There is actually no way to prepare yourself for what it’s like to bring a newborn home from the hospital until you actually do it, but listen. People love to give you tons of advice, anyway…but they almost always leave out some really important details.

These 15 parents are tired and ready to crab about the things they really wish someone would have mentioned so they could have girded their loins.

15. You can’t change them.

That they have their own personality, and it shows from day one. Don’t try to shape your kid’s character, go with it and guide them. Sometimes, that character sucks, and you need to accept that.

My little girls are very different from each other, and it started when they were babies. Being a calm, calculated baby carried over to being a smart, in – control child which doesn’t initiate social interaction but is fiercely loyal to her friends.

The second one was an antsy baby that went from crying to giggling and back in seconds, and she grew up to be hyper social, friendly, open, theatrical in both good and bad ways. We didn’t shape them that way, we wouldn’t know were to begin is we wanted to.

14. It’s not one-size fits all.

What kills me is that there’s so much advice for what you’re doing wrong and you read it and try it and fail and feel like a failure and then one day realize that the baby was going to do whatever it was going to do regardless of you.

Oh and all those people that say “nap when the baby naps”. Riiiight because your baby naps? Or is it because you are capable of falling asleep on a dime?

Should I also shower when the baby showers and clean when the baby cleans?

Ok I’m freaking myself out now. Due with #2 in September. Pray for me.

13. You’re the supporting cast.

You immediately become the co-star of your own life.

You’re not the picture anymore, you’re the frame.

12. Kids are people.

Newborn baby ears feel soft like rose petals. Rub your cheek against them all the time because one day their ears will be hard like yours.

Babies are intent on killing themselves by falling off furniture, trying to crawl downstairs, eating small objects, etc. You will have to stop them on a regular basis.

Kids are people. Some are good eaters, some aren’t. Some love their sleep, some don’t. Respect their personality–their limitations and their talents–and you’ll have a lot of fun raising them.

11. Don’t feel too badly if you don’t feel badly.

Some parents feel very guilty and sad to leave their young babies at day care. Some parents do not.

I thought I would be one of the ones who felt awful leaving my baby with “strangers.” Wrong. My daughter has so much fun there and I get to go to work and just focus on being a professional.

I think it’s a much needed break for us both and makes our time at home together so much better.

10. Enjoy it while they stay in one place.

How fast they get mobile.

I have a 7-month-old, our first, and she went from just laying on her back and playing to: sitting on her own, crawling, and pulling up to stand next to things in two weeks.

It was basically like one day she started sitting up on her own, and like two days later she was full on crawling, trying to get anything on the floor she’s not supposed to (my phone, water glass, remotes, etc), and generally being a sh*%head. Was not prepared for how quickly that escalated.

9. So many feelings.

The feelings you’ll get-

When your baby first reacts to your funny faces

When the youngster greets you in the morning standing up inside the crib, holding onto the side, bouncing up and down at the knees because they are excited to see you.

When the 2 year is looking tired in the evening, playing on the floor, all the sudden looks around, crawls up on you, puts their head on your shoulder, and goes to sleep.

When the whimpering stops after you bandaged up another knee.

When your 8 year old daughter, on the double tube waterslide, goes “Wheeee! Wheeeeeee!”, you’ll just sit in the back with a grin and enjoy it.

When your 12 year comes within a whisker of winning first prize for showmanship in the rabbit competition at the county fair on her first try.

When you see them having so much fun with their friends in band.

That awful day in August, when you drive them off to college, and you know they will no longer be around much anymore.

That lump in your throat when their name is announced as they cross the stage to get their degree.

That moment when you realize some other man has captured your little girl’s heart.

It’s all a great feeling.

8. You have to be willing to change your dreams.

That sometimes your kids change your dreams. I thought I would have a “typical” kid. One that fit the stereotypical boy. You know, likes to play outside, enjoys some type of sport. But my son is not typical. He has Aspergers and came out to us at age 9 that he was gay.

