I’ve been a mom for almost 12 years, and when my expecting mom friends ask me if I have any advice for them, I can only offer this: Keep your sense of humor at the ready. With parenting, it’s all about being able to roll with the punches, because no matter how much you plan or how hard you try, nothing is going to end up quite like you imagined it would.
In fact, it’s easy to let the stresses and unpredictability of parenting get you down. It happens to the best of us at some point or another, and the only way to overcome it is to change the way you’re looking at things. Why, those black circles under your eyes aren’t so bad … after all, they’re the perfect excuse to buy a killer new pair of sunglasses! See how viewing a con through a different (perhaps tinted, designer) lens can transform it into a pro?
If you need some help turning a few common parenting problems into good things—even if only in your own mind—read on.
CON: You’re tired … and it shows.
PRO: You have an excuse to wear shades and a hat whenever you want—even if it’s because you simply weren’t in the mood to put on makeup.
CON: You’ve cancelled your gym membership—you just can’t leave your little one in that less-than-germ-free nursery.
PRO: You’ve opened up a time slot to join a mommy-and-me class. And they’re a lot more fun than working out anyway.
CON: You really have no idea what you’re doing in this whole parenting thing.
PRO: Your baby has nothing to compare you to: doesn’t know, doesn’t care. In his eyes, you’re pretty darn perfect.
CON: Your fussy baby makes it hard to enjoy the finer things in life (like movies and nice restaurants).
PRO: Your fussy baby gives you an easy out for everything you don’t want to do.
Thanks but no thanks, hubby’s boss—baby’s vaccinations are scheduled for the same day as that corporate picnic. Bummer!
CON: You’re up all night.
PRO: A nap every afternoon is completely acceptable for the first time since preschool.
CON: You don’t have any time to yourself.
PRO: You get to spend all your time with the most amazing person on the planet (who knew he’d be chunky and bald?). Lucky you!
CON: Leaving the house to go shopping for a few hours is so much trouble it isn’t even worth it.
PRO: There’s a smorgasbord of internet shopping only a click away—often with free shipping, awesome sales and no tax.
CON: It seems like you spend your entire day on the couch nursing your baby.
PRO: You can finally catch up on all that TV you’ve missed—even those trashy reality shows you wouldn’t dare admit to watching.
CON: You haven’t had a “real” meal in forever.
PRO: Once you resume eating like a normal person, you’ll never take healthy (and tasty) meals for granted again.
CON: Your MIL is constantly calling to check on the new addition.
PRO: She’s actually turning out to be not so bad, now that you’re getting to know her better. (Not the case? She’ll probably stop calling so often once baby gets a little older, so take comfort knowing the frequency is only temporary.)
CON: You talk about bowel movements, gas and other gross stuff like it’s your job.
PRO:: You and your partner (and your 12-year-old nephew) finally have something in common.
CON: Your sex life since the baby arrived is near nonexistent.
PRO: Well … at least you won’t be getting pregnant again anytime soon.