10 Things You Don’t Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

I used to get annoyed when people told me, “Oh, you have no idea about having kids until you have them.” Sure I did. Who doesn’t know that although kids are cute, they are also a lot of work? That’s why you get a dog to practice before having a kid. Like, duh.

Now that I have three kids, it’s my turn to pass on this knowledge to people I know having their first kid. YOU REALLY HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT HAVING KIDS UNTIL YOU HAVE KIDS! Sorry for shouting, but it’s true. So so so so so so very true.

Not that anyone asked, but if I were going to give advice to first-time parents, I wouldn’t just state the obvious about their life changing forever. That’s not helpful. Kids are a lot of work, yadda, yadda, yadda. Instead, I’d sit them down in comfy chairs, hand them a beer or glass of wine, and break it down for them all realistic-style. Ok, let’s get to it…

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#1: Kids Are Gross. I think most people without kids understand this in theory–kids poop and pee and puke–but in practice . . . when you’re the parent, YOU are the one cleaning up all of this (literal) shit. And not just when dealing with diapers and potty training and the occasional tummy bug. Those are a given. But like when your kid decides to take a dump on the floor. At the mall. (Or, unfortunately for a friend of mine, in her hand, at the grocery store.) Or when your kid decides she’s big enough to pee alone in the stall at Target but forgets to take off her pants. Or when your kid works himself into such a tantrum that he barfs up everything he has managed to consume from what seems like the past 2 days.

These, my friends, will not be isolated incidents. Especially when your kids are little. These shenanigans will happen often, if not daily. If your kid has a proclivity for such behavior, you may even be dealing with this stuff a few different times a day. That adds up to a shit-ton of shit. And since you’re the one cleaning up all of this, you can bet your britches that some of this crap will end up on you too. If you’re lucky, you’ll get just a little on your hand. Although gross, easily fixed with some good hand hygiene. If you’re unlucky, well, let’s just say you better hope you realize where the smell that’s been following you all day is coming from before someone else does.

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And while we’re on the topic of kids doing gross things, I’d like to put this fact out there: Kids eat their boogers. I think people like to think only other people’s kids do this, but that’s not true. Every kid will at some point in time eat boogers. You just want to hope it’s only their boogers they’re eating. Your kid may try it just once, or it may develop into a habit that lasts for a while. But it will happen. Same goes for ABC gum they find stuck to the underside of a movie theater seat, or a cold half-eaten fry they find on the floor of McDonald’s because, you know, they were still hungry. Dear god, I wish I were making this stuff up.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#2: Kids Are Dirty. I only had a vague notion about kids and dirt before having my own. I used to babysit a lot, so I knew about the messy face and hands after eating, and even about the crumbs they left all over the table and floor. What I did not know what that this dirt cannot be confined. It doesn’t matter how often you wipe them down after eating or how often you vacuum in the wake of a meal. You will find crumbs in bed (yours, theirs), crumbs in the carpet, crumbs in the cracks of the couch, crumbs in their cracks. You will ask yourself, “How in the world did crumbs get into the freaking tube of toothpaste?!” Like actually into the tube. Kids are just crafty like that.

The crumbs will even multiply and migrate out into your car. Their car seats (who am I kidding, your entire car) will forever be encrusted with ground-up goldfish bits, rogue Cheerios, and broken pretzel sticks. Don’t be too quick to clean out your car, though. This may prove useful on a long car trip when you’ve forgotten snacks. “Oh, sorry kids, just dig around in the cracks of your seat, I’m sure you’ll find something to tide you over.”

In addition to the crumbs you’ll find everywhere, EVERYTHING in your house, including the kids, will be sticky. Toys, books, DVD cases, toilet flusher thingies, faucets, door handles (especially the one on the refrigerator), TV remotes, cabinets, tabletops, countertops, your cell phone, the cat. You’ll need to keep plenty of Windex on hand to wipe their fingerprints off the mirrors and the TV screen. You’ll also need a lot of towels to clean up all of the drinks they’ll spill. At. Every. Single. Meal. Oh, and find a good laundry detergent. Preferably one that can handle the different kinds of stains you’ll be trying to remove from your pants every time you sit in something new and find your ass stuck to the couch.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kidsl

 #3: Kids Are Hoarders. You have kids, you’re gonna have toys. Everyone knows that. What I wasn’t prepared for as a parent was having my entire house practically turn into a toy store. A toy store that exploded. And then had all the toys copulate and give birth to newer and newer generations of toys. Much like the crumbs from the first post, this stuff can’t be contained. You’ll have toys everywhere. Kids’ room, check. Living room, check. Dining room, check. Your room, check. Kitchen, check. Bathroom, check. Stuffed in any drawer your kids can find because they’re good hiding places, check.

Even if you don’t buy your kids too many toys, you can bet your family and friends will. (And usually the kind that play loud, annoying music or can be used to make a lot of noise. But, that’s another topic completely. Love you family!) Not to mention all of the craptastic “toys” they’ll get from those kids meals you swore you’d never feed them. The ones that always seem to break 18.25 seconds into playing with them. The ones your kids go ballistic over if, heaven forbid, they find them in the trash.

We used to have a dining table in here. Can you spot our china cabinet?

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And the more kids you have, the more bins and baskets and buckets and shelving units to hold said bins and baskets and buckets you’ll be buying to shove their toys in to. (Thank you, Ikea!) At first you’ll probably have some type of sorting system for the toys. You’ll want all of the plastic food to stay with the play kitchen, the gazillion trains and cars to stay together, and all of Barbie’s effing little shoes and accessories in one place so that when your kid is looking for things you know where to find them, hopefully avoiding an epic meltdown. (“Mooooooooom-mmy, where is my blue car?! I need my blue car! Not that blue car, the other blue car!” WTF?)

But eventually you’ll give up and just start throwing things in whatever container has even a smidge of free space. “You will fit in there!” Don’t feel bad about this. Just surrender; your sanity will thank you, and it’ll be so much easier in the long run. Plus, once you let go, you’ll find you’ll have more time to worry about other pressing issues. Like why the hell your one eye keeps twitching like that.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#4: Kids Are Moochers. When it comes to eating, kids typically fall into two categories — 1) those that eat anything and everything, and 2) those that eat hardly anything. If you have more than one kid, you may even get lucky and have both! Or your kid may fall into one category one month, day, or second and fall into the second category another. (Actually, you can pretty much count on this.) This makes for fun meal planning, I can assure you. *eyes rolling*

Regardless of which camp they fall into, all bets are off when they see you with food. They are going to want to cozy up to you and “share” whatever it is that you are eating. ”Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite? Can I have a bite? Just one teeny bite?” For the love of Pete! And it won’t even matter what it is that you are eating. “Begetables, mmmmm, I lub begetables!” “Fish, I lub fish!” “Spicy, mmmmm, I lub spicy.”

If you actually want to eat your meal in its entirety, you have two options. Option 1: If you know your kid likes the food you’re trying to enjoy, DO NOT GIVE IN. I mean it, do not give him or her even just one tiny bite. As much as they say they understand that they will only get one bite and that’s going to be it, they’re lying. Always. Option 2:If you know your kid does not like the food you’re trying to enjoy, do the opposite of what I recommend in Option 1–give him or her a heaping forkful to nosh on. When your kid realizes what you’re eating is just absolutely disgusting, he or she will likely spit it out, right back on your plate, no doubt, and then go find something else to do. Until he or she forgets and comes back begging for more approximately 5 seconds later.

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Sadly, this was not staged.

So I guess you’re just better off going with Option 1 in all cases. Unless you want to avoid this scenario entirely and you hide out in the kitchen (or bedroom or bathroom even) so that you can scarf down your meal in peace!

And while I’ve focused on food here, please know that your kids’ mooching knows no bounds. You should probably plan to stock up on chapstick and deodorant and pens, too.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#5: Kids Don’t Sleep. When you want them to, that is. Everyone knows that new parents usually get very little sleep until their baby is sleeping through the night. (Those bags and dark circles under your eyes never completely go away, by the way.) What I’m talking about here are deviations from your kids “normal” sleep schedule once you think you have found a groove. Like when your kid usually naps in the morning from 10-12, has been for oh, say, the last 6 weeks, and then the day you actually have something planned while your kid is asleep (maybe a conference call for work or, more likely, your own nap) or something planned out of the house after your kid sleeps (say a doctor’s appointment or play date), your kid says, “F you, morning nap!”

You wanted to go where? Zzzzzzzzzzz.

This results in you either 1) having to cancel what you had planned to do when your kid was supposed to be asleep but is now awake and probably incredibly whiney and clingy or 2) having to cancel what you had planned for after your kid was supposed to be asleep because 1 minute prior to you having to walk out the door you’ll find your kid, coat and shoes on, slumped over on the couch, drooling, and fast asleep. And sorry if you had something planned both before and after the nap was supposed to take place. Your day is screwed.

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It’s the same for morning wake up time. You can absolutely count on your kids sleeping in on the mornings you have to be somewhere at a certain time and then being up at the crack of dawn the mornings you could have actually slept in. It always happens this way. Until it doesn’t. And then you’ll have no idea when the hell you’re actually going to get any sleep because you have no idea when the hell your kids are going to sleep. They like to keep us on our toes like that.

I will tell you a secret, though: The one thing that absolutely doesn’t change with kids, the one constant, the one thing you can always, without a doubt predict . . . your kids will be unpredictable. Predictably unpredictable.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#6: Kids Are Needy. So. Very. Needy. I mean let’s be honest. A newborn can’t do shit. (Actually, that’s one of the things newborns can do quite well, but you know what I mean.) They need to be fed, burped, changed, bathed, rolled over, rolled back, rocked to sleep, picked up, put down, bounced, swaddled, swayed, shushed. Parents with newborns are like zombies for a reason. But we know this. Everyone warns new parents that the first few months will be hell.

But where was the warning that this neediness actually intensifies as your kids get older? You’re not just fulfilling basic human needs anymore; you’ve become a means to an end. ”Mommy, can you get me crackers?” “Daddy, I need my pink shirt with the purple polka dots.” “Mommy, where is that doll I was playing with the other day?” “Where’s my binky?” “Daddy, can you put a show on for us? Yeah that one. Oh no, not this one. The other one. Oh wait, the first one. Actually, where’s the one about the kid doing that thing with the other kid?” “Mommy, I’m thirsty, I need a drink!” “Come wipe my butt.” ”I wanna push the button!” ”I need a Band-Aid!” “Mommy, we want a different show.” “Daddy, Mommy said to get us a snack.” “Where’s my blanket?” “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?” “Mammmmaaaaaaaaa!”

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Yup, that about sums up the first 5 minutes the kids are awake each day. But the kicker with all of this neediness is the timing. It is a simple fact that your kids will never need anything while you are already up or even when you ask them point-blank if they need anything. Nope. They’ll suddenly need you right when you sit down to eat, or relax, or poop. Or the second you get in the shower or are otherwise in the middle of doing anything else but tending to them. When your kids are little, you can simply forget about being able to poop alone or take a relaxing shower while they are awake.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#7: Kids Are (Too) Honest. How’s that? Don’t we want to raise honest kids? you ask. Oh absolutely. Yes, we want our kids to fess up when they hit a sibling, or tell a lie, or eat the last of the ever-loving Girl Scout cookies that you won’t be able to get again for another year.

But until kids develop that internal filter that (most) adults have and learn that some things shouldn’t be said out loud, you’re going to be getting a whole lotta honesty you may not want. Some hypothetical (ahem) things you might hear include:

  • Your belly is squishy
  • Your legs are hairy
  • Your breath smells yucky
  • Your hair is greasy
  • Your legs are jiggly
  • You have a boogie in your nose
  • You stink
  • Your boobies are so big (“Big” is such a relative term, eh?)

Well, if you would leave me the frick alone for 20 effing minutes I might be able to do something about all that! (Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll probably need at least half a day to get all that shit under control. But alas, I refer you back to #6, so the likelihood that you’ll actually have even 5 minutes alone to do ANYTHING is slim to none.)

