Writing a book is a pretty cool accomplishment. And if you’ve actually demonstrated the compassion and commitment it takes to pen 200-plus pages of somewhat sensical material on a single topic, you have every right to be proud.
So tell your family and friends. Tweet it to all your followers. Go on a talk show, shout it from the top of a mountain, spray paint it on the side of your car or hire a professional skywriter if you want.
Just please don’t compare it to having a baby.
People who’ve written something big seem to do this all the time – equating the oh-so-tortuous writing process to the act of giving birth. Or referring to the finished book itself as my baby.
But we’re not down with that.
Because now that we’ve done both things – having babies twice (with a third on the way) and writing our awesome new parenting book Think Like a Baby (which is officially on sale now!), we can tell you that these two experiences are NOTHING alike.
So here are our top seven reasons why writing a book is most definitely not the same as having a baby:
1) Your book won’t physically hurt you.
New York “Real Housewife” Carole Radziwill (who incidentally has never given birth) once said that writing her book was like “giving birth to a ten-pound baby without an epidural.”
This probably goes without saying about any “Real Housewife,” but that chick is crazy.
Although writing a book may be mentally and emotionally taxing, it never comes close to what pregnancy does to you physically. Writing won’t give you sciatica, hemorrhoids or nausea for months on end. And “birthing” your book won’t ever require you to have actual surgery, or want to sit on an ice-filled rubber glove for a week.
Along those same lines…
2) Books can only cause paper cuts, not episiotomies.
3) Writing a book is at least somewhat under your control.
Sure, your publisher gives you a deadline you have to finish the book by, but for the most part, everything else is up to you. You get to figure out the structure and content of the book, and you get to decide when you want to sit down and write – even if that happens to be in the wee hours of the morning sometimes.
With kids, on the other hand, the deadlines are constant – and completely up to them.
You (usually) have no say about when you give birth to your babies, when they decide to throw an epic tantrum, when they get sick, when they absolutely need you to read them a story this instant, when they have a pee pee accident, and on and on.
But as soon as they happen, you have to take care of each of those deadlines – immediately!
4) When you change some words in your book, it doesn’t try to pee all over you.
Also, there’s no easy way to “undo” getting baby poop on what used to be your favorite cashmere sweater.
5) You actually finish writing a book.
Even though it seemed like it might take forever, the day eventually comes when you type the very last word of your book, and before long it’s released for sale! At that point you have very little to do. You can do some fun book events, but all the real work is over.
With actual babies, the work is never over. Raising a child remains exhausting on every conceivable level every single day – ask any mom or dad who cooks, cleans, bathes, entertains, listens to and lugs their kid around day after day after day.
Parenthood will always be an all-encompassing, soul-enveloping labor of love. No matter how old they (and you) get.
Speaking of which…
6) Books don’t eventually develop hormones.
So they don’t “discover themselves” all over your bathroom, either. Which is nice.
7) Sure you love your book, but you love love looooove your baby.
We think our book is pretty awesome, but we think our kiddos are about a billion times awesomer.
After all, books can’t hug, cuddle, adorably mispronounce words like “waffle,” or tell fart jokes.
…Well our book tells fart jokes. And if that isn’t enough to make you want to rush out there and buy one right now, we don’t know what will!