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How College Prepared Me for Parenthood

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Between the all-nighters in the library and perfecting my skills at Flip Cup, I learned some really valuable lessons in my four years at college (okay, four and a half). I’m not talking about the things I learned inside a classroom. I’m referring to the invaluable life skills college taught me that would directly transfer to my job as a parent. From living in the dorms with hundreds of other selfish teenagers to basic survival skills, college is almost a crash course of parenting basics.

• Cleaning Up Gross Things

If you’ve ever had to clean up the aftermath from a weekend party in college, then you know the horror that may be hiding under that empty pizza box. It’s really no different than cleaning up after a toddler. I have found way worse things in her bed, toy box, and under her fingernails. Those weekend party clean-ups can’t hold a candle to cleaning up after a tiny person who doesn’t understand the concept of gross.

• Toddlers = Tiny Drunk People (not literally)

Have you seen the viral post out there that points out how kids are just like drunk adults? It’s so true. Kids lack the ability to control their volume. They fall asleep in positions like this:

New Year's Eve at 7pm

New Year's Eve at 7pm by Megan Spreer

They constantly want pizza and french fries. Puke happens A LOT. They’re emotional. And you can’t trust them with your phone. The only difference? I won't leave my tiny, drunk-like tyrant on the bathroom floor with a cup of water.

• You Can Survive on Almost Anything

In college, you eat junk because it’s all you can afford. As a parent you tend to eat the scraps off your kids’ plates because GOOD GOD, the thought of not sitting down for a second of peace sounds like torture. Fixing another meal is out of the question. For example, today I had four bites of mac and cheese, a cereal bar and a handful of trail mix for lunch. Yesterday it was the last chicken nugget and some peas. Would a full meal have been nice? Yes, but those five minutes on the couch were BEAUTIFUL.

• Sleep Isn’t Entirely Necessary

I was the irresponsible student who spent the night before every big final in the library pulling an all nighter. And if I hadn’t been such a poor planner of a student, I’d be in a world of pain these last two years as my spawn suck away my sweet, precious hours of sleep. College taught me that a large cup of coffee is a great Band-Aid and those next three hours of sleep tomorrow will be AMAZING. That’s not to say that I’m not still a huge jerk with little sleep, but I know I won’t die.

That’s saying something. Thanks, college.

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