And don’t think your kids save all of this honesty just for you. You can be sure they will tell you just how hairy or stinky or big your waiter is one day when you are out to lunch. You will pretend you don’t hear anything. Your kid will repeat him- or herself louder and louder each time until you are forced to acknowledge the statement. You will start giving your kid “the look.” Your kid will not understand this look and think you haven’t heard what he or she is saying. Your kid will say it even louder. You will shush your kid. Your kid will get upset and repeat him- or herself again, this time while wailing. The waiter will have heard all of this.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#8: Kids Break Stuff. It’s inevitable. Your kids are going to break things. This is why you don’t buy kids expensive crap. $1 toys are easier to replace than rare antique collectibles. Even someone who knows nothing about kids will know this.

But kids don’t just break their stuff. There is no magic spell that excludes your stuff from being destroyed as well. Cell phones will be dropped in the toilet, eye glasses will be stepped on, couches will get colored on with permanent markers, lights will be left on in the car draining your battery, computer charging cords will get wrapped around the office chair and wound up so tightly from all the spinning that they’ll fray and eventually sever. And I don’t know any family with a complete set of dishes or glasses. Most of the destruction will be accidental, mind you, but that won’t make the replacements–should you decide to actually replace or repair your damaged goods–any cheaper.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#9: Kids Hurt Themselves. A Lot. I knew kids got occasional booboos, but I had no idea just how often my kids would hurt themselves. It begins when they can start moving on their own and doesn’t seem to end. They roll into things, fall off things, trip over things, walk into things, choke on things, step on things. Kids are freaking clumsy. Or they often don’t know any better. And don’t get me started on all of the things they will do, intentionally and not, to hurt each other.

Thankfully, although you can absolutely count on your kids getting hurt, most of these injuries will be ones that can be fixed with kisses and a few (or 63) Band-Aids.

10 Things You Don’t Really Know About Kids Until You Have Kids

#10: Your Kids Are Worth All of It. You have no idea just how much you can love another person until you have kids. It is the fiercest, most intense love you can ever imagine. You will do everything in your power to protect your kids and see that they never come to harm because you helped to create this fragile life. You are responsible for this fragile life. You will understand what it means to be selfless. You will sacrifice for your child. You will do the best you can for your child. You would give your life for your child. You will understand that even though all of the other things are true, having someone to love and be loved unconditionally makes it all worth it.

About the writer

Mackenzie and her husband have three children, ages 5, 3 and 1. When she is not busy deejaying dance parties, fighting off ferocious dinosaurs, or changing diapers, Mackenzie spends her "free" time working as a freelance editor, attempting to keep up with the dishes and laundry, and chasing the ever elusive dream some may know as sleep. Find her on her blog, Raising Wild Things, on Twitter @rsnwildthings and Facebook.

From Around the Web


AmiBeth Whitney-Alvarado 3 months ago

As far as kids and sleep I think a couple things were missed nightmares/monsters under the bed or sleeping with kids in your bed. When my son was little we, of course, went through the scared of the dark phase. There were light sensing nightlights in every outlet in the house (you know the kind. They come on automatically when the room darkens and they come in like 20 packs at Costco because they know that you 25 outlets that need nightlights. So you spend the extra money for the second giant pack and add the spares to the bin full of specialty sized batteries that takes up a third of your linen closet. Because God forbid there should be a toy in the house that doesn’t require 24 batteries that can only be purchased at battery stores or on Amazon. Thank god for Amazon. Anyway…) So we made it through scared of the dark only to immediately begin fighting off night time monsters. A friend of mine recommended “monster repellent spray.” This is a spray bottle of water that you can let the kids spray around their room to keep monsters at bay. This worked for about a week. Thank you sweet baby Zeus a whole week! But then the monsters became immune to the spray. I can clearly recall when this happened because I did what any normal sleep deprived human would do. I growled and shouted threats at the invisible intruders at the top of my lungs. “This is my house and my rules. No one stays here who doesn’t pay rent or do chores (monsters never tiddy up after themselves). If I catch you in my house I will tear you apart and beat you to death!” Mom is scarier than the monsters so they stayed away for quite a while. And I’m grateful my neighbors didn’t call CPS while I was yelling death threats in my children’s bedroom.

But sometimes it doesn’t matter how many nightlights you have, the strength of your monster repellent, or how vicious your monster smack talk is. Sometimes the monsters just won’t leave or there are nightmares or sometimes I think life gets too darn busy and our kids just miss us and want to be close. These are the nights you choose between sleeping on the floor next to a toddler bed or letting a ninja octopus sleep in your bed. And I know people who will say you should never let your child sleep with you. Let them cry it out. Look, when life is hard and I’m sad or scared and just want my husband to hold me so I can fall asleep, if in that moment he told me to just go cry it out on my own it wouldn’t make me a stronger more independent person. It would just hurt my feelings and make me fantasize ways to be mean to his daddy bits. So I’m a bad hippy parent and let my kids sleep with me when they need to. And with the security of knowing that they won’t be turned away, they rarely need to crawl into my bed. But sometimes my youngest will ask if she can “just ‘nuggle for a couple minutes? Pleeeeeease?” She knows that I have a Pavlovian response to snuggling with her. Perhaps it takes my brain back to the first few nights of her life when I would hold her to nurse her in the NICU and I would fall asleep there. That was the only time I could sleep until we brought her home. And now she knows if she snuggles really close and is still for just a couple minutes that will trigger the kill switch in Mommy’s head. But falling asleep is easy. What is hard is staying sleep while someone is kicking your head (how do they do that? How do they end up feet on the pillow and head down?) or a body composed only of elbows and knees, countless elbows and knees, is crawling on top of you. But the hardest part is getting up the next morning. Your neck is stiff from holding your head at an odd angle to dodge karate kicks and the arm they fell asleep on has pins and needles. It may be hours or days before you finally feel your pinky and ring finger again. But somehow I think I actually sleep better holding them. Sometimes I think I need these extra moments of snuggling even more than they do.

Olivia 4 months ago

I’m fourteen and understood all of this. I’m not a parent, but I am a babysitter. This article was hilarious (and very, very true).

Lisa 4 months ago

I had to stop several times because I was laughing so hard that I tears were flooding my eyes and I couldnt see to read!! SO HYSTERICAL!!! and she hit it dead on!

Elizabeth 4 months ago

This is the most accurate parenting blog post I have ever read in all of my years as a mother. I was reading this a loud to my husband and he was laughing and interrupting every one of these points to reaffirm it’s truth in our house. Just last night or two-year-old decided to break convention and wake up at 4 AM. There was no putting her back to bed. Then, as I was reading the food post she took a bite of my scrambled eggs, then spit it back out on my plate.

Kelly 4 months ago

Um, yes to all of this. It doesn’tattet if I vacuum 6 times a day, there are ALWAYS ALWAYS crumbs! Or ripped up paper, or broken crayons, or hair pulled out of my little ponies ass… It’s ALWAYS something. Once I even borrowed my neighbors dog to come in and “vacuum” all the good crumbs up so I didn’t have to run the vacuum and wake my napping toddlers. Yeah bitch. I went there. Ha! The author forgot to mention the “finger print boarder” that will magically appear around every single wall in the house that’s about 2-3 feet up from floor level. EVERY FUCKING WALL! And it doesn’t matter how many times you wash the walls down, it ALWAYS comes back, and with a vengeance!

Jess 4 months ago

My 3 year old started a random dinner time conversation with the fact that his dad and I have hair on our butts…

Maya Tyler 4 months ago

Very funny, well written – so very true!!! I have kids and nodded my head the entire time I was reading!

Amanda H 4 months ago

the needyness !! SOOO touched out ! I used to like being touched ,now I ‘m like honey I dont want to freaking cuddle

Oncactus 6 months ago

Sometimes I think things would be easier if we’d never begun walking on two legs and venturing into the savannah, leading us to our current, modern world. Our fellow primates have it far easier…

Emily 6 months ago

I am fifteen, and I don’t have any children. I knew all of these though. I babysit for a mother of three boys.

Matt 7 months ago

I have heard that about boogers, but still certainly gross. I also agree with you comment on the level of ‘annoying-ness’ of a child.

The “who will take care of you when your older” reasoning to have children doesn’t really hold any weight. The money saved by not having children would more than offset the expense of care in old age. As well, having children does not anything close to a guarantee of care when older and if any care does come it’s likely not at the level you would probably want. You must take care of yourself financially with or without kids.

Matt 7 months ago

Thank you for posting your true feelings.

I believe there are many people with similar feelings but do not speak up in fear of reprisals such as these. Regret is a normal emotion and there is no reason it can’t apply to the decision to have children. Granted, parenthood is permanent but I don’t think implying Lily is abnormal and needs “help” or “therapy” is beneficial. Lily may be a very responsible parent, we don’t know.

This is a discussion that needs to take place without judgement to provide Lily, and parents who feel similarly, an outlet to share their experiences with others. I can only imagine raising a child while regretting their existence is a terrible situation in which to find yourself.

a father 8 months ago

except number 10, all these descriptions are untrue, or at least ‘not necessarily so’. I’ve raised three (the youngest now 19). Kids follow exactly your expectations and they emulate their parents. Expect them to be smelly dirty needy etc, they’ll do it for you, especially of you set the example.
So perhaps best start by watching your Ps&Qs around the little one.

Suzanne 9 months ago

Excellent point. The only people who should have kids are those who truly want them and are willing to commit their lives to raising them no matter what. Too many people have kids for the wrong reasons and they and their children suffer for it.

Suzanne 9 months ago

If people really knew, I mean REALLY KNEW, what it’s like to be a parent the race would die out because no one in their right mind would willingly go through the process of raising a child. And I would like to add one more thing to the list: the emotional pain all parents suffer. Just ask a parent whose child has a serious illness, or one whose child is bullied. There is no pain like the pain of a parent who is helpless to relieve the suffering of their child. And how about those of us who did a decent job of it but still agonize over our mistakes or wish we had done a better job? Yes, children bring lots of joy but that joy doesn’t come cheap.

Kat Owens 12 months ago

Then you mam will be a good mother indeed.

Kat Owens 12 months ago

It is all about what you want from your life now and in the future. Having kids is hell of hard and exhausting but having a bigger family, watching them grow, teaching them, guiding them and putting life into them makes some peoples lives worth the ride. For some people they get fulfillment from being that important to another being and for those reasons it is a great thing. But for other people (like myself) it isn’t something I want because once you have kids it is a forever deal. It isn’t 18 years and done and I just couldn’t bear to share my husband at all let alone the rest of my life. Once you have kids you never just get holidays or your life back and that isn’t a bad thing if you want it. Having kids is a choice not a must have, everyone is different :)

Kat Owens 12 months ago

Meant love isn’t defined by blood, got to love technology

Kat Owens 12 months ago

Lol love this post, I don’t have any kids and never EVER will lol, I babysit two crazy boys three times a week for the past two years and O.M.G they are not even 100% mine and so much of this stuff happens to me. I just gave up on my car and my clothes when I have them and idk what it is but them and my three brothers but they are so gross all the time. I would be overjoyed if all they did was eat boogers and when I have them (brothers and two crazy boys) over at my house the whole place has to be cleaned thoroughly afterwards and I have to hide anything breakable. Idk how my mom raised the five of us, cause kids are so much work. Loved the post those, only thing i dont agree with is number ten you can love someone that much or more and they not be your kid because love is defined by blood :)

Joan 12 months ago

Yes all true except for the last bit at least for me and I know a lot of research bears this out it most definatly was not worth it. Thankfully my youngest has moved out and now I realize that we only have one life and if I had my time iver I would have squeezed a ton more out of my life that i missed out on raising a family especially in todays ever increasing over populated world. Now i can start catching up on living life again, think long and hard about having kids if you want a more one dimensional life have kids if you want a life rich in experience and adventure, freedom develop your mind and have time to absorb wisdom then join the child free crowd.

