Before having kids, I never would have believed all the ways they manage to gain the upper hand, especially at such a young age! Silly me because I thought I had a good 13 years or so before engaging in (and quite often losing) some truly epic power struggles with my three adorable offspring. You know, the dreaded “teen years.”
I really wish someone had warned me that I would lose control over my own life the second I became a parent. So today, I’m doing exactly that — warning you. Without further ado, here are the 10 ways that having young kids is like being held hostage.
- No matter how you feel, their needs will always come first. You’re never allowed to have a sick day — ever! Got a fever of 104 F? Can’t pick yourself up off the bathroom floor? Guess what, your baby could care less. You are still required to carry out each and every one of your parental duties from changing diapers to singing bedtime lullabies.
- Two words: sleep deprivation. Not only is it an inevitability of parenthood, it’s also a bona fide form of torture used on hostages around the world.
- PTSD comes with the territory. Parents of fussy newborns often suffer from a specific form of PTSD in which they routinely hear “phantom cries” while taking a shower, trying to sleep, or just generally trying to do anything away from the direct vicinity of the baby.
- You’ll find yourself in uncomfortable positions. Toddlers have the power to make you sit in the same (often extremely uncomfortable) spot for much, much longer then you might like. Don’t believe me? Take your newly walking toddler to a friend’s house that has stairs but no baby gate — and you’ll be sitting at the top or bottom of that staircase for your entire visit. (By the way, the reverse is not true — you do not possess the ability to make a toddler sit in the same spot for nearly as long.)
- You must meet demands. Young children make some demands that parents absolutely have to meet the second a child makes them no matter what. For example, your child might urgently demand that you take him to the bathroom just as you’re finally exiting the grocery store.
- If you don’t meet their demands, you’ll pay the price. Same goes for losing or misplacing your young child’s blankie/dollie/binkie, etc. If you don’t meet your toddler’s demands regarding what she needs to sleep, no one will be sleeping for a very long time.
- You’re at their mercy. You may get to pick bedtime, but you are completely at the mercy of the kids as far as what time you get up each day.
- You must adhere to their schedule. If nap time is at 1:00, you better be sure you’re home by then… If you don’t make it back until 1:08, and the baby falls asleep in the car, she absolutely will not transfer from sleeping in the car to sleeping in her crib. That 8 minutes of snoozing counted as her entire afternoon nap and you will be getting no break for the rest of the afternoon. Sorry.
- Being screamed at will happen — a lot. Babies can and — up until at least 4 months of age — very often will, scream at you every single second you’re in a car together. Drill sergeants and interrogators got nothin’ on a baby who doesn’t want to be in a car. Subsequently, these same babies basically have the ability to put you under house arrest.
- You’ll sit still in one spot, or else suffer the consequences. Just as toddlers have the ability to make you stay in one spot, babies have the ability to keep you from moving all together. All it takes is a few hours of crying and then your baby finally, finally falling asleep while you’re holding her. At this point, you would rather chew off your own arm than try to move it out from underneath baby and risk waking her up.
I could really go on and on, but you get the point here. You are a parent of a small child, you have a lot less power then you might think. Consider yourself warned.
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