The thing about deciding to have kids is that it means you’re all in, no matter what you didn’t know before signing on the dotted line. So, if you haven’t yet pulled the proverbial trigger, you might want to listen to these 17 parents who were…quite surprised at some of the “bonus features” that come with parenting.

17. The gig is impossible to do alone.

“That it’s OK to accept help, whether it’s medicine, a therapist, or a family member who can watch your baby so you can sleep, shower, and poop.”

16. The day they send you home with that first one is surreal.

“I wish someone had told me about the fear. You know before you have the baby that it will be hard, but it isn’t until the baby arrives that you realize the enormity of what you’ve done. After all, you’re responsible for another person’s life!”

15. Wear shoes in the house.

“That I would have toy cars and dinosaurs on my floor for about five years.”

14. It’s inevitable.

“That babies change people. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But there’s no way of knowing beforehand which will happen.”

13. You can keep going.

“That you will cry a lot, doubt yourself constantly, and feel more frustration than you ever have before. But at the end of the day, you are their hero — no matter how many times you think you’ve failed them.”

12. By then you’re in soooo deep.

“Kids are like video games — the longer you play, the harder the levels get. Everyone is always talking about how hard babies are — but in retrospect, babies were easy. It’s the teenagers that are the pains in the ass.”

11. They are actually listening.

“That who you are will rub off on them more than you give it credit for.”

10. And barf and poop on them.

“Don’t waste money on expensive baby clothes. They will grow out of them before you know it.”

9. An important distinction.

“Sometimes you won’t like your kid. They are born with the unique ability to find every one of your buttons and hammer them. But not liking them doesn’t mean you don’t love them.”

8. You have to cope however you can.

“If your baby is crying and you’ve done everything you can to get them to stop, it’s OK to put them safely in their crib and walk away to gather yourself. You’re only human — take a break for a few minutes to save your sanity. They’ll be fine.”

7. And you don’t even think about it first.

“That you’ll get really comfortable with poop, pee, and puke. I’ve caught my kid’s puke three times now — WITH MY BARE HANDS.”

6. There’s a reason it’s used as a torture device.

“To take sleep loss seriously. It messes with you like nothing else.”

5. Just when you think you know what you’re doing…

“That no matter how great of a parent you are, sometimes your kids just will not listen.”

4. Don’t think twice about talking to your doctor.

“That postpartum depression is very real, and very scary.”

3. Preach.

“That I wouldn’t appreciate silence until I had kids.”

2. So hard to believe at the beginning.

“That you’ll spend the first two years excitedly teaching them how to speak, then the next 16 years begging them to stop talking so much.”

1. Something no one wants to talk about.

“That it’s OK if that ‘rush of love’ towards your baby doesn’t come the second they’re born. It doesn’t make you a bad parent.”

Kids are a wild ride, no doubt about it!