Have you been considering having a kid? Not sure where to get started? This post is for you! Don’t get bogged down in the needless complications of 21st century parenthood– having a kid is so easy, 80% of the population of earth has figured it out! I’m not saying we’re all doing it well, but we’re doing it! Join in! Parenthood is simple. In just 10 easy steps you too can have your very own kid!
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Step 1: Be born yourself.
This is crucial. You need to either be born or somehow spontaneously come into being through magic, but you need to exist yourself in order to eventually have a child. I will warn you that it is going to be messy and painful and also totally disgusting. If you go through this and decide you’re not so much a fan of the whole birth process, possibly having a kid is not for you. Still want to have a kid? Press on! You have a bit of time to think it over because you will be an infant for a while. Enjoy napping and not having to file tax returns! This is one of the few times in your life when you can throw up on other people’s faces with very few repercussions!
Step 2: Have a childhood.
I know there are some of you who are going, “Come on, already! I followed step one and I want to have a baby already!” Keep calm. You are not quite there yet. There are some people who have kids during their childhoods, but this is usually a total disaster. My advice for this period is to eat some gummy worms, find a tire swing, and just wait it out. Play with some other kids. Beg your mother to buy you a Nintendo, or to buy you the modern day equivalent of a Nintendo. But seriously, have a childhood. This stage will inexplicably feel like it lasts a billion f*&king years, but actually it will go by pretty quickly.
Step 3: Hit puberty
This stage is biologically necessary if you hope to someday have a kid. And I know some of you are going, “Oh yeah? Well screw you, what if I decide to adopt?” To which I say, PLEASE DO. I fully encourage you to adopt but I still hold that going through puberty is necessary to having a child because no adoption agency worth its salt is going to let a baby be adopted by someone who has not gone through puberty yet. They’re not just handing out adorable infants to every 8 year old girl who asks for one because she wants to put it in her doll stroller. You’re going to need some armpit hair and some functioning genitals.
Step 4: Be a teenager for a while
Ok, so this stage is pretty bad. I mean, having a baby is going to be bad but being a teenager is like terrible times a billion so please do not mix the two stages if you can avoid doing that. Yes, some teenagers are scrappy and resourceful and manage to be wonderful parents, but really being a teenager is a good time to stay home obsessing over your acne in the bathroom mirror and thinking about how much you hate your own parents. (God, parents are so LAME!) It is a near-decade of having crushes on people and being convinced that you are right about everything. Why ruin it by having to take care of a child while all of your friends are out drinking illegally and getting the tattoos they’ll eventually wind up regretting?
Step 5: Be a young adult for a while and have no idea about a lot of stuff.
And I know…I know…a bunch of you are saying, “WHEN CAN WE HAVE A BABY ALREADY? I’VE BEEN WAITING THROUGH MY ENTIRE CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE AND I’M READY TO HAVE A BABY.” Hang in there. I am getting to that. If you are a woman, now is a good time to start flying into a total panic about “getting older,” and start buying a bunch of expensive rejuvinative eye creams while older female relatives tell you about your biological clock . Go on a bunch of job interviews. Live in a bunch of apartments you find off Craigslist. Go to Europe or Austrailia or South America for a while.
“ OK, I DID ALL THOSE THINGS. NOW CAN I HAVE A BABY?”
Oh my god, CALM DOWN. I am getting to it.
Ok, so after you’ve been a young adult for a while if you STILL WANT TO, you’re at the point where you can, feasibly, have a baby without it being too awful. And when I say “without it being too awful,” know that it will still be TOTALLY AWFUL. It will be awful and heart-wrenching and exhausting and stressful. But you will be a little older and possibly will be able to handle it without wanting to put butter knives through your eye sockets. So once you’ve been a young adult for a while you can either just enjoy being an adult because it is a thousand times better than being a child or a teenager, or you can follow the remainder of these steps and have a child.
Step 6: Meet another person—ideally someone you sort of like, and have sex with that person.
This step sounds pretty simple. “Oh, that’s all I have to do, eh?” But you are not going to like most people. Or maybe you will like them but they will not like you. Can you have a baby with a person you DON’T like? Of course! Hundreds of thousands of people do that every year! Please do not slavishly adhere to the dictates of this list that I wrote in an hour on a whim after watching an “Orange is the New Black” episode. It’s your life! Do whatever the hell you want!
Step 7: Freak out about everything for the next nine months.
Worry about everything from whether the cheese you’re eating is pasteurized to whether you should even be bringing a kid into a world filled with genocide and war and articles about the Kardashians. For men, now is a good time to worry about how having a kid is going to affect your social life and your ability to stave off abdominal fat. Go to a bunch of doctor’s visits. If you are a woman, get a bunch of sonograms and pee into a cup a bunch of times (preferably into the cup at the doctor’s office). If you are a man, just be supportive and tolerant of the terrible shows they insist on playing in hospital waiting rooms. Try to get your emotional shit in order. Get your own nonsense out of the way so that you will be able to deal with this baby’s emotional shit once it arrives.
Step 8: If you thought your childhood felt like it lasted a billion goddamn years, get ready for step 8 which is, “have contractions for a while.”
Step 9: Drive to the hospital.
Step 10: Push.
The “pushing” step is only for the women. Men who push will wind up having a bowel movement in their pants, which is not ideal for your first move as a new father. So women—push. Men—just be supportive and try not to get too grossed out.
Congratulations! You have the kid that you wouldn’t shut up about for like the first 6 or 7 steps of this list. I hope you’re thrilled with yourself. And your kid has already completed step 1 if they are hoping to have their own kid.
Is having a kid easy or what?! So simple to do, it seems destined to go viral, like those “Harlem Shake” videos everybody was making a couple months ago. Now that you have a kid, you’re going to want to know “how you raise a kid so they don’t turn out totally terrible.” Don’t worry! I am in the middle of compiling a 2,000 item list that I will try to write after the rest of these “Orange is the New Black” episodes. (This show is great, isn’t it?) But in the meantime, hang tight and enjoy your kid! They are so great, occasionally!