a real mother

When Baby Makes Three

holding baby

There are certain events in life that are tailor made for a contract. Buying a home? Get it in writing. Landed a new job with a big fat salary and a comprehensive dental plan? It’s only a reality after you sign your John Hancock. Have a bunch of moola before you get married? Better get a pre-nup.

So shouldn’t it follow that BEFORE your baby is even conceived, parents-to-be should sign on the dotted line to map out every little detail of the upcoming child- rearing gig? That’s exactly the arrangement, dubbed a “pre-pup,” that Rebecca Onion recently proposed in an article on Slate.com.

Ms. Onion, 36, mused about the many changes becoming a mother might bring. She wrote, “I’m willing to allow that being a mom might strip me of some of my independence.” (emphasis mine).


As a mother of two, I can’t stop laughing.

Ms. Onion, should you ever be standing in the bathroom watching those little blue lines appear on that pregnancy test stick signaling Baby’s on Board, there’s only one thing to do. Look into the bathroom mirror, gaze at your reflection, and give yourself a little smooch.

This is you kissing your independence goodbye.

Ms. Onion’s words are actually more ridiculous than the ones uttered by The Husband twenty years ago when we first discussed starting a family. In his infinite, yet naïve wisdom, he reasoned “since we take such good care of our dogs, how much more difficult could a baby be?”

Being the person that refused to leave our Peace Corps stint in Samoa without our four-legged, fur-child, this logic made perfect sense to me. We LOVED our dogs. We took GREAT care of our dogs. So compared to two spoiled seventy-pound furry beasts, how much more work could an eight-pound creature really be?

Turns out – a LOT.

Ms. Onion goes on to say, “I’m 36, and if I ever were fancy free, I’m not now. I don’t have a super-active nightlife.”

Honey, a baby will fix that. In fact, a wee one pretty much guarantees a nightlife like you’ve never experienced.

Before you know it, Ms. Onion, your new 2 a.m. routine will include doing a Zombie-like shuffle while singing nonsensical songs and holding a shrieking baby. You will be a human food truck offering 24/7 on-demand service for your seemingly insatiable tyke. You may routinely fall asleep with your head on the kitchen table waiting for the coffee to brew after pulling an all-nighter featuring Adventures in Colic starring Junior.

Unless of course, you’ve delegated those duties to your husband via your legal document.

But why stop there?

Make sure you write in a clause, Ms. Onion, that forbids your spouse from becoming selectively deaf when the baby is crying. You won’t need to give him a Big Toe Nudge to rouse him from his slumber. Just roll up the pages of that contract like a newspaper and whack him on the side of the head. That should do the trick.

But great news for you, Ms. Onion, the rousing nightlife doesn’t end there. It continues when your three-year-old has a bad dream and wants you to sleep in his bed that seems more appropriately sized for a Barbie Dream House. There are sleepovers with giggling ten-year-olds wide awake at one in the morning hopped up on Mountain Dew, Twizzlers, and Goosebumps flicks. And don’t forget those nights when your newly licensed teen is driving your car but has not arrived home at the agreed upon hour.

Did I mention the times when you can’t sleep because you’re worried because your kid has a fever so high you could roast marshmallows on his forehead?

Ms. Onion, any mom will tell you – motherhood WILL strip you of your independence. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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