Katey 12 months ago

After reading all this and being horrified by the children I know (ibcluding my bosses feral brood), honestly, what is the actual point of having kids (other than to continue the human race, the desire for which is franky questionable also)? Why would you actually want children?!!

Susan 12 months ago

As the mother of three, step-mother of four and grandmother of two, this brought back some interesting memories and definitely made me laugh out loud. Totally true…every single thing! Much easier now looking back, when I get a full nights sleep and can nap when I want…heck I can do whatever I want whenever I want…but after raising 6 girls and 1 boy, I deserve it!!!

Angel 12 months ago

I agree it’s humorous, even for those of us who don’t have kids. I laughed my butt off. The author of this article is fantastic. I knew most of these things because even though I’m not a parent I have little nieces and nephews. I also worked in a nursery several years with two year olds. Let ms tell you hand sanitizer was my best friend, and I was very aware of how honest they are, they poop all the time, and they get poop/boogers/food everywhere. I didn’t know about the toys though or the constant demands of being a parent. Although I could have guessed as much. But given the title of this article, it’s like the author wants people who don’t have kids to read it. Just sayin’. So it’s not like everyone who reads this has to be a parent. It’s not like everyone has to agree that having kids is awesome either. It’s an enormous responsibility and not for everyone. You say it’s negative that some people read this and say it’s a good form of birth control. No, it’s not negative, it’s honest opinion. If the author wanted people who aren’t parents to want to BE parents she should have listed more of the good. Since there were nine bad things and number 10 was very short.

Angel 12 months ago

Preach it sista!

Angel 12 months ago

Definite incentive for birth control. The author of this article is an amazing and humorous writer. I was laughing throughout the whole thing. I am married and do not want kids. Actually after reading this article, my beliefs have been reinforced. I definitely think it’s an article everyone should read before having kids, or even before becoming pregnant. I knew some of these things, like that kids poop a lot and are super honest because I have nieces and nephews.

WHATever I want 1 year ago

My boy wants to keep cereal boxes. wtf?

WHATever I want 1 year ago

I had to cover my mouth I laughed do hard, don’t want to wake anybody up. ALL TRUE!

Tonya Sandoval 1 year ago

This had me lol…every word of it is true.

Mary Hunt 1 year ago

Ain’t that the truth!

Jennifer 1 year ago

Love, love, love this! My daughter once told me my boobies were long. So, yes kids are brutally honest lol.

kayla 1 year ago

4 boys all between the ages of 12 and 5 and I’m telling you I’ve never read anything more true. Boys are dirty messy sticky things 99% of the time. I haven’t peed by myself in 12 years. On the upside of things the 12 year old is almost old enough for paybacks. Lol

Anon 1 year ago

Scratch Number 10.

Jan 1 year ago

It’s great you have an amazing family, but just keep in mind having children isn’t for everyone. If someone says they don’t want kids telling them “you won’t understand till you have your own” isn’t helpful. I have an amazing family too, and it consists of my partner and two dogs. For me, that is perfect.

Anju@TravelingNoodles.com 1 year ago

Copulating toys…… so so so true. I am thinking of going without furniture and rugs and throws for a couple of years till toyland subsides.

EJay 1 year ago

Everyone who has kids says number 10 because people want to feel right and maybe even good about their decision to have kids. It’s a coping mechanism and a cultural expectation. Such B.S. Also, I do not have kids but know 1-9. Hence my reason for NOT having kids, among other things.

Yasette López 1 year ago

Yeeeessss i agree in all been tru all n more

Gabriella Vagnoli 1 year ago

She forgot to say how loud kids are. Like all the time . Like you will never watch a show without subtitles on. Or never have a conversation with your husband again. Unless you learn sign language that is.

Annette McCluskey 1 year ago

~It’s so true, but we wouldn’t trade them for anything!!

kit 1 year ago

And this is why I have no desire for kids…..f that!

April Sumner 1 year ago

I knew all of that before having kids. Years of working in a daycare, babysitting, teaching dance to kids and my mom running a daycare out of our house-taught me every single one of those things. I really was not surprised by much when I had kids except how hard breastfeeding was and how hard twins were, but that was the only part I had no real experience with.

Amy 1 year ago

You forgot their bladders are perfectly synced with yours. Never fails, when they see me go upstairs to the bathroom, all of my children have to go too, even if I ask if they have to go a few minutes before (“no mommy, I don’t have to go potty”).

Dan 1 year ago

That was fucking perfect. Every word. I have three kids: 5, 2, 1 years old respectively. That was so on point. And hilarious…. Well done!

Carlie Aultman 1 year ago

Totally #5 right now. Lol!

Jaana Martin 1 year ago

The eye. Twitching.

Melissa Munkers 1 year ago

#1 and #9 are at the top of my list. Gotta go, the baby just tripped, over nothing.

Michele Karwoski 1 year ago

A great read.

Alina Chanthamontry 1 year ago

i still want one ❤️

Helene smith 1 year ago

Hope you having good holidays

Meadow Newton 1 year ago

This is possibly the most accurate article ever written!

Jami 1 year ago

Oh my!! So true! We have 4 kids and I’m amazed at the crap they can get into/destroy (all within a 10 second time frame!!)

T-Roy Wirewing 1 year ago

Ya! Like, is this new info to anyone? I have no kids and all of that is what I’m looking forward to and thats just the obvious easy to deal with stuff. Kids are chaos! That’s why they rule!

Abbie Kerber 1 year ago

This is perfect!

Lisa Leichliter Woodbridge 1 year ago

So true!!!

Rheanna Rocha 1 year ago

Me too

Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey 1 year ago

YES. All of it. And #3 especially; that, coupled with a child who tends to be more like a tween version of Oscar Madison, doesn’t make life easy — and I only have one. I keep telling my daughter she’ll be on a future episode of “Hoarders” if she doesn’t start letting go of certain items. (At which point I’ve been known to do stealth cleaning/discarding and hoping she won’t comment on why she can’t find a certain item…)

Marisa Gingrich 1 year ago

Great article!!! Thanks for the laughs :)

Shahgufta Ali Khan 1 year ago


Stephanie Stach 1 year ago

My gosh that’s long! People with kids don’t have time to read all of that :) by #6 I was just reading the bold words.

Deirbhille McClure Milloy 1 year ago

I love this!! My kids are my everything! 16,13 and 9. The hardest job ever is raising them but the best experience!! I learn so much about myself and being a parent makes me want to be the best human being I can be.

Dawn Miller 1 year ago

All of the reasons I don’t want kids summed up in one article! Lol

Mikey Qui 1 year ago

First thing i didn’t know-i don’t want kids. End of list. Hahaha

Bruce Howard 1 year ago

How true.

Wendy 1 year ago

And if you think that things will change when they just grow up a little, substitute “teen ager” for every point above. There’s no escaping it folks.

Vicki Lesage 1 year ago

SO needy! I expected to have my hands full but man, they are at least eleventy times needier than I anticipated. I’m typing this one-handed because I can’t put one of them down. Gah. But, as you point out in #10, they’re worth it. How else would I have improved my one-handed typing speed?

Jennifer Alban Stoney 1 year ago

OMG I laughed so hard reading this! Sooooooo true!!!

Shannon K. Overcash Valverde 1 year ago

#7 they say the darnedest things and totally #10

Alina Hake 1 year ago

Every single one of these is absolutely true! Summed it up perfectly!

Angel 1 year ago

Someone forgot to tell me that i would let my children’s existence overtake mine. We didn’t have our girls until about eight years in. I struggle to remember what we did before they came along. How did we fill our time? It’s all good. Wouldn’t change a thing. We will get our free time back soon enough.

Roxanne Ford 1 year ago

This is just something mums say to make themselves feel better before I had a child, I knew this stuff, now I’ve had a child, I have stuck to all the things I said I would or wouldn’t do. I don’t choose to “impart my wisdom” on anybody. I choose to mind my own bloody business and it’s about time other people did the same.
It’s like people saying “you need eyes everywhere when they start walking” why? Do they go from sitting still to walking overnight to make you feel the need to share that information with me? Did I sleep through the crawling and climbing stage, when I didn’t need my eyes? Pfft.

Tim Murray 1 year ago

Most of them are also communists

Lore Rooney-Chappell 1 year ago

Love this…. #3….. Oh friggin #3….

Katie 1 year ago

None of it is horror but you don’t really understand until you have your own children that the love you have for them makes you forget all the poops and crumbs and boogers and mooched food at the end of the day when you put them in bed and they wrap their little arms and you and say I love you mommy! I’ve got four under 5 and all of the above is so true. I think they visited my home and wrote about my kids. But I sure wouldn’t trade it for anything. No amount of quiet and clean houses. Now sleep, that might be a tempting trade! Just kidding. We have an amazing family!

Jessica Green 1 year ago

Totally #3 and #4!!!!

Merav Israel Brown 1 year ago

Laughing so
Hard that I am Crying from this. #3 is dead on

Rebecca S. Riblet 1 year ago

I did exactly that…. Rolled my eyes before kids…. Now I laugh as my first time parent friends have extravagant plans for their “perfect” kids and how they are going to do it so different than everyone else… Now I roll my eyes for a different reason and laugh silently inside.

Candace Lee 1 year ago

It doesn’t really take having children to know these things; most are easy to observe if you have ever been around a child. I have personally experienced all of these things from being an aunt. My sister lived with me after the birth of her first child so I was able to witness all variety of horrific things. My niece has thrown up in my mouth, peed on my clothes, and pooped on my hands, but I still love her more than words can explain.

Sarah Carpenter 1 year ago

And i knew all this not cos its my job but cos i have common sense. Lol my knowledge has just been put into practice since being a parent is all.

Sarah Carpenter 1 year ago

I knew all this before i had a child just some people do some people dont

Amanda Sartain 1 year ago

Love #10

Lea Harris 1 year ago

I’d also like to add: so how babies are capable of releasing their entire bowels. And the laws of gravity do not apply to diaper blowouts. I was shocked when I picked up my son out of his car seat to find him up to his neck in crap after a short ride to the store.

Sandra Robertson Verescak 1 year ago

Hmmmmm…I either have a real bad memory or my 3 children were angels. I can’t honestly relate to much of this beyond a few things .Except, of course, No.10 is a given!

Kristin Kestler 1 year ago

Love this! #6 is especially true in our house. And #10!!

Diana Tyree 1 year ago

Awesomely true!! Lol

Sharon Hammill 1 year ago

So true. But I have to bite my tongue really hard not to say it… cause when I didn’t have kids, smarmy parents telling me ‘you have no idea’ did my head in!

Kara Fox 1 year ago

Hell to the yes.

Sheila Mitchell Snell 1 year ago

Love this!!!

Shoshannah Smyser 1 year ago

That was hilariously true.

Pj Jennings 1 year ago

So happy, I know all of this.

Heather Pavlik 1 year ago

This should be printed and handed out in every high school across America. Read it kids.

A Patty Trussell 1 year ago

oh how true all this is and I love the way she worded it all, lol

Crystal Cross 1 year ago

This is SO true.

Mandi Diehl 1 year ago

I remember being proud when I caught vomit in my hand for the first time. Now it’s 2nd nature.

Jo Po 1 year ago

Wow. This is spot on.

Heather Hulen 1 year ago

Spot on! A must read!

Magdalena Grabowska-Stopyra 1 year ago

Love that one sooo true

Malinda Jackson 1 year ago

FREAKING HILARIOUS!! OMG and soooo true! Had me cracking up and thinking “oh em gee that is soooo Serenity (dd age 5) or Brandon (ds age 7)” =D Thanks for an awesome post.. I think I need to see if I’m already subscribed to you or not and if I’m not, need to correct that ASAP!

Bonnie Klein 1 year ago


Amanda Jackson 1 year ago

Every single word of this is 100% true. And it never ends. My kids are 10 and 12 and they are still running amuck the damage is different but it’s still done. And I still love them more than life itself.

Lisa Kropp Stevens 1 year ago

Boogers, lots and lots and lots of boogers. On their faces, my clothes, the couch, the cat, inside your cup of coffee.

