1. The laundry that one child generates until they leave home, if laid end to end, would stretch as far as the Great Wall of China. Do you want to wash the Great Wall of China?
2. You will spend around 5475 HOURS until they turn 18 preparing food for them to shove into their precious gullets (amortized to include eating out) even though you did not go in for a career as a professional chef.
3. If your children are lucky enough to play team sports, you will devote roughly 8,448 hours (that’s eight thousand, four hundred and forty eight HOURS) either driving them to practices, sitting through said practices/tryouts, or watching their games. That is a FULL-TIME JOB FOR THREE YEARS, and not only are you not being paid, but you will be charged for the privilege. And there will be some years when each kid WILL BE ON A DIFFERENT TEAM. (That’s before they decide they’d like to try the clarinet…)
4. Sometimes kids scream, cry, whine, or throw things, and it doesn’t end once they’re potty trained, even though you’d think once they learned that skill set, you would all spend the rest of your lives endlessly celebrating.
5. If you have boys they will ALWAYS PEE ON THE SEAT.
6. If you have girls, they will involve you in emotional mind games of such sophistication, you will either have an existential crisis requiring you to change everything you thought you knew about life, or will be committed to a mental institution for what they used to call a “rest cure.” (If it can happen to Catherine Zeta Jones, then who among us is safe?)
7. They will ruin your marriage, or at least mutilate it to the point where it’s a gnarled, bedraggled and bleeding version of its former gossamer self.
8. You will never be able to look at a stripper or a porn star again without thinking “That’s somebody’s daughter.”
9. If you’re a woman, let us not discuss the differences between your current body and your former body. Let’s. Just. Not.
10. If you’re a man, you will be confronted with the shrieking hormonal harridan you used to call your beloved, bleeding from every orifice, as she struggles to understand what manner of hell she has birthed herself into. (Then a minute later she will be cooing at the baby.)
11. If you’re a gay man or woman, why would you want to do anything the breeders are doing, especially breed? The breeders are NOT COOL. You are the cultural elite, the breeders emulate you, you do not emulate the breeders.
14. Your back.
16. Climate change.
17. The parenting industrial complex, which poses as a kindly maternal force trying to “help” you be a better parent, is in reality the ragey father intent on turning your every word, action and nutritional decision into a trauma trigger.
18. You will not be able to express how you really feel about parenting in real life without other parents looking at you like you’re Casey Anthony.
19. You will not be able to express how you really feel about parenting online without trolls saying your kids should be taken away from you (they won’t take them, I tried.)
20. You will live in constant fear that your kids will read what you write about them on the internet, because for some reason kids just don’t get satire yo.