God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

Parental Schadenfreude


Parental Schadenfreude (noun) – Taking pleasure in telling a soon to be parent about the immense pain and agony they are about to embark on.

Maybe I’m not the best person to be talking about this. After all, I fully enjoyed LeBron’s demise at the hands of the Mavs. Go Dirk! Lately I’ve been noticing something I’m calling Parental Schadenfreude, such as:

Enjoy your sleep now because when you have kids you’ll be getting 8 hours…a week. Did you see the game last night? I didn’t because I was making lunches for my kids, better get ready for that. You should go see that movie soon because once you have kids you won’t see a movie rated higher than PG for the next 15 years. You know how you enjoy life? Well, that’s going to be a thing of the past.

?! Really? Kids don’t sleep, take all your money, and will despise you magically one day when their age ends in “teen?” The only light at the end of the tunnel is when they leave, assuming they don’t live in your basement? That can’t be right?!

I will concede that I know very little about what’s going to happen. I do think though that there will be some good times as well. I just don’t understand why some are so happy to let you know what’s going to go wrong.

It started as a youth. I’m sure most of you heard the same from your folks. “I can’t wait until you have kids and you have to deal with this.” Then when your friends started to have kids, they started to tell you the same things.

I think it happens for four reasons. One, they are actually concerned for you and want to make sure that you know what you’re getting into. Two, in the case of your parents, it’s justice for your childhood crimes. Three, some jealousy can creep in. They miss the free time that you’re currently enjoying. The forth reason is the bane to mankind, MTV’s Teen Mom. The show that teaches us that having babies is cool, easy to manage and more importantly, can get you famous. Awesome! I’m pretty sure that some of the backlash works its way out in some comments you hear. They want to make sure that you’re not of the mind that baby means cool, or that baby equals happiness.

How much do you want to bet that future Scott reads this in a year, and thinks to himself, “Man, past Scott sure doesn’t know what’s going to hit him. I hope he was listening to Incubus while writing it because all I hear now are the Wiggles. I bet he got a good night’s sleep that day. Jerk.”


3 thoughts on “Parental Schadenfreude

  1. Future Scott: I would be happy to send you my 2-disc set “Peter, Paul, & Mary Around the Campfire” so you have an alternative to Wiggles 24/7. The best part of each song on the two discs is when they are joined by a chorus of almost-in-tune children singing along with them. Ahhh, if I only had a hammer….well, you should have a plastic one nearby when your reading this! If not, I’ll give your future kid a Fischer Price workbench with tools for some birthday. : )

  2. Well…..we kept hearing how X, Y, Z, A, O, and @ would change. We haven’t seen a huge change. We still go everywhere and do all the things we always did. Most of the time, we take Little Man with us…and other times, we leave him with a friend or nana so we can have a date night. It works.

    Granted, he hasn’t hit his terrible two’s yet…then we may not be taking him out as often.

    Just remember that you don’t need to stay at home and be hermits.

  3. It’s easier to get out and about when you only have one, and that one is still little. But once they get around one and down to one nap a day, that starts to change. It’s sad, but you’ll understand why most people with young kids aren’t out after 8:00 P.M.

    There’s better stuff to listen to than the Wiggles, but Incubus may have to wait a few years. However, we’ve turned our 8-year old into a Beatles’ fan, and our 4-year old’s daycare class learned about Bob Dylan. His eyes lit up & he got excited when he heard Dylan was coming to town this weekend. (Same night as my reunion. Figures.)

    The times to shoot for being out and about are morning thru 1:00 P.M., and then late afternoon thru early evening. But if your child goes to daycare or a sitter, once they’re down to one nap a day they’ll be used going down around 1 and up around 3-3:30. At that point, they’re usually ready to go to sleep for the night by 8.

    Things WILL change, but not all the changes are bad. 🙂

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