Making the decision to become a parent is not one to be taken lightly, unless of course you accidentally wind up pregnant. In that case, it’s super easy – you’ve got this! Also, STOP READING HERE.
If you find yourself waffling about whether or not to become a parent, the following list of at-home experiments (some that require the iron-clad commitment of your partner) will give you an excruciatingly realistic feel for if parenthood is the right fit for you both.
#1 – Acquire five cobras and put them in a soft bag. Tie it tightly so they can’t get out. Lay next to the bag in your bed, and sing it lullabies while it writhes for hours instead of falling asleep. Repeat two times a day for five years.
#2 – Spend $100 buying organic chicken nuggets, GMO-free gummy vitamins, gluten-free waffles and preservative-free crackers. Really struggle with the cost of going organic, but do it anyways because you just read a Facebook article about the dangers of our toxic food supply. Carry the half-a-bag of groceries into your house, and then throw that shit right into the trash to simulate a child who refuses to eat any of it. Get used to that.
#3 – Set a timer for every daily task you have, making sure to choose an air-raid siren as the ring tone. If blow drying your hair usually take 20 minutes, set the timer for 11. If making dinner takes 30 minutes, set the timer for 3. Would you like to read your book for an hour? Set the time for 30 seconds. Get familiar with being on a too-short clock all day/year long.
#4 – Ask your partner to whine everything they say for four years straight. Tell them to stop for a day and then start again for another four years to simulate having another baby.
#5 – Instruct your partner to say/whine, “I’m huuuuuungry,” every time they get into the car with you to go somewhere. Have them also repeat this after every meal out together, as you both exit the restaurant. Bang your head against the wall with this for three-five years.
#6 – Use your entire arm to swipe every last book off of all the bookshelves in your home. Put the books back. Repeat 15 times per day for 1.5 years.
#7 – Ask your partner to shout out a song title relentlessly until you put it on for them every time you’re backing your car out of a busy parking lot. Instruct them to repeat this for four years and never change song titles.
#8 – Before you leave the house every day, pack a snack that’s gluten free, dairy free, non-windpipe-sized, has sufficient protein, no dyes, is whole grain, and can’t be spilled. Once you found whatever miracle food this is (hint: it doesn’t exist), dump it all out in the backseat of your car. Repeat for 10 years.
#9 – Ask your partner to set your morning alarm for anywhere between midnight and 6am – but never later than 6am. Gauge when to go to bed, and try to sleep tight not knowing when you’re going to be awoken. Repeat for 18 years.
#10 – Install a Nerf basketball hoop in the back seat of your car. Try to throw snacks, stuffed animals, books and leaking water bottles into the basket to simulate giving them to your crying child. If the items don’t make it into the hoop (they won’t), throw your arm out trying to retrieve them for a second try, while also keeping your eyes on the road and listening to “The Circle of Life” on full blast.
#11 – Have your partner bat a balloon around your head while you make dinner for them. Instruct them to not eat the dinner despite the fact that they like it, and it’s being served on a plate with the face of their favorite TV show character.
#12 – Have your partner sneeze directly into your mouth. And then cough in your eyes.
#13 – At your lowest moment, the one where you’re not sure if you can go on anymore, have your partner throw a Thomas the Train engine square at your head, spilling your blood.
If all of this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, then you are ready to be a parent! If not, join the rest of us and do it anyway.
*Pictured above: Target as metaphor – your life will resemble whichever aisle you choose.