The similarities are uncanny. It finally hit me that I learned so many of my parenting skills from college.
1. Cleaning up vomit that is not yours. Don't tell me you haven't spent at least one night of your life holding back the hair of a college roommate or friend, while rubbing their back gently and handing them a wet face cloth. Being able to tolerate the look or smell of puke that is not your own is a gift that is not held by all. You'll need this skill as a parent. You'll need to know how to comfort and soothe a puking child without bumping them over to vomit from a weak stomach.
2. How to deal with last minute school projects without panicking. Waiting until the last minute in college to pump out an essay or project without the gripping, choking, paralyzing fear will come in handy when your grade schooler tells you at 6:00 pm on a Sunday night that they forgot they have a project due the next morning. You'll be as cool as a cucumber as you look around your home for common household items that will help you pull off an
3. The Munchies. Just like in college, your children will be hungry every two hours - either out of boredom or growth spurts. And just like your dorm days, you will look desperately around to find something to oblige them - even if it means stale Triscuits slathered in trusty, dependable peanut butter with a cold side of nearly-expired milk.
|Triscuit Sandwiches: The lazyman's anytime go-to snack.|
4. Whining. The endless amount of first-world-type whining that you were accustomed to in college (I'm bored, I wish I had more money to buy this or that, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm tired) will be much like the whining you will hear on a daily basis with children. You will find that it goes in one ear and out the other because your tolerance is so high after living with your spoiled sorority sister-roommate for 4 straight years.
5. Understanding Speech. After many years of deciphering slurred, drunken speech, cries for help, and the brilliant intoxicated blatherings of friends, the lisps and mispronounced statements of your children will be easy to translate and understand. You've dealt with these ramblings before, you'll deal with them again.
6. Easy Mac n Cheese cures everything. When all else fails, make Mac n Cheese. It's comfort food for university goers - it's comfort food for toddlers, children, and sleep deprived parents. Something about the carbs mixed with the cheesy goodness that makes everything better.
7. Naps are lifesavers. During college days, daily naps were a necessity to get by. You'll find that they are a must to get through a day with children. Naps are no joke. They are a little slice of heaven to recharge batteries - not from a night of barhopping, but a night of cribhopping and running from child to child.
8. Being a pack mule. Remember the days of being too lazy to go all the way back to your dorm to change books between classes? You packed your bookbag to the fullest and carried around 20 pounds of stuff to save yourself the trip? Being a parent is no different. Going out for a day entails packing diapers, formula, juice boxes, changes of clothes, snacks, wipes, you name it - plan on schlepping around the same amount as your campus days. Your backpain at the end of a day with kids will resemble the achy, soreness of backpacking around the quad.
9. Coffee and Drinking are the keys to survival. This is just a known fact. The same way countless cups of Java kept your ticker ticking all through studying and cramming, is the same way it will get you through the high energy days of dealing with kids. Coffee will be your best friend. From the soothing first sip in the morning to make up for the lack of sleep the night before, to the afternoon pick me up when you hit the 2:00 wall of fatigue. And then there's the alcohol. Just the way it was the reward of the finished final or project, it will be the reward of another successful day of parenting. It will come to the rescue of a frazzled parent - just as it rescues the uptight twenty somethings after a grueling week of school.
|As far as I'm concerned, coffee, wine and chocolate are the Holy Trinity of Parenting.|
10. 2am is the new 10pm. At school, it seems like 2 am is the time to cash in chips and go to bed. Parenting is no different. You could be up doing shit at midnight that you would normally do during the day. You could be folding clothes at 1am or finally catching up on a tv show or an old movie, savoring some quiet, uninterrupted time. These late nights in the dorm are preparing you for late nights as parents. Whether a newborn has you up late, or worrying about a teenager getting home safely, 2 am is the new norm.