Lisa Franzen 1 year ago

#9. I should own stock in Band-Aids.

Amy Thompson 1 year ago

Love it! Very true…

beth 1 year ago

Best. Article. Ever.

Sonja Jones 1 year ago

Love your blog. So intelligent and funny.

Fallon Alexis Mateos 1 year ago

#3, OMG yes, they want to keep every piece of junk they ever touched. AND with my first son we had everything organized, now… well you pretty much covered it. #9 Hell yes, especially with two boys, I don’t even flinch anymore. #10… for sure, it’s always what I tell my soon to be parent friends after all the warning, they are worth it without question.

Becky Whitton 1 year ago

#9 is the biggest one for my son now. He has bumped his head 3x in 3 days & now has a bump, a bruise & a scratch on his forehead. I guess that’s what happens to toddlers.

Laura King 1 year ago

Great facts.great read

Katie De Oliveira Anderson 1 year ago

Ahh number #5!!!

Kasee Mari O’Donnell 1 year ago

Oh my goodness! They are all true, but #4 is so so so very true!!! Right Kristle Lindsey?!?!

Gina Vogel Miller 1 year ago

Thank you for the laughs! Perfectly sums up life with my three kids, LOL.

Crystal Robinson Parks 1 year ago


Heather Simmons 1 year ago

I laughed so hard I nearly chocked on my semi late snack. Which I’m hiding from my kids to eat. Now that I’m done eating, I can finish reading.

Kristen Dacey 1 year ago

This is my life…down to the eye twitch

Sarah Farber 1 year ago

Hahahaha kids are hoarders. So true

Tiffany Hampton 1 year ago

I’ll fix my son the EXACT SAME THING that I am eating & hell still snuggle up to me going ‘mmm I like dat I want yooours mommee’

Kathy Waltiere Goodman 1 year ago

Love it! Number 3 is sooo true in this house. LOL

Jacqui Nakiwala 1 year ago

Spot on

Erika Keen 1 year ago

Love this!

Adina Schwartzberg 1 year ago

I laughed through the entire thing because it’s all so true. Thanks for writing this. I feel a lot better now about the crumbs and sticky door knobs. I thought it was just me.

Anita Chavez 1 year ago

You mean there are 10 things….

Elly Barr 1 year ago

Brilliant & very true…& yes to #10 :-)

Amy Snipes Jennings 1 year ago

I knew all this before I had kids because I have taught ages 2 up to 6 for years. BUT, nothing could prepare me for living with it all 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Beth O’Dea 1 year ago

This is the best!!

Katie Tookie-Tookie 1 year ago

Hoarders….hysterical and frighteningly accurate.

Rachel Anne 1 year ago

“Can I had somma dat?”

Nancy McKay 1 year ago

Yes, totally worth it.

Holly Stratos 1 year ago

Every one… So freaking true

Keyra Feliz 1 year ago

My life in a post and still no one cant understand me :(

Michele Perry 1 year ago

This is spot on..and hysterical

Elizabeth Matthews 1 year ago

They are not worth it. You will learn this as they get older and approach adulthood.

Jennette 1 year ago

The last one is false, and the others are true. I am really, really glad I am child-free. ‘You cannot be truly free unless you are child-free’, my significant other says. What a great quote!

Tina 1 year ago

I don’t have kids, and don’t plan to. I’m 44 and that ship has sailed. One of the reasons I don’t plan to is that I teach Pre-K and have for years. Even though I don’t have kids, I am fully, painfully aware of all of the points in this article. All of what the author says is very, very true. And guess what? You don’t have to be a parent to know it. You just have to work with four and five year olds for seven hours a day. The benefits outweigh the annoyances, though.

Tracy Murphy 1 year ago

You also forgot to mention how hard it is to keep their clothes on. Lol. Great post

Chanel 1 year ago

That last picture looks like a blonde version of my daughter

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Ben Chapman 1 year ago

I’m a 10 year old and I read all of this. Although i’m not (very) honest i’m not everything else, this was hilarious and also very very true!

Vanessa 1 year ago

These are all things that are very true, but I’m pretty sure everyone already knows most of these points already… I have not yet decided on whether or not I will have children but I can tell you that #10 is not just for those who have children. Everything described is how I feel about my husband. How many mothers reading this can say the same?

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Ming vazquez 1 year ago

Human love is usually not unconditional. Kids want from parents and parents have expectations from kids.

Robert Ford 1 year ago

I think it’s irresponsible to say things like this about having children: “having someone to love and be loved unconditionally makes it all worth it”. This may be true when children are small, but they become teenagers and then adults. How many parents have damaged relationships or no relationship with their adult children? There’s no guarantee that your children will love you when they grow up, and that’s enormously important to consider.

If you’re on the fence about having children ask yourself this: Is it better to not have children and regret it, or to have children and regret it?

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Teri 1 year ago

A couple of things to add I think.
Makes the goo, crap, neediness, etc., all worth it,

anondsfajk 1 year ago

So true about the bruises and boo-boos. I came inside from playing in the yard when I was a kid with a HUGE black eye I had apparently gotten from either running into something or falling off the playset. Mom asked me, “How did you get that black eye?” “I dunno…”

Sminto Antony 1 year ago

Well written article Mackenzie. My younger sis just gave birth to my niece and i googled as to “Why couples have kids ?” and your article makes me wish my future wife is not into having kid/s of our own. Your article ends saying “having someone to love and be loved unconditionally makes it all worth it”..but i wonder if it all really is unconditional love and if so for really how long ? And isn’t marriage supposed to be all about “Someone to love and be loved unconditionally” ?? I know most of them relationships out there don’t really love unconditionally and so doesn’t a child. :)

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Gabrielle 1 year ago

So true. As a woman who isn’t sold on the idea of having kids anyways…. my man wants at least one, and has been trying to sway my stance. I think I’ll hold off for, oh, another few or forever years. 😉 Who needs magic pills and condoms when there’s wisdom like this around?

I’ll keep my nice furniture, my crumb and booger-free house, my meals, my beauty sleep, my charging cables, my quiet, my freedom, and most importantly MY SANITY. Thanks!

I can’t say it’s poop free because I have a large puppy that makes sure that’s not the case if potty-breaks are late… but! The puppy is honest, loyal, obedient, mostly quiet, sleeps on a regular schedule, takes naps during the day, doesn’t pick her nose, and only gets to mooch the French fries that I don’t want! PLUS! She’s fuzzy, I didn’t have to teach her to walk and she’ll never talk. All the perks of a kid, none of the horror!

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Priska Leona 1 year ago

Re one of your point on #10: You will understand what it means to be selfless.

Yes parents need to be selfless as to have a baby is the most selfish act of all.

To be fair, people have babies to satisfy their need/ego/peer pressure/whatever reasons there may be out there but for the babies’ self sake, e.g. no one has baby for: i want my baby to travel the world, i want my baby to cure cancer, etc.

Once the baby is born, we are all hiding behind the words fate/destiny/whatever things that allow us to say: there is nothing we can do with the baby’s life/future/path of life. When the babies end up having a less fruitful life from the parents, selfishly we can say: well, i have done my best and it is up for the baby to deal with its own life, hellooooo they are here because of us (parents) remember? =)

It’s just me realising how selfish it is to have a baby at the first place thus there should be no reward for being selfless.

Noop 1 year ago

If you dislike babies because they do that, they are just kids, dont hurt em. Or that would be messed up.

NatMillard 1 year ago

As a parent, I did find most of this funny, but I guess i’m just a bit disappointed in the growing trend of making raising a child seem like more of an inconvenience than a pleasure. I mean, sure, we should all be realistic about the everyday struggles because we all need a laugh… but at the end of the day, the big picture is that we’re raising human beings, not an inconvenience.

Kathy 1 year ago

And why is this?

Joshua 1 year ago

Studies show that eating booger’s can actually help with your immune system. Also kids are normally only as annoying, whiny or money-draining as their parents raise them to be. Don’t forget that you were a child once too at some point and that even as an adult you can be annoying, whiny, gross (pooping and puking) and a money drain. One last point who do you think we be taking care of you when you’re older?

Joshua 1 year ago

I care so little about how easy it was to raise your daughter that I struggle to put it into words.

lxc 1 year ago

I never, ever wanted kids. Until I did. Now I have one and you know what? You have no idea how much you can love another person until you have a kid. You don’t have to want kids, and you can have a totally great, fulfilled, meaningful life without them. But you don’t need to deny other peoples’ actual, lived experience to convince yourself you’re not missing anything. You are missing something. So are we – all the rich, rewarding experiences you have time to pursue when you’re not raising kids. That’s how choice works. And the love parents feel for their kids is different, and bigger, and less breakable, than other types of love. For me, it was the most surprising aspect of having a kid. It’s also something parents usually only talk about with each other. Because people without kids just roll their eyes.

Disaster pants 1 year ago

Its tongue in cheek, not meant to intimidate you. It’s the stuff that crazy anecdotes are made of. There’s a lot of up side to that little baby you’ve got coming 25 weeks from now. There is also another part that makes them less angelic and more “human” which I’d have to say, in some cases leaves me baffled and grossed out and laughing hysterically all at the same time. I think that’s one of the things to take away. There’s a lot of “Pottery Barn ideas” floating around, especially when it comes to new moms…not even what new moms think of, but the way even Baby Shower cards and registries and all “baby to be” paraphernalia are marketed. This blessed event and this beautiful sweet baby inevitably make a transition to the same “kinda flawed” adults we all are, and there’s some funny/gross/baffling points along the way that leave you wondering “WTF?” But it’s all good. Congratulations on your baby to be!

Elizabeth Epling 2 years ago

I’m 15 weeks pregnant with my first child and this article just seems overly negative, along with 95% of all other “10 Things…” parenting articles on the internet. Not exactly something I need to be reading right now.

husbands,kids,and dogs oh my 2 years ago

its supposed to be humorous entertainment about the obvious struggles a mother goes through on a daily basis. I enjoyed it because it honestly is true. Apprieciate or be on your way.

Ellie 2 years ago


Vicky 2 years ago

Someone who eats their boogers would never be worth it to me. Giving up my life to clean up an annoying, whining, little money-drainer’s crap and puke? Why would I want that? To get a few hugs and kisses on the cheek? Nah. Kids are not my cup of tea. Maybe I’m too young, but I really don’t see myself holding a kid and changing their diaper instead of going out for drinks or painting my nails. lol

Alexandrea 2 years ago

Exactly. The difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘understanding’ is the world when it comes to children. It is like being knowledgeable about a topic because you read every book under the sun, watched every dvd on Amazon, took classes and possibly even did it for a weekend or so. A babysitter knows more than most if they are worth their salt, a caretaker at a facility does as well, but you get to go home, you have free time. To do your nails, sleep, go see a movie with your bestie, clean your house…. AND it stays that way longer than 2 seconds! Having kids is inescapable, it IS your life for the next 18-20-30 years. You never UNDERSTAND that until you are IN it.

There are going to be MANY days, in consecutive order where you will not only dislike being a parent, you are going to dislike your entire life. Throw your hands up in the air and cry/scream/cuss. Warm fuzzy feelings can leave the building for months at a time. Insanity will be you, your life and your thoughts. However, the moment they do something 100% right, without you nagging at them for an hour to do it (this pertains to simple activities like brushing teeth/hair), your heart will feel as though it is bursting. Pride knows no bounds when it comes to those moments and your children.

Elizabeth 2 years ago

You are actually thoughtful , you are too pissy to have kids. You’d probably be an unbreatful mother, and that’s a sad situation for a kid.

Elizabeth 2 years ago

This is very sad! Children don’t mean to be selfish, and as they grow they also become more independent. You may benefit from parenting sessions, or therapy. Also, you might have came into parenting some unrealistic ideas. It’s demanding, full of pressure, and a frustrating experience raising a child/ren, but if you choose to remember to enjoy, appreciate, and relax a little you can laugh about it –just like this blog! One day she will be grown and gone. Remember that!

