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    You Asked The Awkward Questions You Had For Parents, And We Got Parents To Answer Them

    Does your vagina ever go back to the way it was before?

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the questions they have for parents that they're afraid to ask. Their questions — and the impressively honest answers from parents — are very interesting:

    1. Is giving birth as scary as it sounds?



    There’s a thing called “childbirth amnesia.” It may not be an official scientific diagnosis, but I’m telling you — it’s real. That’s how people have more than one child. You remember it’s not fun, but afterwards you’re like, "Eh, it wasn’t that bad."

    Childbirth is crazy! But it makes you a certified badass. You get strength you never knew you had. You make it through.


    Honestly, labor and delivery were not as bad as I thought (although I did have an epidural). It was the one tells you about the after. There is a lot of pain and bleeding that continues for days. Swollen breasts. I didn’t feel physically “normal” for a few weeks after. I wish someone would have told me about that!


    2. Does your vagina ever go back to how it was before having kids?



    Yes! It just takes a few months.


    It snaps back like an elastic! I mean...within reason. I'm not talking about if you've had like 19 kids here, lol.


    I had a gnarly internal tear and as soon as that healed up everything was back to normal. I'm more sensitive now but that's just an unexpected bonus.


    3. Do you ever get used to touching poop and vomit pretty much on the daily?



    Yes, you do. But those first few weeks are pretty rough!


    It's funny 'cause when my son poops everyone says it's so stinky, but I can't even smell it anymore. It's like my nose just got used to the stench.


    Eventually you will get up from a meal, change a diaper, and then sit back down and keep eating without missing a beat. Your kid will yell, "Wipe my butt!" and you'll do it without batting an eye. You get used to poop and vomit in a huge way — but it doesn't last forever. Potty-trained kids quickly learn to handle their business.

    —Mike Spohr, BuzzFeed Parents editor

    4. Do you know when your kids are ugly?



    I think parents have "blinders" on when it comes to their own children. We made this tiny human and he/she is beautiful to us, whether Nosy Nancy thinks so or not. Everyone's own opinion on beauty is their own and when it comes to your own child, it's true love, no matter what he/she looks like.


    5. How do you tolerate the lack of sleep?

    8 yo: "Mommy, what did you want to be when you grew up?" Me: "Not this tired."


    Coffee and Diet Coke!


    You quickly start to crack up and lose your mind. My son was colic. He only napped for 20 minutes at a time. It was hell on earth.


    I was lucky when my son was a baby, he was a great sleeper. But now that he’s in elementary school and I work nights, I squeeze in three hours of sleep after work, take him to school, drink about a gallon of coffee, and try to take a nap. Sometimes I get one, sometimes I don’t. You just sort of adjust to 1/2 power.


    You just get used to it. Your body adjusts to your new reality.


    6. I know this sounds bad, but why do some of you parents let your kids eat shit food?

    foodrunfoodie / Via


    My son has autism and food aversion, so he will only eat a few certain textures/flavors, and I get judged for this all the time. But most people who are parents already think about this as a possibility whereas people without kids think I’m just a lazy mom.


    Many kids are picky eaters, and when you see someone's kid eating, say, a quesadilla at a restaurant (or chips/cookies on the street), you don't see the time their parents have spent trying to get their kid to eat something different or healthier. There are a whole host of valid reasons a kid might be eating something imperfect — sometimes you just give your kid a treat — but in general most parents are very concerned about what their kids eat. You just don't see that from your vantage point.

    —Mike Spohr, BuzzFeed Parents editor

    7. Are you afraid of fucking up your kids?

    Comedy Central


    Every day. You try to do your absolute best, but sometimes you wonder if your absolute best will be brought up in therapy sessions 20 years later. It’s terrifying, especially when you have to make an immediate choice. You wonder if you thought it through or if it was a horrible mistake. You just really have to try your best.


    I'm with my three small children 24/7 and sometimes mommy needs a break. I can feel myself getting frustrated (my mom was a yeller and dad a hitter) so I put myself in a "timeout" to just breathe in the chaos. Do I spank? Yes, when it's really needed. But most of the time I hug them until they're over their fit or feel better. I made them, and it's my job to love and nurture them. I love my parents but they are good examples of what not to do and I use that as a guide.


