Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves

Parenthood can be the biggest reality check of your life. To help out other exasperated parents, author Robin O'Bryant has written a hilarious new book on the trials and tribulations of modern motherhood. 

QDT Editor
April 1, 2014

I had all kinds of ideas about parenting before I had kids. Then I birthed three daughters in four years and one by one, they burst every single one of my bubbles. Here are 10 things I didn't know about parenting: 

1. Sleep deprivation is used as a means of torture - because it works. You're going to feel like a zombie for the first few months. Eventually you'll sleep again, but until then just do laundry often enough for everyone to have a few clean pairs of underpants. (Also try my patent-pending cleaning technique, Sweep-A-Meal-Later.)

2. If anybody asks, "How can I help?" Your answer is, "Food." Take all of the help people are willing to give you. 

3. If you need more help, ask for it. Don't be proud. Your friends want to help. Especially your mommy friends - they've been where you are and know what's up. 

4. Let them help you but remember their advice is just that - advice. What worked for their kids may not work for you and you're not a bad person if you ask for opinions and decide everybody is wrong. 

5. Because they may be wrong. Because now you are The Mama and nobody but you knows exactly what is right for your baby. 

6. Listen to your instincts, you might have to go all Mama Bear on a few healthcare professionals from time to time, but that's all right. No one is going to fight harder for your child than you will. If something doesn't feel right, if you have more questions - don't shut up until you get answers.

7. Bad news: The new baby smell doesn't last forever so huff that sweet baby head as much as you can.

8. Good news: Dirty diapers, sleep deprivation, and meaningless crying ("Why?? If I just knew why she was crying, I could make it stop!) won't last forever either. 

9. Watching your kids grow up and become real people, with their own little personalities, will be the most fun you've ever had in your whole life. 

10. Always have a Plan B - have a Plan B for your Plan C, D, and E too. Nothing is going to work out like you think it will, so go with the flow. Don't be so hard on yourself that you feel like a failure if Plan A falls through. (See also the Top 10 reasons I hated breastfeeding.)

Bonus tip: Eventually everyone will be potty trained, speak in complete sentences, and be capable of cooking their own food! (I know, right? But it's true.) 

Need more Quick and Dirty parenting tips? Follow me on Facebook or Twittervisit my blog and check out my book Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves


Robin O'Bryant is a writer and stay-at-home-mom. After having three daughters in four years, she finally figured out where babies come from and got herself under control. Robin survives the hilarity of motherhood by making fun of herself in her self-syndicated humor column, Robin’s Chicks, and on her blog by the same name. She tweets compulsively as @robinobryant and over shares daily on Facebook as Robin O’Bryant. Also visit her at www.robinschicks.com