If you haven’t been a parent long, then you might not know that there are some things about raising children you can count on about as often as 2 + 2 = 4. I’m getting to be a bit of a seasoned parent these days with 3 kids ages 9 to 3. So here are some almost mathematical equations to help you cope thrive.
Bed Time Math
Let’s start in the early days of parenting a baby. The exhaustion has never been more real, am I right?
Your child will never need to sleep at night, only during the day. During the day, you could run a lawnmower through your living room over broken glass and that angel newborn wouldn’t even flutter an eyelid. When the sun goes down though, all bets are off and the party begins. You could sing, sway, swaddle, nurse till your nipples fall off, rock, walk and baby talk and that baby is still going to be looking at you with those big beautiful eyes, wondering why in the heck you don’t want to party along with him/her.
Just accept it. There is no sleep. Sleep is a mystery. Sleep is actually a mystery novel to which you don’t even have time to read the table of contents.
Unless of course you have somewhere to be early in the morning. If you have made any sort of plan in the morning because your baby has never slept past 7 am, well, cancel it. This will be the day your baby decides she loves sleeping in and she’s going nowhere. Sleeping in is the best. Sleeping in is her favorite— just not when you have nowhere else to be, like most days.
It’s math, don’t fight it.
Potty Time Math
Moving on to the toddler years you have to face the sheer horror of potty training.
This is purgatory; get comfortable being uncomfortable. You will know every bathroom in every store across the city, however, your child will NEVER need to go when you first go into the store, even if you ask them or take them. According to them, their bladder is the Sahara desert, tumbleweeds are rolling through. There is no possibility for rain in the next 10 years. However, they will absolutely have a major emergent potty attack when you have reached the farthest point from the said bathroom you just visited.
Every. Freaking. Time.
If you have older kids with you, then you will have to revisit that same bathroom when you once again reach the farthest point away from that bathroom, and it will definitely be an emergency. It’s just science, their bladders clearly don’t work unless they are as far away from a bathroom as possible.
The other part of potty training that will be a mathematical fact in your life is wiping butts. Not just wiping butts but wiping butts in the middle of every meal, for this is the only time your kid will need to evacuate his/her bowels. Maybe it’s the food or that fact that they don’t want to sit still through an entire meal but this might be God’s way of helping moms lose those last few pounds of baby weight because who really wants to finish their meal after that?
Nap Time Math
If you have trained your child to take naps every day, then you can count on a couple of hours of peace each day. Except when you are sick or physically exhausted and can think of NOTHING besides that two hours where you will get a nap for yourself.
Nope. Just no.
This will be the day your child decides naps are for sissies. They are a big kid and do not need to close their eyes during the day except to blink. No naps for them and no rest for you. Ever. You are a sissy.
Snack Time Math
There is also something about Costco or any other wholesale place that brings out parental math.
This equation goes something like this: You have not been able to keep string cheese in your house for even 5 minutes when it’s been purchased from the regular grocery store. You are sick and tired of going to the store for more string cheese because that is the only snack on earth they will eat. So you decide to get smart and buy the value pack at Costco. You have just caused your child and or children to hate string cheese and all it stands for. You will be destined to eat string cheese for the rest of your adult life because let me tell you, your kid(s) is never eating it again… unless it’s not an option any more.
Halfway through that pack, you decide you hate string cheese as well. This is basically your own dang fault; never buy kid snacks from Costco.
Mama Time Math
This last one is the most accurate of all parental math.
You will never, not ever, run into a single soul you are familiar with when you have decided to get dressed cute, have a good hair day and put great makeup on your face. You will see no one. The city is an effective wasteland. You wonder if the apocalypse happened and you are the only person left. You have wasted all your creative “getting yourself together to look like a real person” energy.
However, the day you decide to step foot outside your home dressed like a homeless person with mismatched, yogurt-stained clothing and basically look like you and your toddler are twinning is the day to see every person you’ve ever known, especially people you haven’t seen in years and who knew you as an awkward youth with braces. Side note, your toddler will be having an epic meltdown.
You can’t fight the math, even parental math, because it’s math. Just ask my high school algebra teacher, because I sure as heck gave it a run for the money. Happy parenting, y’all!