Motherhood is the biggest, most difficult job offer you can accept. Like any other career, you educate as much as you can for it by reading books, asking others who have done the work, researching stories online, doing a little test-driving of the equipment, and shopping for some of the tools of the trade in advance.
That’s nice and all, but it ain’t gonna do you squat when it comes down to the real dirty work of having kids. Since no one has yet built a Motherhood Simulation Station for us to practice in, I recommend you do the following things to help acclimate yourself to your new career:
1. Immediately stop sleeping for stretches longer than 12 minutes.
2. Hold poop in your hand.
3. Sniff someone else’s butt in public and make the shruggy, “It’s probably just a fart!” face.
4. Talk to other people about poop pretty much always.
5. Pour milk on your shirt, wash it so you can just barely see the spot where it was, then call it “your good shirt.”
6. Spend 48 percent of your entire household income on diapers.
7. Sway always.
8. Refer to yourself in the third person.
9. Blow your nose on the hem of your shirt and leave it there.
10. Open your eyes really wide, make your voice super high and friendly, then tell someone we don’t punch other people in the face.
11. Draw on all of your favorite things.
12. Listen to people tell you that everything you are doing is wrong, and what the right way (i.e. their way) is to do it.
13. Look around your house. Move every single thing that can used for dangerous acts at least 5 feet off the ground.
14. Install cabinet locks that make you angry.
15. Grab the collar of your shirt. Now pull it down as far as it can go (preferably by your belly button). Make sure you’re in a busy public place or at least facing someone who you’d never ever want to see your boobs.
16. Hold barf in your hand.
17. Tell someone they need to pee.
18. Sprinkle small sharp objects all over the floor in every room.
19. Punch yourself in the eyebrow, nipple, and kidney.
20. Pull your hair and then rip your own earring out.
21. Toss all your nice dry clean only clothes in the dryer until they shrink two sizes and become completely outdated.
22. Hang out in Target every other day.
23. Make the same three boring foods every day forever. Eat them cold while standing over the trash can.
24. Throw away vegetables.
25. Fantasize about naps.
26. Separate every pair of shoes in the house by at least two rooms.
27. Stop all sentences and conversations 37 percent of the way through. Maybe complete half of those sentences and conversations over the next week.
28. Put grocery store stickers on the seat on your pants before important meetings.
29. Wear macaroni necklaces, princess hair clips, and superhero capes while running errands.
30. Casually remind those around you that we don’t put penises/vulvae on the dinner table.
31. Request to be woken up in the following ways without warning between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m., seven days a week:
• Someone with razor-sharp nails yanking open your eyelids while demanding breakfast.
• Crying from another room where someone just peed their bed.
• Someone jumping onto your genitals, knees first.
• Someone silently standing 1/4-inch from your face staring at you like the creepy girl from The Ring until your sixth sense feels their presence.
• The smell of smoke from the kitchen.
• Loud screams from the far side of the house.
• Someone peeing RIGHT next to you so your clothes are covered in it, too.
• Someone asking in their outdoor voice where babies come from while you’re in the middle of REM and it’s still dark out.
• Someone smashing their head against your cheekbone while strangle-hugging you as they say, “I wuv you, mummuh.”
Graphic: Kim Bongiorno