Cupcake 2 years ago

Sounds like your nephew took away your sense of humor. Parents not being able to relate in some way to this article, I am assuming their babysitter or mom spends most of the time around the child.

Michelle Ziegenhagen 2 years ago

Hey, you know what? This line: You have no idea just how much you can love another person until you have kids. Should end up in this list: Silly (and unintelligent and false) Things We Should Stop Saying To People Who Don’t Want Kids.

tori 2 years ago

Why do you care if you are not a parent. Until you are you won’t understand most of the things on this site.

tori 2 years ago

When did you give birth?

tori 2 years ago

Oh wait. Having a nephew and having a child are completely different. Until you have a child that you take care of 24-7 365 you know nothing a bout poop. So go elsewhere you are not a parent

64bit 2 years ago

everyone hates you and can see u have no life experience except being annoying on the comment section of articles

Veronica Franco 2 years ago

OK, so upon reading the first point I burst out laughing so hard, right in the middle of my office!! I could relate so very very much to every single point!
I would add one though: I knew kids hurt themselves. I just didn’t know how much I would hurt them! Please tell me this happens to other moms and I am not just extremely clumsy! but i bang my toddler’s head when I put him in his car seat, when i get him out, when I put him in the bath, I step on him, I seem to hurt him in some way or another almost weekly! He is just too little a person, so it’s hard to know when he is right behind me! :s

Andrea S. 2 years ago

Oh right, you don’t have kids. You have a nephew.

Steve Perkins 2 years ago

Good grief, are you people really that ridiculous. Nothing about this post comes across as remotely negative. Agree with above, get a life, get a sense of humor, and lighten up. Oh, and most importantly, learn to derive the greater meaning as you are clearly missing the forest for the trees.

Steve Perkins 2 years ago

Good grief. Dumbest post of the day. Miss the boat much? You are being honest but misguided and naive, to say the very least. It’s not a matter of being rude, it’s just that your post is self-righteous, nonsensical crap is your post. Are you familiar with humor? Catharsis? Remove stick, please. Your post is literally the most ignorant I have read in a long time on the internet and that is absolutely no small feat. Your greatest issue is a complete lack of awareness as you clearly know not the first thing about parenting although you seem to believe that you do.

melissa 2 years ago

Lighten up already. Have you heard of tongue in cheek?

lex 2 years ago

You are awful. This article is not meant to be negative, it’s a cathartic release. Get your issues together. I’m sure the parent of your nephew has felt all of these things. It’s how parents, feel! Sometimes you just need the release. Jeeze, get it together!

Nicole 2 years ago

Lily, that is very sad. You may want to get help. Doing everything for your child is not the way to make them happy. By setting boundaries and appropriate discipline you can gain your child’s respect.

Nicole 2 years ago

I agree. There is a lot of stuff in this post that sounds so negative- when in reality it is not exclusive to children, and some of it is even preventable.

Heather Holter 2 years ago

I love #3. I told the kids it looked like a toy store puked in the basement and they thought it was the funniest thing they ever heard.

SCB 2 years ago

I highly recommend Corelle dishes — almost indestructible and cheap, especially if you do what I did and get them from yard sales, Goodwill, and ebay. I like collecting, so it became a fun hobby — and my Dansk, Mikasa, and other good stuff stayed safe in my china cabinet (bungee cords work well to keep doors closed, btw). Luckily my kids made it to middle school with a minimum of puke and poop and no broken bones, but there’s still a lot of mess, and for that dog ownership does help. Dogs are also great as the only family members who will actually do what you say — helpful in staying sane (most of the time).

Kathy Radigan 2 years ago

I love this piece and I so agree with every point you make, especially the last that they are so worth it. It amazes me that the same people who have me wanting to tear every hair out of my head on minute are the same people who make my heart skip a beat and bring me so much joy!!

Kristin 2 years ago

You described it perfectly! I especially get the “tiny hoarders” this describes my son perfectly! He has an entourage of plastic lego animals that go every where. I finally gave him a small tote bag for them because I got tired of kneeling in goldfish crumbs on the car floor looking for a 3 inch plastic giraffe.

Kennyatta 2 years ago

You forgot to add they whine for absolutely no reason that you can understand, the can be perfectly content and then start whining over nothing. LOL

Kathy Davis 2 years ago

I believe that is the funniest thing I have read in so long! Could not be more true.

Timea Turai 2 years ago

with the poo….actually you don't think it is really bad, until they start teething….from that moment dirty nappies are disgusting….you smell them from the next room 😀 and for some reason children can poo up to 4 times (at least mine) and you don't even know how, because they never ate that much 😀 but hey….that is just from about they are 4-6 months until they're 3 years old 😀

Marsha 2 years ago

I am a Nanny to my cousins 5 children. (9. 7. 4 and 16 month twins). I spend 11 birthdays with them 4 days a week. I’ve been covered in 3 other peoples poop puke and so often my stomach doesn’t even turn anymore. I ALWAYS share my food and and just the other day at the theater I got peed on because the 4 y/o holds it.

Kirsten Brady 2 years ago

I don't mean this in a mean way but I have to ask who does not know this about kids? If someone does not know these things they are not ready to have children . That's what I feel like is a big problem. Many people have children they do different things from each other. Some people have children taken away from them. Clearly having a child does not give you more knowledge or everyone would do the same thing with children and no mistakes would be made and we all know that does not happen.

Selina Davis 2 years ago

If you work with kids, aren't you halfway there. the term BROODY springs to mind…

Walter Mahoney 2 years ago

I love it

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Ben Fox 2 years ago

Oh so true kids are sure worth it.love dad

Erin Catherin Brooks 2 years ago

This is ridiculous! They should re-title this "10 Ways To Make Parenting Harder On Yourself Than It Has To Be" Mackenzie… You thought that was breaking it down "realistic-style" ??? LMAO Well, I guess we have very different ideas of realistic!
Let me take a moment to explain "realistic-style" why this blog is NOT helpful to parents…
First off… Kids are Gross… yeah, but not any grosser than most adults!
My 4 year old nephew lives with me and sure, there have been some gross moments. Plenty of times when he has peed or pooped in his pants… that's why you always carry extra pants, duh! But pooping on the floor or having a tantrum to the point of puking… ummm… these better be isolated incidents, cus if your child is doing this on a regular basis… You need to Check Yo Self! (or make an appointment with the Pediatrician) A fully-functioning, healthy child who is in a healthy living situation should NOT be having major tantrums on a daily basis.
And seriously… getting a little poop on your hand is one thing, but how the hell does someone get poop on their clothes without knowing it?! I have changed HUNDREDS of diapers (maybe even thousands) and not just kids diapers, either. I was a senior caregiver for 4 years (you think kids poop is bad… their poop aint got crap on senior citizen poop!) and not once have I ever got poop anywhere on my body. And you think kids move around a lot… try changing an angry adult patient with dementia who is kicking, hitting, scratching and spitting on you.
If you think kids are gross you should get a job as an EMT and have a patient projectile vomiting in the back of the rig while you're sitting right next to them dodging chunks… or have to sit in the rig for an hour with a patient who has gangrenous decaying flesh… have you ever smelt decaying flesh?!?! YOU DON'T WANT TO. It's much worse than kiddie poop, trust me! I still have nightmares!
And lack of sleep… again… get a job as an EMT… working 48 hour shifts… then we'll talk.
As for kids breaking stuff… Sure, if you let your kids run amuck something is bound to get broken. We have plenty of antique valuables in our home and my nephew has yet to break a single one. He's never dropped a cell phone in the toilet or stepped on a pair of glasses (but, seriously, who leaves their glasses on the floor to get stepped on anyway? I can't be the only person in the world who puts things where they belong!) And we still have a complete set of dishes and glasses. Actually, that's not true… I have broken a glass or two… or three… and maybe a couple plates! Though I used to be an athlete and a dancer, I still have my clumsy moments :)
And what about this "too honest" crap? Sure, my nephew loves to point out the spiky hairs on my legs when I haven't shaved in a few days… and? Is this supposed to hurt my feelings?! hahaha… Words can only offend you if you allow them to. So what if he tells me my legs are jiggly or my butt is big… Damn straight I got a big booty! I take that as a compliment. Thanks little dude! I appreciate him letting me know when my breath is kickin'… unlike most adults who would say nothing and let you walk around with stink breath all day and then talk about you behind your back. At least with kids you know when you need a breath mint. You see, Honesty is actually a GOOD thing… if you can get over your own insecurities.
Now, let's talk about this statement, "neediness actually intensifies as they get older" …FALSE! What your child is displaying is not neediness… Children are constantly testing you to see what you will allow them to get away with. This is how they learn. Just like most intelligent animal species, they test their boundaries. They are looking for guidance. If your child asks you to do everything for them and you actually DO everything for them, then you are teaching your child to depend on you for everything. So you can expect that child's neediness to intensify as they grow. My nephew can pick out his own clothes, dress himself, start his own movies, go on the computer and type in the password and then go to the Veggie Tales website where he plays games or sign onto Netflix and watch Scooby-do… all by himself! And that stuff he's been doing since he was two. And if he asks me to find his lost toy for him I say… "Sorry buddy… You lost it, you find it." It's never too early to start teaching your kids some life lessons. Now he knows not to lose his toys. Sure, kids are needy. That's a given. But if you actually LET them do things on their own… they magically learn how to do things ON THEIR OWN! It's a crazy concept, I know, but kids are generally only as needy as you allow them to be. Of course there are exceptions to this rule (just like most rules); Kids with special needs, for example. But even then, many children (and as someone with special needs myself, I will be so bold as to say MOST children) with special needs have the ability to learn anything that any other child can learn… with the right teacher. If you can learn to adapt your teaching patterns to your child's unique learning patterns and abilities then you will find that their neediness decreases as they get older. Which is exactly how it should be. If your child's neediness is intensifying as they get older, then you're probably just not doing something right and you should re-evaluate your teaching patterns. Sorry, I don't mean to be rude. I, like my nephew, am just too honest :)

Coreen Esser 2 years ago

Children make your house a home! We know after raising 3 out of a family of 9 as foster children and also adopting an additional daughter, now have 9 grandchrildren and 2 Great Grandkids, one even being named after me! Wouldn’t change a thing for the world. Thank You God for giving us this opportunity!

April Ensor Saulsgiver 2 years ago

Always saying get your hands out of there .. . .Nose, pants, my food, the dog bowl, back in my food, the toilet, my drink.. . ..

April Ensor Saulsgiver 2 years ago

So true. Also I never knew I could worry so much. Why do they do that? Is that normal? Will that shelf fall on his head? . . .Do I really need to baby proof the toilet? . . .

Sherry Berntsen 2 years ago

This article made me cry I laughed so hard. They were also tears of joy because finally I knew for sure I was not alone. My kids do all those things and more, but in the end it truly is all worth it. They are loved by me more then I ever thought possible. :-)

Annette Marie Castro 2 years ago

that was great! LMAO!! So very very true.

Tara Marshall 2 years ago

Okay, I work with children with developmental disabilities. I've cared for some of them for weeks at a time while the primary parent was in the hospital. I've changed diapers, I've toilet trained, I've handled the munchies, the laundry, the Legos left all over the floor as a minefield at 2am, the messes (including pee and poop all over the child because he got overloaded at the playground/mall/whereever). And I'm NOT a mommy… but I already knew all this.

There are many exceptions, including probably all the older girls in families like the Duggars, who have experienced all of this without becoming a mommy.

Kathleen Teeple 2 years ago

I read this while holding my sleeping 3 month old (who has decided mommy is a bed) and nearly woke him up with my laughing. Great read, so true! Reminds me of the time I left my son in his "child-proofed" (yeah–first kid I thought that was possible then) room for about 5 minutes. When I returned I noticed that the fish tank was dirty, like really dirty can't see the fish dirty. Hm, guess I need to clean the water. Upon moving closer I realize it's not the water, it's the tank. The tank covered in poop. I look down and my son has his diaper off and using the poop as fingerpaint. The 5 minutes I was in the other room he coated the fish tank, dresser, crib, about 25 toys (most of which could not be thrown in a tub or washer), and of course the door and carpet so that no one could come or go without also being "painted" .Fun times. And alas, this post took over 10 min to complete because that sleeping 3 month old suddenly woke up about 2 lines into the post.

