Authors Note: Today, we complete a trilogy together (actually, you haven’t done much except sit there and read, just saying): my Sarcasm Series. Don’t gnash your teeth or anything though—my quest to conform the world to the language of wit will never end, and I’m sure that will be reflected from time to time in my writings here at TWR. But for now, let’s finish off the trifecta with the “Holy Spirit” in my irreverent take on the trinity, ie In Which I Tell You How To Be the Perfect Parent. From my own experience doing so, natch.
“How do you manage to do it all so perfectly?” I often hear from people, typically over drinks at the W or from the leather pedicure chairs at the local spa, and after I text the babysitter, “Oops! I’m going to be three hours late again,” I answer them. Juggling motherhood, marriage, and a career isn’t easy—for anyone else, let’s be clear—but it’s not impossible. And with these surefire tips, you’ll be well on your own way to perfecting the art of parenthood.
1. Assume your child will automatically reflect whichever parenting book you chose off the shelf. I focused my guidance search on sleep manuals, because there was no way I was going to let the little one interfere with my nine hours a night, thank you very much! Sure, there were times when he would wake at 3am demanding food and I’d have to roll out of bed to address the situation with a cribside chat. But after a few minutes of reasonable explanation given through the wooden slats, the crying stopped. At least, I think it did. I woke up several hours later on the floor of the nursery in a pool of my own drool. And that, my friends, is what they call sleeping through the night! (What, you thought it referred to the kid?)
2. Speaking of sleep, not a few people told me that the best daytime policy is for one to sleep when her baby sleeps. What helpful advice! I will now repackage it and pass on to you! Because I don’t know about you, but it is SO easy for me to push a button on my head and drift right off into slumber just because the other person in the room did! And it’s not like there’s anything else to get done during the day that can’t be done with a baby on your hip—everyone knows that unloading the dishwasher and folding laundry burn so many more calories (and are ergonomically encouraging) with ten pounds distributed unevenly over your body. (This one doubles as a weight-loss tip—you’re welcome.)
3. From day one, seek to placate your baby at any cost. This tip is one you can carry through adolescence and into adulthood (you’re welcome). If your child is unhappy, it’s your job to reverse that feeling. Why should that future adult have to learn how to deal with the frustration of not getting everything he wants or the disappointment of living in an imperfect world? After all, isn’t suffering just a third-world plague, having been eradicated in our country? Ply that kid with candy and late nights until he considers you his idol and grows up with a healthy sense of entitlement, with which he can leave your own house and bombard the world. Plus, you’ll have a mini-BFF, which everyone knows is the best reason to bear children anyway!
4. From the moment you leave the hospital, let your child be a barometer not just for your own self-worth, but for the health of your marriage. Which means that you should immediately recognize that little blessing’s solely positive impact on your lives and intimacy. Race to the bedroom to consummate your post-baby relationship (then announce it to the world like Tori Spelling did!). Look at each other lovingly over your little one’s head after a sleepless night and whisper sweet nothings without ever raising your voice. Never opt for date nights or romantic getaways when you can choose baby duty instead—what, you need a BREAK from crying and dirty diapers? Sounds like your marriage may be in trouble already. It’s not like you’re going through something hard!
As long as you adhere to these tips, along with any others that encourage constant competition and self-analysis, your days as a parent will be filled with success in the form of weight-reducing anxiety and the kind of insecurity that every women’s magazine provides on a daily basis for a price. And just think, you’re getting it all for free!*
*minus the cost of college and overpriced Gap onesies.