Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open


What it feels like being the parent of a toddler. (The blocks represent your sanity.)

Before my husband and I had kids, we talked about having kids. A lot. We discussed how many we wanted (2), what we’d name them, how we’d discipline them (Ha! OUR kids wouldn’t need disciplining). We promised each other we’d never become one of those couples that put their kids before their marriage. We’d still go out on dates and take long weekends  (That’s what grandparents are for, right?). We’d definitely still see our friends.

Fast forward a decade later. We have two kids. But the rest of that stuff we promised each other? Let’s just say we were a little—OK, a lot—naive.

There are so many things I wish I’d known before we had kids—like the fact that they suck the enjoyment out of everything, for example. Not that having this knowledge would have changed my desire to have them, but it would have been nice to have gone in eyes wide open. Like most soon-to-be parents, though, I thought we were prepared.

We researched pediatricians and read parenting books. We even did one of those online quizzes that tell you if you’re ready to be a parent—and passed! The problem with these quizzes is that they only take into account physical, emotional and financial readiness. My husband and I were both healthy and had a strong support system. Our finances were good. What more was there to think about? Turns out, a fucking lot.

This quiz is for all the young people out there debating whether or not to start a family in 2018. May you go in with eyes wide open.

1. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

A. Lying on a beach anywhere in the Caribbean

B. Sightseeing in Europe

C. Five nights at the water park adjacent to the Best Western

2. How much sleep do you need to function?

A. 6-7 hours

B. 8 hours or more

C. 0-5 hours

3. How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning?

A. 20-30 minutes

B. 45-60 minutes

C. Less than 5 minutes

4. When you go to a store, do you … 

A. Stick to a list and get in and out as quickly as possible

B. Grab a cup of coffee and browse

C. Run down the aisles, knocking stuff off shelves and opening items you don’t want but will be forced to pay for

5. When it comes to dinner, do you prefer … 

A. A reservation at a nice restaurant

B. A cozy home-cooked meal

C. Chicken nuggets and cold mac & cheese (eaten standing up)

6. It’s movie night! What do you watch?

A. The latest mystery/thriller

B. A thought-provoking drama

C. The same Disney movie you watched the night before or nothing

7. When you take a bath do you enjoy … 

A. Dimming the lights and relaxing in silence

B. Lighting scented candles and listening to music

C. Pretending you’re in a pool and splashing as much water as possible onto the floor until you flood the room

8. What smell most appeals to you?

A. Fresh cut flowers

B. A mug of freshly brewed coffee

C. A combination of urine and sour milk

9. What’s your idea of a fun night out on the town?

A. A romantic dinner and a movie

B. Meeting up with friends for dinner and drinks

C. Driving a mini van full of screaming kids to and from various sporting events and birthday parties (sober)

10. Where do you keep your peanut butter?

A. In a cabinet

B. In a refrigerator

C. Smeared over the walls, sofa and computer keyboard


Mostly As and Bs: You should probably keep it wrapped up. Maybe you’ll make a great aunt or uncle some day. For now, you should go snuggle with your dog or cat until the urge to procreate passes, and then thank me for saving your life.

Mostly Cs: What the hell is wrong with you? You’re either an extremely deranged individual or you’re ready to be a parent. Godspeed!

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