Parents are passing around a Facebook post detailing an 11-step program for anyone thinking of having kids. Rebecca posted the program in its entirety here for Babble’s pregnant readers, in the spirit of letting them know that “you’re in for it now, you may as well be prepared!”
I’ve gotten the tips in my own Facebook account more than once in the past few days, and I must admit that a couple of them really made me laugh. Like this one:
“Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.”
And this one:
“Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four-second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.”
Yes, some of the rest of the 11 tips seem to rely on stereotypes and are a bit negative. And the popularity of the post begs the question: Does having kids really mean giving up your life? And what about all the joy that kids bring to your life?
I guess the real point—and the reason why this is getting passed around so much—is that parenting is a tough, often lonely, job. And while this is all very funny, there’s really nothing that can prepare you for the magnitude of how hard it’s going to be, until you’re already in it. And that’s where you’re going to need the most important tip—the one that this Facebook note’s author, Amy Lawrence, is not so subtly tip-toeing around: The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for parenthood? Hang on to your sense of humor. You’re going to need it.