I laughed at them. I ridiculed and mocked them every chance I got. I vowed to never, ever, be like them.
Then we had our son, and I couldn’t join them fast enough.
Parents. I became a parent. More precisely for this post, I became a parent who does all the things I hated parents for doing.
I don’t even care, to be honest. Friends will say they told me so. They’ll point to very specific conversations where I made a blood oath to not do what I’m totally now doing. It’s okay to point and laugh. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, without further delay, here are the things I can’t stop myself from doing now that I’m a parent.
Oversharing on social media
This is the one my friends could really go after me on. I remember almost yelling at people who would suggest that my Facebook and Twitter accounts were going to be turned over to my son.
No freaking way, I told them. There was zero chance that I was going to be that parent who made a photo of his child the main piece of art on my social accounts. Why in the world do parent do that!?
Man, I was stupid.
I will say that I held off longer than most. It wasn’t until our son hit about two years of life that I finally just gave in the reality that he’s the ONLY thing that matters in our lives and obviously the ONE thing/person I’m most proud of.
There was no stopping me after that moment of clarity. Just about everything I post is about or motivated by him. I mean seriously, he’s the only thing in my life worth talking about.
Saying stuff like: ‘You don’t have a kid, so you don’t understand’
I hated people who would say this. It’s just so condescending, dismissive and kind of insulting. You know the type.
You’re in your late 20s or early 30s, still trying to figure stuff out. The one thing you do know is that you don’t want children. Like you know that to your core.
Then here comes somebody like me, all in love with their kids. We ask if you’d ever want kids. You respond quickly that you never do.
We look at you with that smirk that immediately lets you know we’re judging you for being young and dumb.
“You’ll never know true and pure love until you have children,” is something we would say in that moment.
I mean, we’re right. There’s nothing like having a child in your life in some capacity. But we don’t have to be so judgey about it.
Internalizing every piece of sad news
The evolution of social media has included the meteoric rise of “viral” stories that often include children. Sick children, inspirational children, cute children, smart children, and generally just news items that somehow include a child.
I openly and viciously mocked the parents who would somehow make these stories about their own child. Why in the world would a sick kid in Nebraska matter so much to a parent in Phoenix?
I just didn’t understand how something horrible or awesome happening to a random child would spark such an emotional response from my friends who have kids.
Then of course we had The Boy, and I pretty much immediately became that parent. You remember that kind-of-false story about Santa Claus rushing to the hospital to be with a child as that child literally died in Santa’s arms?
I read that first from home as I was going to bed and ugly cried out loud at the part where the mother rushes into the hospital room after her son had died. Ugly. Cried.
Why? I don’t know. But I do know that I immediately see my son’s face the moment I read or see any story involving a child.
Childless friends: Feel free to make fun of me for it.
I’ll just be over here basking in being wrong about what it’s like to be a parent.
Louie Villalobos is a parenting blogger and digital producer for azcentral. You can follow him on Twitter @louievillalobos and find his podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Just search for “I am your father.”