Disclaimer: These are NOT our kids. We do not allow them in the dog's kennel, although they have been known to want to climb in there and play in it.
Just like physics, parenting has its own set of immutable laws:
- Taking family photos becomes exponentially harder the more people you include.
- Your baby will never, ever need a diaper change at the store or library, EXCEPT the time that you just changed him/her in the car right before going in, and then left the diaper bag in the vehicle.
- For every person you are taking with you, add 10 minutes to the time it will take you to get out the door. This is a conservative estimate. It may take a lot longer.
- If you are out in public and are praised by a random stranger for how beautiful, well-behaved, etc. your children are, don't start feeling all smug and happy. It means that with 100% certainty, one or more of your children will mortally embarrass you before you leave the place. This rule never fails.
- The day is not over until at least one dish has been shattered.
- Someone will talk to you the moment you close the bathroom door behind yourself. It simply cannot be prevented. Instead, turn on the fan to drown it out.
- If you need ANY parenting advice, ask people with no kids. Better yet, one of those very eager couples expecting their first child (not all of them are like this). They are true experts on anything remotely relating to parenting!
- As a mother, you will feel twinges of guilt from the minute you find out you are pregnant until the day you die about a gazillion absurd and ridiculous matters. These feelings of guilt like to travel with their best friend, worry. Dads feel very little of either, and don't make good sounding boards for these issues.
- Subtract 30 minutes to one hour of sleep per night for every child you have. You will need this time to catch up on chores, bills, emails, laundry, or (gasp) have any quiet time without someone constantly talking to you. Just don't use the bathroom or shower, or else one of the kids is certain to wake up and demand your attention. :)
- If you like (or need) it, someone will lose or break it.
- Shoes have a way of walking out the door and disappearing forever of their own accord. Your kids may each own 30 shoes and not be able to make a single pair.
- Socks are much worse.
- Toys, on the other hand, walk in out of nowhere and make themselves at home in every nook and cranny without your asking or consent.
- If your kids are playing very quietly for more than 5 minutes, they are getting into something they shouldn't be. Better go check.
- Though NEVER seen in person, the most unruly child in every family is Notme. "Who made this mess?" - "Not me!"; "Who ate all the candy?" - "Not me!"; "Who dumped all the toys everywhere?" - "Not me!"; "Who walked off with my keys again?" - "Not me!" When in doubt, blame Notme.
- And the law that brings physics and parenting together: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Thankfully, there are also innumerable guaranteed benefits to having children. They really are a blessing, even if some days it may seem like they are "a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - Galatians 6:9
And for all those times that we deal with hungry, thirsty, sick and naked (yes!) children, remember these encouraging words in Matthew 25:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.