Parenthood can look so different to those without kids or who are expecting their first. Check out these 14 funny things people without kids say!
I was that person who never understood life with kids.
Not that I never wanted them—I’ve always been open to having a family myself. But when I look back on how I viewed children before becoming a mother, I realized how clueless I was about so many things.
For one thing, I figured babies could sleep all day long. After all, most of the times I’ve seen babies, they were asleep in someone’s arms. And not until did I become a mom did I truly appreciate how much sleep I had without a baby to care for.
I was so clueless about kids that I was too scared to hold a newborn. I preferred to coo and coddle my nieces and nephews—while someone else held them in their arms. I’m even the youngest, for crying out loud.
Suffice it to say, I had many misconceptions about being a parent, only to be hit with reality once I became one.
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Funny things people without kids say
Now I’m the one chuckling at some of the same funny things people without kids say. These are things I’ve said before I had kids, plus a few more I’ve heard from non-parents now that I’m a mom.
Every time I hear one of these thrown around, I don’t hold it against the person—I just figure they were me back in the day. And so, I laugh about it and smile inside at how different parenthood can be from people’s perceptions of it.
Check out a few comments I’ve heard—or even said myself:
1. “10am is too early.”
At a family lunch, my nephew in his early 20s groaned when we were all discussing when to meet up for a family event. Apparently, 10am was too early for him to wake up, preferring that we start not until the afternoon.
And for him, it was. We went on a family trip together when, in stark comparison to my own wake-up time, he—and the other “young ones”—remained asleep well past 12:30 in the afternoon.
While I didn’t sleep in that late in my 20s, I did sleep in until the late mornings on weekends. That’s what they’re for, right? Nowadays, we’d already woken up, gone to the park, snacked, and are ready for our next activity by 10am.
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2. “I’m so tired. I had to wake up at 5:30 this morning.”
At my first job, I lived a mere five minutes away, which meant an “early” wake-up time was around 8am. 8:15 if I was pushing it. Anything earlier than that, like 5:30 in the morning, was just way too early for me. Waking up at that hour meant you’d simply fall back asleep.
Now, I can’t remember the last time I slept past 8am. Actually, make that 6:30am. On most days, I’m already up by 5:30am at the latest, getting work done and starting the day for the kids.
3. “I don’t have time.”
Before I had kids, I remember uttering those words, unaware of what not having time truly means. Because I seriously don’t know what I did during those hours between work and bedtime. The thought of regularly having several hours to yourself seems glorious.
These days, I now have time to myself, whether in the mornings or those few hours between the kids’ bedtime and my own. To think I had no time back then makes me laugh.
4. “I need to call in sick. I only got four hours of sleep last night.”
If every working mom could call in sick when she only got four hours of sleep, hardly any mom would be at work the next day.
Without kids, those nights of getting anything less than the full eight hours are rare enough to feel tired and call in sick. When you have kids—especially with a baby—you’re expected to go to work regardless of how many hours you slept.
And stay-at-home moms don’t have it any easier. Being the sole caregiver means finding alternate childcare can be tricky and rare.
5. “We’re going to take our baby to music festivals, dinner parties, and restaurants.”
I admire parents who can take their babies everywhere, from restaurants to trips to Italy.
The most I got to do was take my newborn twins to a restaurant when they were at that perfect age of sleeping in their car seats. Taking my eldest on a two-hour drive to the mountains meant listening to two hours of non-stop crying.
Otherwise, taking my kids to events usually meant researching when it starts and whether to go before or after nap time. Events also means making sure we packed a tote bag with snacks and sippy cups in case the places don’t have kid-friendly food and drinks. Even small outings like the grocery store needed preparation.
Once the kids stopped napping, going to events and taking trips became much easier to manage. But any time before then took a lot of planning and preparing to prevent meltdowns (from adults and kids alike).
6. “My child will never watch television.”
So, I actually did keep my kids from watching television, all the way until they were two years old. It helped that we had no cable, and only in the last few years were able to watch television through the internet. Otherwise, we were pretty clueless about the latest television shows.
But just as staunchly as I swore to myself my kids wouldn’t watch television, it has now become a daily mainstay in our household. At 6:15pm sharp, the kids sit on the couch and watch one show every day. Now, we’ll sometimes even watch a full movie on top of that one episode (gasp!).
I figure we’re still doing all right at (mostly) 30 minutes a day, but tell that to myself before I had kids and I would’ve been so disappointed in myself.
