Raising a child is no easy feat, but it really becomes a monumental task when you find yourself under the tyrannical rule of a toddler.
That isn't to say parents of toddlers don't love their children, nor would I claim that toddlers aren't adorable. In fact, they're downright irresistible!
So much so, that even after the 573rd time my 3-year-old freaks out over not having ice cream for dinner, or pees on the bathroom floor (The toilet is RIGHT THERE, kid – just get on it!), I always immediately get drawn right back in by her undeniable charm. She has a way of pretty much dictating my every thought and movement, and even though I probably should hate it, somehow she leaves me feeling grateful just to be in her sweet presence.
It's sort of like being in a cult.
I don't mean to diminish the experience of anyone who's ever dealt with an actual cult. But you have to admit, the similarities are striking. Consider the following.
#1. It requires unbelievable commitment
The only real way to do it is to immerse yourself in it 100%. You live with the cult leader... er, toddler... and he demands your undivided attention. Always.
Not to mention all your time. And money – almost every cent you have will go toward the betterment of the leader. He'll even try to con goodies from your family members (Grandma, I'm looking at you).
#2. The leader is ridiculously controlling
Toddlers refuse to recognize authority. They'll use guilt, persuasion or threats to get what they want, and you have to essentially do whatever they say or suffer the consequences. No matter how unreasonable their demands or outlandish their claims, questioning them or any disagreement is met with extreme backlash.
#3. They love bomb you
Sure, they shower you with affection, but sometimes you wonder if that's all just part of the mind control.
#4. It changes your life
You end up eventually cutting ties to your friends, dramatically changing many of the personal goals you once had and giving up activities you once enjoyed. Your entire life revolves around the toddler. Just like he likes it.
#5. It changes who you are
Before children, you spent approximately zero time cooing about how much you loooooooove broccoli, but now you have to pretend to like all sorts of stuff no matter how much you
used to hate it!
You promote harmony within the group (prevent tantrums, that is) at all costs, which results in behaviors and activities you'd never have considered before joining the cult – what else could make you listen to the same song on endless loop for seven hours, or wear a sticker on your forehead at the grocery store just because someone else absolutely insisted?
#6. There's no escape
And frankly, a lot of the time you don't want to escape. You certainly have moments when you'd like to sneak off in the middle of the night, or at least have two consecutive thoughts of your very own, but overall you like it.
Of course, those outside the cult (your childless friends) don't understand why you'd want to stay. What could possibly be the appeal?
Just wait until they join their own toddler cult, though. Then they'll get it.