The Junk Drawer

8 ways becoming a parent is exactly like going to Mardi Gras

New Orleans French Quarter during the rowdiest party of the year, or a typical child’s playroom?
New Orleans French Quarter during the rowdiest party of the year, or a typical child’s playroom?

Every year, countless brave, adventurous souls leap far outside their comfort zones to do something absolutely crazy…

They have kids.

Or maybe they go to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras.

The truth is, we have a hard time telling the difference. Because when you really think about it, there is no difference between parenting children and going totally wild on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

And here are the top 8 reasons why:

1. You’re not going to know what hit you.

Your first Fat Tuesday in New Orleans involves entering into a whole new world full of unfamiliar lights, sounds, smells, tastes – and did we mention the smells?

Having a baby involves the similarly dizzying experience of suddenly having to care for another living thing 24/7/365.

2. Your boobs are out all the time.

Whether you’re doing it to earn beads or to feed babies, both Mardi Gras and parenthood demand that you let those puppies loose.

3. You’re constantly covered with poop and/or puke.

A single stroll through the foul sludge that consistently accumulates on Bourbon Street is enough to permanently doom your shoes to the dumpster.

Having a baby, complete with all its spit-ups, slobbering and diaper changing accidents, does basically the same thing – except now your entire wardrobe is at risk.

4. You’ll get hit by a hurricane. (And maybe a hand grenade.)

Go to New Orleans, and some powerful drinks will storm through your brain.

Become a parent, and a toy explosion will blow up in your house.

5. There’s never a bathroom when you need it.

Plentiful drinks and precious few public restrooms make for some difficult decisions at Mardi Gras – do you pay $2 to urinate in a bathtub at some porn shop, or do you “refill” your beer cup behind a wall of friends standing on the street?

…And if you think that sounds stressful, just wait until your potty-training toddler says she has to go pee-pee while you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

6. Waking up becomes the worst part of your day.

Getting out of bed with a post-party hangover is no fun – but at least it only happens once in a while.

Have a baby, and that screaming little alarm clock will smack you out of you slumber several times a night, every night for the foreseeable future.

What a buzzkill.

7. Somebody’s going to tell you everything you’re doing is wrong.

Party at Mardi Gras, and a bunch of religious protesters will scream at you about how you’re doing Satan’s work.

Have a kid, and suddenly everyone you see – in-laws, friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, strangers at the grocery store and pretty much every single article anybody ever posts on Facebook – will happily point out all your parenting mistakes.

8. It will undoubtedly be one of the best experiences of your life.

No matter how hard your friends try to describe what being on Bourbon Street – or having a child – is like, it’s impossible to truly understand how amazing these experiences are until you do them.

So if it feels like the right time in your life to attend Mardi Gras or start a family, we say go for it!

Let the good times roll!

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