    8. How do you have sex with children in the house? Are you afraid that they hear you?

    mbpani / Via


    Quietly! When they're really young they don't understand it anyway. It's as they age that you start to be more "creative" in order to not get caught. Or you just blatantly lie if they ever catch you. "We were wrestling and it was hot, that's why we're not wearing pants!" "Those noises were from the movie, honey! Go back to bed!" It gets interesting, that's for sure.


    Quietly during the day and we get loud at night because my daughter is a heavy sleeper, lol.


    We normally do it at night when she’s asleep, and lock the door temporarily. You just gotta time it right. When they’re on a schedule it’s so easy to find times to have sex.


    9. Do you completely lose your identity when you become a parent?



    I struggled a lot with that after I had mine because she was so clingy. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without her crying. And I am somebody who needs lots of alone time to recharge, so that was tough. But in general I don’t feel like my identity is lost, I feel like I’ve added onto it. Being a parent teaches you new things, not only the obvious baby stuff, but also self-love and tolerance.


    I am still me. My daughter adds to my life — and I love her so much — but she’s not some life accomplishment meant to fulfill me. I have to find happiness in other places as well.


    I think briefly, yes, you do lose your identity. Part of it is because everyone else focuses on the fact that you are a new parent, and part of it is because there's this tiny human who is suddenly reliant on you for literally everything, which is a task that takes a lot of emotional energy and labor. You just don't have time or energy to think about yourself. But then you get into a rhythm, and the child gets a little more self reliant, and you start to feel like you again.


    10. Does your social life actually change as much as everyone says it does? Is it actually that much harder to spend time with friends?

    typeaminusgirl / Via


    Yes, it does. Inevitably. Because now you have to think about the needs of a little person who can’t communicate — food, naps, more food, bedtime. I want to go out and do things sometimes, but I have to consider what it’s going to do to my kids if things run over meal times or bed times. Fortunately, I’m an introvert so I haven’t sacrificed much social time anyways. But every once in a while I’d like to be able to go do something without having to find childcare and be back at a reasonable time!


    Yes, but only for a while until your baby is more predictable and adjusted to life outside the womb. I started going out again three months after my baby was born. Every baby and parent is different, though.


    After I had my baby, I found out who my real friends were. I had some childless friends become my best friends and some child-bearing friends completely drop me. You never really know what’ll happen. It really depends on the person. Some relationships will stick it through 'til the end and others will just die instantly.


    11. Why do parents think that non-parents have no valid opinions on raising children?


    My best friend is a childless nanny and I constantly ask her for advice. But I think what parents get annoyed by are the childless people who say "My hypothetical kid would never..." or "I will never do___when I have a kid." Because there's a lot that I said I wouldn't do that I do now, because most days it's about survival, and you quickly realize that having kids is very different than what you thought it would be.


    Parents don’t make (most) parenting choices based on one action. Other parents get what it’s like to balance reacting to an immediate situation with knowing what the rest of the day/week/whatever has looked like. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t “been in the trenches” all of the things you have to consider all of the time. Truly, having been around children is absolutely not the same as raising them. I know how horribly cliché that sounds but there’s no way around it.


    12. If your kid was on the path to becoming a psychopath/killer would you recognize it and act on it? Or would you be clouded by your love for the kid?

    Milwaukee Police Department. / Via Creative Commons


    If you have a loving, stable home life and your kid still becomes a Jeffery Dahmer, then no, it's not your fault. Psychopaths are born, Sociopaths are made.


    I think you would most likely notice it. As a parent, you are always analyzing all aspects of your kid's life — their health, school performance, friendships — and if something is "off," you notice. You want the best for your kids, and to help them to become all they can be. With that said, you only have so much control over who they become, which is scary.

    —Mike Spohr, BuzzFeed Parents editor

    13. When your kid is screaming to get your attention, why do you ignore them and let them continue to scream?

    Screen Australia/Causeway


    Because they always want your attention and they need to wait, damn it. I don't really care that Dennis Daily made another YouTube video, and I definitely don't want to watch it.


    The main reason is if you respond to the screaming and give them what they want, they'll do the same thing the next time they want something. Responding teaches them that behavior is effective and rewarding.


    14. Also, why do you let your kids cry and cry in public places?

    Emran Kassim / Via


    Sometimes kids are just going to cry and cry and you have to get shit done. So, you try to get it done as quickly as possible and get home.


    Because kids cry and cry. They cannot be stopped. What do you want us to do? Muzzle them? I generally leave the area if my children are being disruptive. But kids don’t listen. They don’t like being told what to do. It’s not a matter of LETTING them cry.