Mukta 2 years ago

My goodness! ! I used to think only our Indian kids are like this coz of our parenting style n we don’t train them the montessori way but now I know it’s true with every tiny creature.. so very true!!! My house is full mess after I have baby before It used to be sparkling clean!! Oh I miss that but I love my daughter so much. .

dildo 2 years ago

Children and Obesity Spurlock uses real footage of children in schools along
with interviews from school officials and children to link the problem of
child obesity with fast food. Roommates don’t need to worry about getting herpes
from couch cushions or from sharing kitchen utensils
or bathtubs. It does require a little creativity and effort to come
up with things and words to cover this up.

Rebeca 2 years ago

Another one to mention – the house NEVER stays clean for longer than 5 minutes. Cleaning the house with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos…lol story of my life.

Rebeca 2 years ago

It was well written and funny. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. If you had kids, you’d be laughing. Laughter is good. That’s one tbing kids bring. If I didn’t laughabout some of the things my kids do, i would go completely nucking futs.

Lily Mn 2 years ago

I have one daughter, i do everything for her to make her happy. But at the end of the day they're unappreciative, selfish, annoying ….i wish i never had kids

Greta Blalock 2 years ago

I can tell from point #10 that your kids aren't teenagers yet. Just wait.

Suzy 2 years ago

My kid has broken our iPad twice. TWICE. Cost me over $200 total to fix it. Probably could’ve bought a new iPad for that…definitely could’ve bought myself a new outfit for that… lol

Jacqulyn Diane Gaschnitz 2 years ago

ahahahaha should have included telephone time. my son is 4. and i will be sitting here staring at the wall going crazy with boredom or crazy cause hes watching one of his kid shows…and ill get a phone call…he hasnt talked to me in over an hour i figure its safe. so i pick up the phone and go to the bedroom and close the door and lay on my bed to chat with whoevers calling me…within 30 seconds hes in my room playing 20 questions. it never fails. when i want his attention…and i cant get it…i just pretend im on the phone LMFAO. works every time…its like they dont really want your attention but they dont want anyone else to have it either…

Heidi Bryan 2 years ago

Hilarious. I couldn’t have said it better myself :-)

Miina 2 years ago

Don’t let other people’s negativity or personal issues be the determining factor in your choosing whether to bring forth life. Some people see it as a drag, while some of us recognize it as a miracle… One which carries realistic circumstances & responsibilities. And for those who vicariously live through their children, they usually have issues which create unhealthy pressure etc. on their child. Don’t let those Parents you see/hear define Parenthood.
“Be the Change You Want to See in The World”

Miina 2 years ago

This was a wonderful combination of absolutely hilarious, nerve-racking & refreshing! I’m 1.5 mo short of parenthood & have helped raise a niece & 2 nephews. All the 411’s made me reflect; smile & cringe, but nevertheless fill up with uttermost joy, as I too believe, “it is all worth it.”
Wonderfully written.

Catherine 2 years ago

I don’t have kids. I think this article is ultimately pointless; these facts are all obvious. I knew these before I came here. I’ve known them since I was a kid myself. I, personally, don’t understand why this is new information to anyone… The fact you really need: you’ll need to get over all of these “facts” before you become a parent, rather than “realise” it halfway through.

Carol Schor 2 years ago

uh huh

Liv M Wall 2 years ago

There's nothing wrong with being a werido… Ask my mom and dad if I am and was one… I turned out pretty alright.

Liv M Wall 2 years ago

Eleni… you know what really makes me not want to have children… besides the fact that I have never wanted them… All the women in my office who complain about how aweful it is, but then coo over how wonderful it is… Oh the parents who think their child is the most amazing thing on the Earth (I'm a softball coach and everyone's child is the star they never were)… The parents who think they should get some award every year for feeding, clothing, bathing, driving their kids to school and all around taking care of their choice to have a child even an "accidental" one… Please you know what having sex can do.. That is how babies are made… Women who think they are some how superior to others for either having a child or having more children than the woman who has one child… So I guess all in all… Parents make me not want to have children… They make it such a drag..

Linda Lonardo 2 years ago

I found this through a friends Face Book page and I laughed my ass off. I have kids and everything you said was absolutely true. I still have popcorn in my car from a trip we took to the zoo back in 2012. One thing you forgot was the fact that they put everything in their mouths – EVERYTHING! There is nothing quite so challenging as trying to get chewed crayon off a kids tongue. Thanks for letting me have a chuckle and see that it's not just my kids.

Lia Rees 2 years ago

I'm with you too. No way am I having them :)

Mary Goodson 2 years ago

Not my kid. I was blessed with the nicest, easiest daughter anyone could imagine. She's now 20, and people are STILL a bit envious of how awesome she is. She never pooped inappropriately, she (mostly) picked up her toys and kept her room sort of tidy. She SLEPT. A LOT. She didn't break things, she was rarely (ever?) gross (ok, there was that one time she barfed at 3am after eating saffron rice), and while she WAS "needy" as an infant, so was I, so that worked out pretty well. We snuggled each other a lot. =)

Melissa Lui 2 years ago

On another note don't forget how much they whine, cry, complain uuuugg just drives me crazy.

Bina Morris 2 years ago

#9: Kids Hurt Themselves. A Lot. Yes and there are some people who don't understand that little kids who love to run around all day outside get lots of bruises and scraps . I have had ladies look at me in horror when they see my little boys bruised and scraped legs. He some times has bruises over top of bruises on the legs . At the play ground its rare he doesn't get one or two new marks .

luxury 2 years ago

Every word is hilariously and horrifyingly true. Well done, my friend! Now I’m off to see if there’s something I can do about this eye twitch…

Melissa Lui 2 years ago

ah this makes me feel better. We took our 3 kids on a bus ride and they were pretty energetic and nosy. Hour or so after the long bus ride ended some guy in front was saying to us "control your kids before they control you" ya nice advice guy…
Thanks for the post.

L.A. Say Inc. 2 years ago

That abt sums it up for kids lol but there is always a lighter side to children.

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HD 2 years ago

“But like when your kid decides to take a dump on the floor” (happened at our house and is one of their favorite stories!) and “Kids eat their boogers” – oh Lord. Daily. No matter what I try to do to dissuade them. This cracked me UP! Thanks so much for the laugh and reassurance my twins aren’t the only gross kids out there.

Michele 2 years ago

I told my 2 year old boogers are yuck! No mom boogies good. Just an opinion at that point 😉

Michele 2 years ago

This hit the nail on the head. But the food poaching hit home tonight. I made pesto and I beat them at their game tonight! I made plain noodles and the pesto and gave them each a bowl of both. But they still end up sitting on you.

Good times :)

Michele 2 years ago

They really are swines. After my daughter puked in her bed she starting getting sick in mine so I caught the next round in my shirt and hands. Easier to wash hands and a shirt than to strip a bed at 2am!

Corey Mathis 2 years ago

I laughed because today we were eating dinner and the youngest starting eating off my plate which I normally don't allow. Then the older kids all wanted something from my plate, which I said ok. Then I decided I better eat my food as fast as I can because if I don't, I won't get any of it. :)

Corey Mathis 2 years ago

This was funny and most of it true.

Rebecca 2 years ago

Odd how we forget these things about ourselves and siblings when they are in production.

Shelley Hoelz 2 years ago

This is all so true. Unfortunately, if your family ends up dealing with Child Protective Services then NONE of this can happen with your children. In their eyes children are perfect and it is the parent who is at fault. They don't care that there was no crime committed when becoming involved with them, they just know they have to "save" the children from these awful parents. So if you have a family member who hates you, doesn't believe in your parenting style, a nosy neighbor, children in school, believe in alternative medicine….the list goes on and on….YOU are at risk at some time in your life of becoming involved with CPS.
Children are children, just like this article states. It is unfortunately that the government has become to invasive that we can no longer let children be children.

cre8tone 2 years ago

Nice write up.. so true..

Rebecca 2 years ago

Odd we don’t seem to remember any of that about ourselves or siblings when they’re in production.

Greg Twardy 2 years ago


Jayasri Nagrale 2 years ago

OMG. Am never ever going to have a kid after reading this.

Jellsmom 2 years ago

I can’t stand articles with lots of stuff in parenthesis. (It’s annoying, isn’t it?)

Laura Wahl 2 years ago

FREE TIME??? You have FREE TIME??? Meet me in the alley, I need a fix of FREE TIME!!!! 😛

Jenn 2 years ago

The comments are almost as funny as the article itself! Your article made me laugh so hard, it’s so true what you say. Kids do the most creative things and while you’re dealing with it, it’s exasperating, but also will make you laugh after the frustration passes. My kids don’t do everything on your list, but they more than make up for it for the ones they do do!

Rita Sleys 2 years ago

A friend of mine said of motherhood: "It was 100 times more work than I was expecting, but 1000 times more joy." That is a *great* return on investment! And she only had *one* child. Thankfully, the work doesn't multiply as much as you add more, but the joy just keeps on going!

Twin_mama 2 years ago

Lord have mercy, you are living my life! The number of times I've said,"Get your finger out of your nose. Don't eat boogers," boggles my mind.

Isobel Matheson 2 years ago

I assume your kids are under 18? 'Cos let me tell you, there's a whole load of new stuff you don't know about kids waiting for you when they do hit that age, and beyond! Great article. x

Heather Kinsler 2 years ago

You can take this and multiply it by a million for single parents….I had no idea I could ever be this tired, even when it feels like I have accomplished NOTHING!

Kathy La Belle Lavoie 2 years ago

Okay….this would be the perfetc time to tell a story about your Bud Baby that STILL makes us laugh…..but I'll refrain!! (Especially since it could have just as EASILY been our Ross!) He was so damn cute ~ and we certainly enjoyed this particular antic……..but if I remember correctly, even David cringed!!! haha

Carrie Christofferson Handy 2 years ago

Another thing people (whose kids were grown) used to say to me that I found annoying (when my kids were small, usually at a moment when my stress was showing) was, "Enjoy them now! They grow up fast!" But now mine are grown and I'm that person, telling you: Enjoy them! They grow up too fast!

Tom Paine 2 years ago

It is not for everybody, that is for sure. But for most they will find it the most rewarding experience of their lives. To love and be loved, it is what gives life so much meaning. But, as with anything of value (especially of great value) you have to be willing to sacrifice.

Ganzii 2 years ago

This is all so completely true and amazing, and I feel like you captured daily mom life so well. It’s all. so. true. The biggest one I’m dealing with right now is the neediness. The inconvenient neediness, where my 2 year old son will completely ignore my existence if I am in the same room as him, but the second I try to leave the room to do the dishes, go to the bathroom, make food, ANYTHING – he has dire, pressing needs that will launch him into a tantrum if I don’t respond within 20 seconds. (And imaginary boo-boos that need bandaids – I think kids learn that when they are tiny and hurt themselves, we have to comfort them. It translates to “mom can’t ignore me if I have a boo-boo!”)

And the messiness. The filth. A few days ago, I attempted to leave the room to do the dishes. He peed in his little potty (yay!), then dumped it out onto the windowsill and drove his trucks through it (NOT yay!). I cleaned it up, and 2 minutes later, he had filled the potty with trucks and toys. Then he pulled every single baby wipe (so, like, 200 of them) out of the container and threw them all over the living room. And this is why I never do my dishes.

Ganzii 2 years ago

This. I remember looking forward to summer picnics and BBQs at people’s houses. Now, attending a BBQ means I don’t get to eat or talk to anyone, and spend the entire time chasing my toddler around the yard, trying to not let him fall in the pool, fall into the fire, fall down the stairs/hill, get lost in the woods, wander into the street, etc. etc.

