10 Steps to Prepare For Motherhood



I opened a diaper the other day (one attached to a child), and a baseball-size ball of poop rolled out … into my hand. Like any normal human would do, I shrieked. And then, like any mother would do, I calmly threw it away.

It got me thinking that there should be a way to determine whether one is really able to handle parenthood. I mean, really. Babysitting does not count. I babysat all the time growing up … and I had three siblings. None of that prepared me in the slightest for having my own kids. I wasn’t privy to the late-night feedings or early-morning vomits that I am now.

So I’ve devised a test, and it doesn’t involve staying up all night listening to crying. That’s the easy part!

1. Procure a baseball-size hunk of feces—human, animal, whatever. Hold it in your hand for one minute.

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2. Have a friend or spouse fill his or her mouth with fake blood and run to you screaming. Put your hand in the mouth and try to determine the source of bleeding.

3. Dip your hand into a jar of peanut butter, and rub your hands together like you’re spreading on lotion. Run your hands along every upholstered surface in your house.

4. Fill a few sippy cups with milk, and hide them like you would Easter eggs around the house, except upside-down. Set a reminder for 10 days, and then try to determine where they all are … and how to remove the smell from your house. It doesn’t matter whether the cups are “leak-proof” or not. A cup filled with milk sitting upside-down on your carpet for 10 days will leak–guaranteed.

5. Buy a bunch of children’s books and marvel at how 99.99% of them have animals in them. Understand that every creature—rhinoceros, duck, porcupine—in those books is 99.9999% easier to care for than caring for a child. Many books have different ideas about how an animal should sound. “Ribbit” in one book and “croak” in another don’t jive. Talk to your spouse about consistency in animal noises. It will save for confusion later. Also, agree on animal noises for animals that you don’t know. We’ve told ours that giraffes say “Munch crunch” as they eat leaves from a tree (and we stole that from a book). Because your kids will want to know.

6. Find a college bar, and hang out there until someone looks like they need to vomit. Stand 5 inches away from their face when it happens.

7. Scoop a hunk of mud out of your yard and throw it in the tub. Now, take a cup and try to scoop out every piece of that mud as it breaks apart. This is what happens when someone poops in the tub. Poop (and probably mud) is harder to corral than a goldfish.

8. Learn silly sounding words like Boppy and Bumbo and Mamaroo, Desitin and Boudreaux’s. Those are serious things.

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9. Get a regular screwdriver, and try to fix a pair of loose glasses. Those tiny screws? They’re in all baby toys/implements. Bonus points if you put a recording of a screaming toddler on while doing this.

10. Study Baywatch-era photos of Pamela Anderson. If you want a mid-90s rack like that, don’t nurse or pump for 8 hours. And, voila! A chest of rocks.

If you got through this little test, congratulations. You are definitely fit to be parent!

You are also fit to be a serial killer.


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  1. says

    Haha…I think I could handle all but the vomit and the poop…I actually am a little concerned about having kids for that very reason…I have OCD and right now I can take care of kids just fine when they are healthy, but if a kid gets sick I’m not sure I could handle it…my plan right now if it happened is get another adult to take over and get out of there, but that is a less appropriate response to one’s own children…(spit up is fine though…it’s just the vomit that incapacitates me…and I can change diapers as long as wipes are available…)

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    • susan says

      ~va~ maybe you can share the duties with your spouse, significant other, partner, good friend, whatever your situation is. I couldn’t (and still can’t) clean up vomit without also vomiting. I can clean up all sorts of poo, and whistle a happy tune while I do it, but vomit – ugh. In fact, I have to stop this note because I’m getting nauseated. But find someone else to clean that particular mess. In the worst case (if you are alone), throw some pet miracle sawdust granules over it – the sawdust absorbs the vomit horror and then you can just sweep it up. That removes a lot of the “ick” factor.

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    • claire says

      Vomit incapacitates me too. It is my worst fear. And I wrote this post. And survived. But that doesn’t mean every time one of my children coughs I don’t freak out a little … at least until I know we’re not in the vomit zone. When one of my kids started gagging a few weeks ago, I literally backed up as he was walking toward me. This post sounds like satire, but it isn’t. :-)

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