    15. Do you ever regret parenthood?

    Jose_Armando_Orozco_Reyes / Via


    I’ll be honest and admit that there are some days when I miss my old life before I had my daughter, because I had her when I was 20 and I lost a lot of my friends after she was born. Also, I don’t relate to a lot of the other people my age because of my daughter...but I would never say I regret having her because she is my whole life.


    I haven't ever felt this. Not once. But my sister in law says she regrets becoming a mom.


    16. How about if you had a child at a young age? Do you ever have regrets about that?



    I can't speak for every young parent, but I was 16 and 19 (and a pastor's daughter to boot) when I had my kids. Still, for me, no regrets. I was EXHAUSTED some times that's for sure. But I had a lot of help (parents, sisters, dad's family). I went to college (and even studied abroad two summers), and grad school. If I REALLY wanted to go to a party, it wasn't a big deal. But I wasn't much of the partying type. That all said, it's hard (especially when they're very small), and even if you manage to accomplish lots of things, it's just not the same. Folks should take advantage of their youth to just be young and stupid.


    I did have moments when I wished I could go back and do things in the “correct” order, but now that time has passed and I have the gift of hindsight, I’m happy everything turned out the way it did. She’s an amazing kid, and had I done things the “right way,” I wouldn’t have her, and I can’t imagine my life without her.


    17. My biggest worry is postpartum depression. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and rely on prescribed medications to live day to day like a normal functioning human being and am TERRIFIED of what would happen having a child!

    ACOG / Via


    I also have anxiety, and a rough birth experience lead to some PPD/bonding issues. But if you discuss your concerns with your obstetrician before giving birth, they can work with you. Since you currently take meds, it's worth discussing before conceiving just in case you need to adjust dosages or something.


    I have some major anxiety as well, and was on anxiety meds when I got pregnant. I worked with my doctor to figure out a plan that worked for me — and I learned to meditate, do breathing exercises, etc. Since having my amazing son I have been using CBD tincture to calm my anxiety, and it works wonders for me. I also am very lucky to have friends and family who were willing to listen and be there for me. So yes, there is absolutely hope for you!


    18. Why do some parents get really upset and angry when a non-parent calls their pet their “baby?”

    zinebenzoura / Via


    Because it's kind of insulting to hear people call animals their baby when you actually have a baby. You can't leave an actual child alone in the house while you go out/go to work/etc. There's a lot more involved in raising kids than pets. That said, I'd never tell someone this out of the blue, so you'd never know it annoyed me as much as it does.


    I have a daughter and refer to our dog as my baby even though he’s older than my daughter. Pets are truly like having a kid.


    19. I'm in a very happy marriage, but we're getting ready to try for a baby. What can I do to keep my relationship strong through the sleepless baby years?


    Have an honest conversation about how you both won’t be the priority for awhile. All your energy will be spent on that sweet baby for the foreseeable future. For me, it got better around 8 or 9 months. You’ll be getting a little more sleep at that point and that’s half the battle.

    Also, every month you should plan one "out of the house date," one "date night in" (Netflix and takeout), and one time for each of you to go out of the house for a few hours alone or with a friend every month. It's healthy to balance couple time and alone time.


    I am currently in the sleepless baby years and it is a make-or-break situation as far as your relationship. You have to think of yourselves as a team. If you are both supportive and united, it will bring you closer. If not, it will breed resentment. Communication is key. My boyfriend and I may not have as much fun time together right now, but our bond is strong and we cherish the alone time we do get.


    20. Why do some parents feel the need to make being tired a competition? Do you truly believe that people without children can never be as exhausted as you?



    For me, it's just a different kind of tired. Before kids I definitely knew exhaustion, but after having a baby I now know a different type of exhaustion. Now I have this little human that is 100% reliant on me to thrive. It's a 24/7 gig with no breaks (that I happily signed up for), it just takes a little adjustment.


    21. Seriously, what do you get out of being a parent? I literally can see no benefit.

    deniwlp84 / Via Flickr: deniwlp84


    When I look at my children I feel an unimaginable love for them. As a mom, the moment they're placed on your chest is incomparable to anything in the world.


    I see where you’re coming from and felt the same before children, but parenting is fulfilling in a way that’s hard to explain. Spending time with my son, watching him grow and learn, is something I genuinely like. I do have times when I need a break because it can be exhausting, but I like being a mom 100 times better than I thought I would.


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    Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.