the idea that as a parent of more than one kid you have no time for anything besides kids; my parentless friends often work 60+ hours a week and are just as busy but with other priorities.

I don’t count myself as ‘more busy,’ though yes, my plate may look different, and I have more cylinders in my life going on, but we’re all busy!”

3. Roll with it.

“A big misconception is that you’ll lose your identity.

In the beginning it’s hard to separate being a parent from who you were before with the long nights, lack of sleep, and general worries. But it does come back. I found it helped immensely to return to work, where I had an identity other than being just a mom.

And the older the kids get, the more you’ll become your own person again. Kids may change things around, but trust me when I say you’ll find yourself embracing the change and finding new ways of rolling with it.”

4. Doesn’t always move fast.

“The biggest misconception is that ‘it goes by so fast.’

No, it doesn’t. Some days positively drag by, and I find myself looking forward to the multiple cups of coffee I’ll drink and the brief silence of nap time.

I love my children, and I would do anything in the world for them, but the days when I track the time by how many episodes of Peppa Pig we’ve watched are as long as Frodo’s trip to Mordor.

Looking back on photos always makes me think that long-past moments feel like yesterday, but in my heart I know that those moments were a lifetime ago, which, in a way, I’m thankful for. I get to enjoy all the little moments.”

5. Let them be themselves.

“That you should ‘treasure every moment’ or miss the baby years.

I find so much joy in seeing our kids grow and change to become people of their own. The Talmud says about children, ‘We push away with the left hand, but we bring close with the right hand.’

Love and cherish your kids, but also let them be free to become themselves.”

6. Missing them.

“That it’s completely miserable and we can’t wait for kid-free time.

It can definitely wear you out; waking up with a hangover and getting three kids up, dressed, fed, and in the car by 8 a.m. only to drive all over town to drop them off at separate schools and/or daycare is A LOT.

But I miss them *so much* when I’m not with them. Sometimes it physically hurts.”

7. Emotionally prepared.

“everyone talks about financial preparedness being important before becoming a parent, but I rarely see discussions around being emotionally prepared, especially if you have any history of mental illnesses or trauma.

Pregnancy, birth, postpartum, sleepless nights, excessive crying, feeding difficulties – all of that and more come *in the first week* and it *will* be triggering of trauma responses and mental illness exacerbation.

There’s absolutely no avoiding it … So if you want to become a parent in the future, while you’re busy preparing that college fund and the down payment on your starter home, also go to therapy and prioritize it above your wealth.

Money can run out, houses burn down, and if anything catastrophic happens, you’re going to have to deal with it in a healthy way for your children.”

8. A juggling act.

“‘Sleep when the baby sleeps.’

I have other children to take care of when the baby sleeps.”

9. Here we are…

“Mostly it’s all the things they say they would ‘never’ do. There were a lot of things I said I’d never do before I had kids, but here we are. I don’t think people always understand how much parenthood can be about survival.

I have two children and one has a rare chromosome disorder. So there are things I never did with my oldest that I do with my youngest because the game changes completely when the second child has some special needs.”

10. Gotta stay on schedule.

“Childless friends assume we’re being inflexible if we won’t schedule activities during nap times.

It’s just not worth it! My two, sans naps, turn them into actual gremlins, and it will likely impact bedtime too.

I’m sorry we can’t make lunch at a regular time, but I don’t need any reason for bedtime to be extended or for additional tantrums!”

11. You don’t need all that stuff.

“That kids cost a ton of money.

Obviously, you do need things for them, but it doesn’t have to cost a bomb.

There’s so much you can get cheap or secondhand, and half the stuff you think you need you really don’t.”

12. Not exactly…

“I have five kids ranging in age from 13 years old to four months.

I love how everybody I know who doesn’t have children just assumes the oldest two (who are 13 and 11 years old) are a huge help with the toddlers and baby.

Yes, they help if we ask, but they are still children themselves and cannot be expected to help us be parents.”

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