7. “When I have kids, I’m still going to exercise and do my makeup.”
As admirable as it is to vow to maintain our health and appearance, exercise and makeup are often the first to go.
With a newborn at home, I felt “dressed up” if I had on a decent tank top and presentable yoga pants. Otherwise, I usually had on my stained sweatshirt and a random pair of pants I pulled sleep-deprived from my drawer.
Once I went back to work after maternity leave, makeup became more of a necessity for me, but even then, I only did the bare minimum. And exercise? You really need to schedule it in your calendar as if it were a meeting at work to make it happen.
8. “Having a kid is no excuse for a messy house. You can still clean while they sleep or just sit there.”
I love how I used to think babies just “sit there.” I thought I’d have so much time, not only to maintain my home, but with every task I needed to do.
Before kids, my husband and I kept a chore list that included weekly tasks, from vacuuming to wiping windows to taking out the trash. With a baby in tow, our carpets became noticeably darker and less like new. And while I wouldn’t call our house cluttered, it’s certainly not magazine-worthy on a daily basis.
9. “Can’t you just tell your baby to go back to sleep?”
I dare you to tell this to a mom who gets up eight times a night to rock her baby to sleep. If only it were that easy!
10. “My kids are not going to walk around with runny noses.”
I admit, until now I’m still grossed out when I see kids with snot running down their noses, or dried-up boogers still not wiped. It’s extra icky if they pick their noses—with their fingers digging in there.
While snotty noses are still a pet peeve of mine, I can also see how difficult it can be to contain them at times, especially in cold weather. Like drool, that stuff just comes out. The best I could do was to put a bib on my kids as the quickest way to wipe those runny noses.
11. “I don’t think I’ll take maternity leave.”
Yahoo’s CEO made headlines when she declared that she wouldn’t take her maternity leave. I couldn’t imagine any regular mom making that kind of statement. Sure, don’t take maternity leave if you can outsource everything and your body somehow heals overnight.
Otherwise, we don’t have enough time after childbirth as it is—let’s not get too ambitious thinking we don’t need it.
12. “I need to have a baby so I can go on maternity leave and get a three-month vacation.”
A few months shy of going on maternity leave, a friend of mine couldn’t wait to give birth… so that she could have a “vacation.”
I get it. Many people don’t like their work. Even if they did, how many chances do we ever get to take months and months off from work? Compared to a two-week vacation typical of many workplaces, maternity leave seems like a dream.
Except maternity leave is the furthest thing from a vacation. While ending my maternity leave was no easy task, I found many perks to finally going back to work.
13. “I’m going to freelance while I’m on maternity leave.”
I didn’t know what my plans after giving birth to my eldest would be. I knew I needed money, but I also wanted to be home with him. And with my line of work lending itself to working from home, I considered freelancing while on maternity leave, just to test the waters.
Well… those freelance plans went out the door the minute we came home from the hospital. I didn’t even have time to hop on my computer, much less think about freelancing or actually getting clients.
Thinking I’d have more time during maternity leave to freelance was, I later discovered, laughable.
14. “I’ll use maternity leave as my chance to finish that baby blanket I was knitting.”
My friend and I were laughing about our assumptions about maternity leave. I shared my freelancing aspirations while she figured she could knit her baby’s blanket. You know, to pass the time since she’d have “nothing” to do.
Create handmade baby announcements? No problem! Fill out the baby book? Plenty of time to do that.
Several years later, that baby book is still half done (and I didn’t bother with baby books with my twins). And while I managed to create the baby announcements—most of it before the baby was born—I was only able to between the pockets of time I could find.
I laugh thinking back to all my misconceptions about parenthood, as well as those others have said, especially as I compare them to reality.
Being a mom is one of those few roles you really can’t prepare for unless you actually experience it. It’s easy to assume babies just sit there, or that maternity leave is like a vacation when, from an outsider’s point of view, it can seem true.
But as any parent knows, babies hardly just sit there. Especially during maternity leave, no matter how much you want to fill the baby book or vacuum the months-old dust from your carpet.
Read these next:
- How to Respond when Someone Criticizes Your Parenting
- How to Set Grandparent Boundaries (Without Stepping On Toes)
- These Are the Things Your Kids Will Remember About You
- What I Wish People Told Me About Being a New Mom
- 4 Things You Shouldn’t Say about Other People’s Children
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