Kids turn you into a hermit, because you can’t do thing with them without wanting to punch yourself in the face, and you can’t very well just leave them home alone. Unfortunately.

Ashley Whitmoyer 2 years ago

I loved this! I have 4 kids(2 girls, 2 boys-7,6,2 and 10 months), so I've been through and am still going through this all! I have to add to this how they are little sponges and all those things you don't want them to repeat. THEY WILL REPEAT. Always in public and/or around family.

Ganzii 2 years ago

YES! “Mommy, I can’t find my truuuuck! My red one! No, the red one with a stripe! Noooooo!” 7000 times a day. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought him 200 Matchbox vehicles… but yeah, they breed when I’m not looking.

Linda Shea Smith 2 years ago

ALL true…and now that my four are over the age of 6, I had time to read this…..

Urban Flowerpot 2 years ago

Hahh…thank you for this! it makes me feel like there is some solidarity out there. I felt so very alone as I scrubbed poo out from under my nails earlier today.

Joy 2 years ago

So so true. Well done!

Jodi Leichtner Pasette 2 years ago

Michelle Lee-Reid ,you got it,spot on,and add in a kid with special needs into the daily routine,my son 14,has Asperger's. It gets harder,don't let anyone tell you different,they are liars :)

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Kate, I’ll have to head over and read some of your posts! :)

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Sorry you didn’t enjoy this piece, Ann. It was written with humor and sarcasm, not naivety. Clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, which is ok. It takes all kinds, right?

Serenity Angel 2 years ago

I'm with you, Eleni.

Randie Kirkley 2 years ago

Yeah, I got tired just reading that.

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

I did the same thing!!!

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

“like”… you made me giggle all over again!

Bethany Giles 2 years ago


Bethany Giles 2 years ago

Love your perspective… although it kinda makes me wonder about my kids. Three boys – 4, 6, 8. The 8 year old already acts like a teenager. Am I doing something wrong??? 😉

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

Props to you!!! I think its amazing that you figured it out and are still probably a great mom. Exhausted mom, but great mom. :-)

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

Love your response! My sentiments exactly!

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

The difference is, that if you had kids, you’d have been giggling hysterically throughout the whole thing. Just enjoy the humor… :-)

Bethany Giles 2 years ago

Holy cow!! You had me in stitches reading this!!! I have been giggling so hard throughout the whole thing because everything is so true and relate-able. (I have THREE BOYS… very cliche, typical, rowdy, rambunctious boys). Thank you so much for this. It makes me feel a little bit more normal, and a slightly bit less crazy. I’m sure you’re an awesome mother! After only reading this, I would LOVE to be you’re best friend! But what truly made the sarcastic honesty (exactly how I am) about having kids, (and I related to EVERYTHING you said) the most awesome ‘mom blog’ I’ve ever read was the #10. Props. Perfect ending… although even without it, I could still see the honest, pure love you have for your kids throughout the whole thing. And I am completely a die-hard fan of you now!

Barb Hart Gilroy 2 years ago

Wow – so glad I'm done with all that lol – thanks for the memories! I remember when my first daughter was born – when she was 4 weeks old and screaming her head off all night I sat there just thinking "I did this on PURPOSE? For the rest of my life?" Yikes.

Olga Norton 2 years ago

Wow you have pretty much assured that I will never ever ever have kids….Thanks, my husband will be thrilled by that.

Reba VanLue 2 years ago

I started reading this at the suggestion of my daughter. She just had twins 9 mo. ago. I was laughing so hard by the time I finished reading #3, tears were running down my face and I almost wet myself. I took a break. The tears were back after.
finishing #6. # 10 summed it up just right. However, to you young folks, it never ends. I had twins in my day. They are now having their own families. I still worry about them and want to help them if they need me. As a Grammy, I am having a ball all over again! Thanks for the wonderful article.

Ann 2 years ago

Um, sorry, but I don’t have kids and NONE of this comes as a surprise to me. So much for not just stating the obvious. It sounds to me like you were just incredibly naive before having kids. And oh yeah, add these to the other 563 reasons I never want to have children.

The Next Step 2 years ago

oh, all of this is so so true!! you never really know just how hard it is until you try and juggle all this stuff at once!
very well written!

Csh Threenorns 2 years ago

for about 5yrs or so, I would be subjected to a heart attack two-three times a day because my youngest never, ever woke up the way other kids do – open eyes, look around, blink, maybe a polite "wah" to inform the wait staff that madame is ready to be served.

no – with her, it was one full-out fit of complete and utter panicked hysteria. I swear, neighbours must've thought I was swaddling her with barbed wire or something.

it took years for me to figure out what it was: when she woke up, the room HAD to be *precisely* the same as when she went to sleep.

tv/radio/DVD/CD on when she fell asleep? not only must it be on when she woke up, but it must be playing the exact same song or show.

light on/off? ditto.

here's the fun part: if she could see the sun when she fell asleep, it better still be *right there* when she got up!

yeah – asperger's adds a whole new dimension of drama.

Csh Threenorns 2 years ago

and that's just the normal kids!

Kate 2 years ago

Awesome post! I would also add that kids will break your heart. They will bite someone after you’ve worked for hours teaching them not to, they will go to kindergarten, they will cry because they were made fun of at school, they will tell you they hate you, they will go move away for college, they won’t need you anymore. If you know that these heart-breaking moments are often the gateway to something positive (even if it is only character-building), then they are easier to swallow.

P.S. my readers keep telling me that we’re writing style twins (http://nqmartha.blogspot.com); they’re just trying to be nice to me.

Rita Waller Paesano 2 years ago

Girls are just as bad with their "pockets." And NO ONE told me about that! I was pretty shocked the first time my daughter proudly showed me how she could carry a kinect piece without using her hands.

Annie Biala Ferrer 2 years ago

Your kids are worth all of it indeed! I agree 110 percent on what was said & posted on #10. :))

Erika Jacobs-Pratto 2 years ago

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I was reading this as I sat on the couch eating last night's leftovers for breakfast. My almost 3 year old twins just finished 4 pancakes each ( no they're not fatties). My son came over, snuggled up next to me, and we "shared" my breakfast. You MUST HAVE been at my house while you wrote this blog :) Thanks sooo much for sharing!

Emily Bruins Shoemaker 2 years ago

I love how much color kids add to life – like gold threads in brown cloth. You have to take the crap with the joy, or the joy isn't as amazing.

Susan Thiedt 2 years ago

I have. Then you start all over again with babysitting the grandchildren. As I speak, toys are all over my living room, and yesterday, I got poop on my hand. Hers, not mine. However, I wouldn't have it any other way. They are my angels, my little loves. Being a grandparent is awesome!

Josette Crosby Plank 2 years ago

# 2, 5, and 7 will change, most likely. My kids are 14, 12, and 6.

Some teens will take 32 showers a day if you let them, and all those times they walked through mud or picked up frogs will be a distant memory. And you'll say things like "You used to not worry about walking through mud or picking up frogs! What happened?" And they will stare at you and walk away.

Teens sleep.Hours and hours they sleep. As ticked off as you used to be trying to get them to sleep, you'll be that angry trying to get them to wake up. Except now they are bigger and can be angrier back and tell you that with a college-level vocabulary.

Teens don't always lie. But they are very good at buttering-up the truth, so to speak. Or just not talking at all.

Almost everything you thought you knew about kids when you had little kids, will change. It's okay. We parents of older kids don't know what we're doing anymore either. :-)

Michelle Lee-Reid 2 years ago

Even when they can care for themselves, they are all-consuming. You are helping with homework, re-teaching math lessons that they didn't unerstand, proofreading papers, taking them to friends' houses, setting up playdates, scheduling appointments, attending concerts, plays, and conferences, helping them deal with social interactions and dramas, volunteering at school and girl scouts, helping them find something to do when they're bored, nagging them to finish their homework, practice their instruments, finish their graduation requirements, visit colleges, finish college and scholarship apps, and I assume it continues after that, but we haven't gotten that far.

Melissa@Home on Deranged 2 years ago

Excellent list. My toddler is also going through the organization phase, in which she meticulously lines up a collection of toys in certain formations or displays, then leaves them for us to discover. I swear that kid is going to be an engineer.

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Thank you!

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Thank you!

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Ha, ha, thank you. :)

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Oh my god . . . the hands down the pants ALL THE TIME! My son wasn't quite at that stage when I wrote this, but he's there now. And I this isn't a habit that ever dies, judging from my experience with grown men.

Raising Wild Things 2 years ago

Thank you all so very much for your nice comments. I'm glad we can all relate mostly because it means my kids aren't weirdos.

Nina 2 years ago

Ha! Loved this!!! All true. The one I haven’t seen discussed as much–hoarders. YES! That is so true. And they hoard such junk! I’m always collecting things for the giveaway pile when they’re not looking.

One Classy Motha 2 years ago

Damn, girl! My neck hurts from nodding!

Julie 2 years ago

You forgot to say that after all the toys are done copulating and turning your house a giant pain in the ass, that’s when you’ll find the kids playing with a hairbrush, a random cardboard box, an empty toilet paper roll, or a random bit of crumpled ribbon they found on the ground after a parade and just had to keep. All true stories.

Domesticated Breakdown 2 years ago

Yes! Especially the kids are gross part :-)
Domesticated Breakdown

Robyn Jackson Welling 2 years ago

Every word is hilariously and horrifyingly true. Well done, my friend! Now I'm off to see if there's something I can do about this eye twitch…

jude 2 years ago

This is awesome but would love to read more when your kids are teenagers. Thats where I am now and still have things like throwing a gogurt up in the air, hitting a ceiling fan that is running and blue gogurt flies everywhere, what were they thinking? And talking about sleep, they are out driving and out late with friends you don’t hardly know and sleeping is never good till you know that are home safe and sound. Anyway, keep up the posts – humor makes raising them easier

Mercy 2 years ago

I laughed my way through this ’cause it’s all so true, every last bit of it.

AJ Collins 2 years ago

Number 6 made me laugh so hard I cried. I have a 10 year old and a 8 year old and OH MY GOODNESS, I have never sat down to the table AFTER I asked if anyone needed anything, and not had one of my kids ask me for something else… and usually something that requires focused attention. Hot Cocoa with 23 tiny dry marshmallows in it (I usually just say no or tell them to get it themselves) Fabulous list of information. Perfect for new or not-yet parents.

Jen Lichty Kresak 2 years ago

If you really want to be scared, just wait til they turn into teenagers!

Hearher 2 years ago

Doesn’t stop. As a Mom of 4 with 2 wonderful step children. They range in ages from 15-25.. It doesn’t get better. The 22 year old still does so much if this. From intentionally leaving poops in his bathroom so no one will ever use it or leaving his sports equipment and his sweaty, smelly gym clothes everywhere. Same as the toys. I found 7 footballs in my kitchen cupboards recently. He is the child who will never grow up and is always finding new and inventive ways to make me shake my head. And he’s in his last year of university for his human kinetics degree..
My 15 and 17 year old likes to ambush me and hold me down to tickle me and lick my face.. Ugh.. They are so much bigger and stronger than I am..
My kids are all nuts and do what they can to still make my life interesting.

Weavingroses 2 years ago

I’m trying for my first, and man… I’m terrified. Not giving up, though. I just hope I can keep at least some things clean!

Alyson Rennick Herzig 2 years ago

Awesome post! Loved the hoarder one – so true!

Amber 2 years ago

This is very true. I feel like my daughter is always sticky.

And my kids think they can eat my chocolate whenever they want. This is very troubling to me.

Neda 2 years ago

Sooooo true. Every one of them. Especially #10. As much as you get thrown up on, pooped on, get called a bad mommy (and you should go in time out) just for flushing the toilet when they wanted to and there is a 2 hour crying after, you will still LOVE the beyond words. And will do it all over again.

Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. 2 years ago

Yep, #10 negates them all, but wow… the honesty and the hoarding still boggle my mind. I’ve tuned out the disgustingness and other unpleasantries…likely due to my sleep deprivation. Hilarious post!

maureen 2 years ago

How true this is.

Kristy @Loveandblasphemy 2 years ago

Yes, you speak the truth!

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

I scrolled down the article prior to reading and thought, “aw, crap, this one’s really long…” and then I started reading and got completely sucked in, and, no joke, I hung onto every agonizingly true word of it!

You have a new follower…


Kathy Bennett Augustine 2 years ago

Don't say that!!! It's the best thing I ever did, the most I have ever loved and smiled. You would be a kick ass mom!

Eleni Theodorakos 2 years ago

I have about zero desire to have children now, lol, thank you.

Carisa Miller 2 years ago

Mackenzie, you are brilliant! Congratulations on a wildly successful Scary Mommy debut. This is hilarious and true and true, true, true, and also hilarious.

Kim 2 years ago

OMG I can’t stop laughing !! Where were you 19 yrs ago while “we” (who are now divorced) were deciding on our first ??? Please, for the love of God print this and hand it out in High School’s !! I’m a single Mom 10yrs now, to a 19yr old who is a genius with no common sense, my pride and joy. And his younger brother who is 15 and Autistic, marches to a different beat but will amaze you ! :)
The stories I could share !! Their artistic talent….. White English Bulldog , black permanent marker = Bertrice the Zebra ! Driving the matchboxes on my brand new Monte SS, scratching in a the straight away for Drag Racing ! Frogs in my bed, Sticky suction frogs in my toilet, they don’t flush by the way. However tennis balls will flush ! and get stuck further down, hence me dating the Roto Rooter man.. Locking me out of my car so many times that OnStar knows me by my first name and that Josh is my youngest son… Neighbors calling to tell me that keeping a Raccoon for a pet was cruel…..wait WTH ?? YES that happened ! OH and raising teenagers !!! BAHAHAHAHAHA ! NO ONE IS READY FOR THAT ! :) Thanks so much for the good read and laughter !!

RealMomofNJ (@realmomofnj) 2 years ago

GREAT post, Mackenzie! All of it is so true. Especially the last one. 😉

Dawn McNary 2 years ago

This is hysterical and oh so true! ….and seriously…I can handle the poop, pee, and vomit…I'm a strong woman! But boogies boogies boogies…OMG…seriously ….that is disgusting!! And kids are obsessed with their noses! LOL

Beth Laf 2 years ago

"A toy store that exploded. And then had all the toys copulate and give birth to newer and newer generations of toys."
best line explaining toy random regeneration I have ever read!

rebecca at thisfineday 2 years ago

Oh my gosh! So true and the thing is that these things don’t go away quickly…. it’s just the way they do these things that changes as they age :-) Oh the joys!

Tanya 2 years ago

My son broke my laptop 3 times before he even turned 2!! One of the times I found it on the floor completely broke in half!! How a less than one year old is capable of that idk…

Theresa 2 years ago

Every word that you said is so true! From the “no filter to being moochers!” I have 5yr old twins. When they were about 5 months old, my husband and I were eating spicy thai chicken wings. Both kids kept whining and reaching for our supper and just wouldn’t stop. Finally we just gave in and took little pieces off to give to them. They made a bit of a face but kept wanting more. To this day they both love spicy thai.

Christina Boyd 2 years ago

You forgot how they can be occupied or playing quietly for the first time in their lives until you pick up the black thing and put it to your ear to talk to the health insurance company or other very important, vital person, and then suddenly they urgently, urgently need your attention. Like to turn the TV on or get a drink or find their blankie. And they don't stop with your wildly waving hand to get away or crazy expression on your face. In fact, that encourages their volume to INCREASE and need to be even MORE urgent. Also, as far as broken, ruined stuff, expect lines down each side of your vehicle about the height of whatever tricycle or bike handle bars they happen to be riding. I have three boys ages 9, 7, and 3 and I feel like my house is falling down around me along with my sanity. But it's all worth it, right? I can't wait for them to call me when they are grown to tell me how crazy their kids are driving them.

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion 2 years ago

I can attest to all of this as true, Mackenzie! My son broke my laptop; my daughter wipes her boogers on me; my son told his teacher about my bathroom antics; my daughter wants to live in my uterus, etc. All that said, I'll take the broken electronics and boogers on my leg any day. I wasn't prepared for it, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! Great post, lady ;).

Debbie 2 years ago

So true! So True! And i love how you say IT IS ALL WORTH IT! The love that we feel for these kids is beyond any love you can feel.

You did forget a few things. Scooping poop out of the bath tub and also if the baby hasn’t pooped in 2 days and than you end up having to dig it out with your finger, it there but they just can’t get it pushed out. That only happened to me once!
Anyway thanks for the smiles and memories.

Brenda Dion 2 years ago

Loved the dirty and gross part. My kids are 7 and 8 and I KNOW WHERE THEIR HANDS HAVE BEEN and will not let them touch my food. I guard it with my life. Also the needy part…”watch me Momma” do jump roping, cartwheels, etc for the umpteenth time. But sooooo worth it!!!

JD Bailey @ Honest Mom 2 years ago

This is hysterically, perfectly true. I have to say, the grossness and dirtiness really floored me – especially since I have girls!!!

Ariana 2 years ago

Ah, #4…I never knew I could hate sharing my food until I had little kids. As soon as I would sit down with a snack of any kind they were right there, ready to take what they believed to be their rightful portion. The upside? I finally gave up snacking and eventually lost 20 lbs (at least partially) due to that!

Rachel 2 years ago

My daughter poops in the backyard because she saw the dogs doing it. I never thought that would happen

jeanneringe 2 years ago

Awww. You only described the fun stuff. It’s when they’re toddlers in teenage bodies that the neediness, inconvenience, foul habits and literally hair-raising part of parenting grabs you by the throat and makes you wonder why you ever had sex without 3 condoms. By that time you want a do over. There’s nothing worse than regretting some of the days you lost it, because you can see them moving closer and closer to the edge of the nest. Enjoy it while you can!

Maria Rodriguez 2 years ago

Congratulations, excellent post….Real and funny…

Amanda 2 years ago

All of this list was true when mine were babies & toddlers and while big boys might not be as cute as babies or toddlers, they are so much better in different ways. Mine still mooch food and are disgusting & gross & dirty, but if they get up at the butt crack of dawn (which only happens on the weekends), they can feed and entertain themselves until after I’ve had my coffee. I also got to add in the house rule when they passed toddlerhood that mommy gets to be in the bathroom BY HERSELF! That was a wonderful day!

Liz Pifer 2 years ago

And if you have little boys you will constantly catch them with their hands down their pants at the most humiliating times or whipping it out at the grocery store while sitting in the cart. You will want to melt into the floor but anyone else with kids understands and doesn't bat an eye at you – even if you happen to be walking around with dried Alpha-Bits cereal stuck to the ass of your pants, sigh. Life is short – you won't get out alive so enjoy every moment of it with your family.

Jasbir @jasbeeray 2 years ago

Kids are too honest. I can be rather embarrassing. Imagine listening to.your child telling a bride as she is about to walk down the aisle, “your face has many holes like the moon”. There was nothing I could have said to make her feel better!

Katie Ginter Deliberato 2 years ago

So true!! Well, except the bit about murder – I'm too afraid of prison. I wish at least one person would have cut through all of the sugary enthusiasm and had given me a heads-up about the other side. Thankfully the good times outweigh the challenging times when they're around 7-8, and you start to see the fruits of your labor! :)

MomChalant 2 years ago

I knew kids were difficult, but I didn’t know how difficult. I figured I could keep mine clean (I’m overly anal), but no. He is gross. And that means I get gross. So each of our days usually ends in a bath together.

Michelle 2 years ago

I think we have managed to cover every single one of these twice just this week! And she’s 5 – it really never ends. Ever. Looking forward to 18 so I can stop eating in the pantry.

Jay Meier 2 years ago

All true…plus one more condition newbies should understand….

We cannot fully appreciate how all-consuming kids are. At least until they can clean themselves, feed themselves and entertain themselves without risk of death, they require ALL YOUR FREE TIME. But this may be somewhat intuitive to many…

What's not immediately intuitive is exactly how much that impacts everything we (parents) enjoyed before these new people took over our lives.

Moms and Grandmothers hate it when I "jokingly" share with potential new dads, that they should identify all those activities they currently enjoy (IE hunting, camping, riding, playing in the band, going to the game, going to the tavern with buddies, etc etc etc) and just forget about them for the next 5-8 years. Those fun activities are no-longer available to you (either parent). This impact, is never fully realized until after the fact…just as none of us ever thought we'd consider murder….

Ashley Elizabeth Linder 2 years ago


Meredith 2 years ago

Best birth control ever reading this post! You nailed it…and now I’m just cringing thinking of all the stuff my kiddos got into while I sitting here enjoying your writing :)

Stephanie 2 years ago

Yep. All of the above. I really had the chance to appreciate this as I was scraping a dried booger off my son’s bedroom wall the other day. Seems they don’t really even need to be taught this trick. They just pick (HA!) it up.

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

So very true!

I’d add:

Kids are only hungry right after you put dinner away.
Kids are Brave (hence the hurt all the time)
Kids are Loyal

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

So true! I was so cocky before I had kids. I had been a teacher for 12 years and figured I knew all about kids. Little did I know that a classroom of kids is very different than being with them every second of every day. There’s all the poop for one thing.

Sara Ann 2 years ago

This is so perfect and honest it makes me want to cry tears of joy! My biggest pet peeve: hearing people start conversations with the words, “when I have kids…”
*GAH* As mothers, I think we stay quiet, smile a little and chuckle to ourselves… you’ll learn someday, honey!

Mollie Wright 2 years ago

Oh my gosh!!! #3 – Kids are Hoarders – my 4 yr. old son to a tee! The example the author uses, “Where is my blue car!?” We hear the exact sentence at least 10x per day – “I want my blue car! Where is my blue car!? Moooom, I want my blue car, NOW!! Not THAT blue car!! My OTHER blue car!!!”

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Can I get an AMEN! This is all so true. I keep waiting for my kids to be less needy as they are getting older and it just isn’t happening!

Guerrilla Mom 2 years ago

They are needy little hoarders, aren’t they?

Mackenzie Cross Lawrence 2 years ago

Thanks, woman!

Janine Huldie 2 years ago

Yup, used to annoy me to no end when I would hear this when I was childless, now I am so with you on all ten and then some. Seriously, even down to the bandaids they don’t really need, but the invisible boo boo that just happens to need said bandaid at naptime or bedtime (always the most inconvenient time of the day, too!!).

Jenn @ Mommy Needs A Martini 2 years ago

Yup. Just.. YUP!
All of it is SO freaking spot on true!

Shannon 2 years ago

Sometimes I think things would be easier if we’d never begun walking on two legs and venturing into the savannah, leading us to our current, modern world. Our fellow primates have it far easier…

Amy – Funny is Family 2 years ago

My kids are gross, dirty, hoarding moochers, but they sleep. Blessedly, they are good sleepers. Booger-eating sleepers.

“Predictably unpredictable” is the truest of true!

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

This is absolutely hilarious and very true. As the Mom of 3 myself, I can totally agree with you. It is amazing that crumbs can and will end up everywhere.

Kris 2 years ago

OMFG NOTHING could be more true! So very….very…very true. Hilarious. Although this post did make me look at my kid not like some little time/mess/chaos conspirator but instead a normal little developing human being who just doesn’t really know the ropes yet. Thanks for that. I think. 😉

Nicole 2 years ago

My son has gone into overdrive with the food poaching, complete with the most mischievous grin I think I’ve ever seen on a human being. Needless to say, I save all the really good stuff until he’s been in bed for a few hours…

Beth 2 years ago

Love this! Hilarious and oh so true! Especially the sleep. Seriously. Every weekday when I had to be at work, my child would sleep until I woke her up at the very last minute. Weekends? Up at the crack of dawn, running in to my room to jump on my head.