So we changed our dreams.

We see so much beauty in him. So I don’t have athletic teen who chases girls. I have a wicked smart, funny, and unique kid.

We don’t play catch. We dance in the rain. We watch him in awe in his premier at the opera he starred in this summer. We rejoice that he has a small group of friends who love and accept him. We laugh.

We make funny videos of him dancing around the house bustin a move. And we love him. A lot.

We are so happy that he is who he is. In our eyes, he’s awesome!

7. Yes, for everyone.

The best expression I’ve heard that sums up a lot about having kids is “The days are long but the years are short.”

No matter what you think before kids you will never understand what this means until you start to see it in the rear view mirror.

6. It can be really, really hard.

I doubt anyone will see my comment at this point, but just in case it happens to reach the right person, nobody tells you how isolating it can be to have a child who is high needs (whether for medical reasons, mental illness reasons, etc.).

Nobody tells you that when your child is high needs, you will go through a grieving process that never ends. A grieving process for the child he/she could have been, a grieving process for the relationship you envisioned when dreaming of parenthood.

Nobody tells you that reading stories from other parents about how wonderful and loving their child(ren) is, about how easy parenting is, will gut you every single time. You will never become numb to it.

Nobody tells you about the isolation. About the fear. About the stares and the eye rolls and the hate coming from others who can’t begin to understand your struggle, because they haven’t been in your shoes.

Nobody tells you that in the early years, the days you enjoy being a parent may be so few and far between, you may question why you chose to become a parent. They don’t tell you that your love is so overwhelming and so fierce and so deep that when that child manipulates it and says hurtful things, it can break you.

Nobody tells you that in the midst of it all, there are many wonderful and joyous moments, those moments get you through. They are the bursts of light in the midst of the immense darkness.

I’m here to tell you, you aren’t alone, even though you feel isolated. Find a support group, online or locally. Continue to reach out. There are others who understand, they will become your village. Your village is priceless.

5. You have to let them fly.

Don’t confuse “treasuring these fleeting moments” with “holding your child back for your own benefit.”

Also, don’t tip-toe around the house when your baby is sleeping. Let them get used to sleeping with normal background sounds and they’ll be a more sound sleeper as they grow up.

Finally, don’t teach your kids “baby talk” or how to say things incorrectly because you think it’s cute. That’s one more thing they have to unlearn in order to learn it the right way.

4. They’re not exactly cute.

That they’re ugly as sin right after they’re born. At least no one told me. It took a few days for them to reach that cute, cuddly stage.

Right after our first I was like “we screwed this one up, we should not ever do this again” but now I’ve got three, so you know how that worked out!

3. It never stops.

That it is CONSTANT.

It doesn’t matter if they’re asleep, if you’re out without them, if you’re at work, etc etc – they are always your priority and they are therefore always on your mind, even if you’re predominantly occupied with other activities and thoughts.

2. Hard agree.

6 months – 18 months are the cutest I think. Before that they look wierd, especially the first 6 weeks.

After that they start looking more and more like kids and less and less like babies.

1. Bigger kids, bigger problems.

That the first year is actually the easiest. Sure, you don’t get to sleep as much but the baby’s needs are really easy to meet and you don’t have to worry about too much.

Once they start walking and talking they get into everything and have opinions about everything….what to wear, eat, watch, stories to read, songs to sing….and potty-training is a nightmare that makes you wonder if it’s really so bad to just keep them in diapers for another year or two….pre-school and elementary years are hard, tween and teen years are even harder…..hurt feelings, broken hearts, struggling with homework and learning new skills, having to wear the right clothes and play the right games…..

Babyhood is the easiest stage by far, but everyone seems to think that it’s the hardest and it will get easier to raise the person you gave birth to….it never gets easier….

Y’all, these cracked me up. Newborns are no joke.

What advice do you think needs to make the rounds? Share it with us in the comments!