1. You won’t be able to go out.
Going out definitely becomes more complicated after kids, but it still happens (with a little planning). Plus - spoiler alert - the type of fun you have changes. A kid’s birthday party, for example, can be pretty awesome when all of your friends are there.
2. Getting peed on.
I have good and bad news. The bad news is that you’re going to get pee (and a lot of other yucky fluids) on you. The good news is that what seems so gross before you become a parent doesn’t seem like such a big deal once your baby arrives. Also, here’s a pro-tip: Drop a wash cloth on your baby’s penis when changing his diaper. It will catch any sudden well springs.
3. Not knowing what to do when the baby cries.
Most of the time a baby cries for one of three reasons - it’s either hungry, tired, or wet. Taking care of those three things will soothe your baby 99% of the time.
4. Not getting enough sleep.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this - you’re not going to get enough sleep, especially in those first few months. The best advice I was given when I first became a dad was to sleep when the baby sleeps. So, if your baby takes a nap, take a nap yourself. It’s tempting to log onto Facebook or turn on the TV instead, but you will regret doing so when you’re up with the baby at four a.m.
5. Failing to provide for your family.
Babies do cost a lot of money, but most couples spend less money in other areas after their baby is born (like entertainment), so the new expense isn’t as overwhelming as it might seem. Of course, taking a hard look at what your post-baby budget will be before the baby arrives is wise.
6. Your baby will die.
This is a heavy one, and there’s no getting around the reality that some babies pass away unexpectedly. However, the leading cause of infant mortality in America, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is pretty rare, affecting 1 in every 2,000 babies. Instead of freaking out about what might happen, it’s best to do things to minimize the risk of SIDs like quitting smoking, training your baby to sleep on their back, and making sure there are no toys or blankets in their crib.
7. The soft spot.
I’m going to be totally honest and admit that I’m still a little freaked out by a baby’s soft spot. The “soft spot” is actually two gaps between the bones of a baby’s skull that help the baby safely navigate the birth canal and make room for their growing brain. Thankfully, the spots close after a year or two, but even before then it’s reassuring to realize the soft spots are not nearly as delicate as they seem thanks to a sturdy membrane. You’ll still want to be very gentle with them, though, and you’re totally allowed to say it freaks you out.
8. The baby will affect your sex life.
Sex obviously still happens after kids because if it didn’t every kid would be an only child. With that said, you will miss the ease in which you and your partner had sex in your pre-baby days. You’ll often be too tired or simply not have enough time, but you’ll figure out how to make it happen, you sexy thing.
9. Your marriage will change.
Adding a baby to the mix puts a lot of added pressure on a relationship, so it can change things, but a baby also creates an amazing bond between a couple that wasn’t there before. If you focus on communication and don’t let your relationship get lost in all of the baby care you should be okay.
10. You won’t bond with your baby.
Most parents feel an immediate connection to their baby, but others take longer to forge that bond. If it doesn’t happen right away, don’t worry about it. It will happen.
11. You will hurt your baby.
Before you have a baby it’s easy to be scared that you might accidentally hurt yours on account of how small and defenseless they appear, but once you’ve cared for your baby a while it stops being so scary. Of course, always being careful with your baby goes a long way toward keeping them safe.
12. You’ll be a bad parent.
It takes a long time to mess up your kid, so if you don’t get the hang of things right away you won’t cause your kid to huff paint in fifteen years. Also, the fact that you’re worrying about being a bad parent is a good sign that you won’t be.
13. Having to grow up.
I’ve known a lot of soon-to-be dads whose main worries were that they wouldn’t get to play video games or stay up drinking beer with their friends. Well, I’m sorry to say that new parents won’t be able to do those things as much, but that’s not so bad. “Growing up,” or becoming more responsible, is actually a positive thing, and in time you’ll take pride in knowing that you’re a dependable rock for your family. (Also, you will still be able to get your Call of Duty on, just less often.)
14. Your home won’t be ready for the baby.
Fancy baby rooms are adorable, but when you get down to it you don’t need that much to care for a baby (crib, diapers, clothes). If your home isn’t totally ready until after the baby comes, it’s not a big deal. Really. Tell your mother I said so.
15. You won’t be able to nurse.
If nursing doesn’t come easy there are things you can do - like visit a lactation consultant - which will help you breastfeed your baby. If, however, breastfeeding never gets easier, there’s no shame in formula feeding your baby.
16. The baby won’t meet milestones.
Babies grow at different speeds, so if your baby is smaller or bigger than normal, or crawls later than others babies, don’t sweat it if your pediatrician doesn’t. Einstein didn’t crawl until he was two and a half, you know. (Disclaimer: that’s not true about Einstein, but late development in a baby doesn’t indicate anything about who they’ll be when they’re older. In fact, President Obama didn’t sit up until he was four. Crap. That’s not true either.)