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    Baby showers are one of those things that you either love like rainbows and fluffy kittens or hate with an intensity that cannot be measured. Regardless of how you feel about them, you've probably been invited to at least one, and you also probably had a few minutes of brain meltdown as you pondered the gift you should bring. Unless it's a gag gift party or you just really want to piss off the new mom, there are a few things that you should never gift at a baby shower. Things like these:

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    Congratulations, new dad!

    Are you excited to finally have the woman you married back, now that she's no longer consumed with carrying your offspring? Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that woman is gone. Forever.

    Since you might have some trouble navigating these uncharted waters, here are some tips for surviving this new stranger called the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with ...

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    You vowed to love him unconditionally. To cherish him. To respect and honor him. To care for and protect him, and to comfort and encourage him. And hopefully you do, as he does you.

    But it's a good thing you didn't vow to tell him every thought that goes through your head. Because, based on these confessions, if you had, you'd probably be divorced now ...

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    Kids. It's a good thing we love them so much because, man, can they be assholes.

    This is a picture my son drew of me last year. Not just any picture ... it was supposed to be a realistic portrait. A glimpse of how he saw me.

    I'm not sure I've completely recovered yet. 

    Between that, the way my daughter questions my clothing choices, the pointing out of every line on my face ... it's a wonder I have the confidence to leave the house. 

    I asked my friends to share some feedback their kids gave them, and it turns out I'm not alone. Here are some of their most recent insults ...

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    I volunteered in Evan's kindergarten class yesterday. No, not out of the kindness of my heart, but because they asked me to and I couldn't think of an excuse quickly enough. But it turns out, despite my feelings on other people's kids, my time there wasn't all bad. Some parts of the morning were actually kind of nice.

    So, for any other non-kid loving parents, or for myself next time I'm dreading the duty, here are some reasons that volunteering isn't only for the other mothers ...

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    Remember what a good parent you were ... back before you had kids?

    As we all know, this job ain't an easy one, and it's reassuring to know we're not alone in having a less than easy time with it. On the days when I need to be reminded of that, I head to my Scary Mommy Confessional and instantly feel better.

    Need a pick-me-up, too? Read on ...

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    If motherhood were a job -- and don't get your panties in a wad, I mean a paid job -- there would be certain qualifications resulting in a higher pay range. Not things like expressing love and teaching and caring and all the things we have to do, but the extras; the things that really separate the weak from the strong. The things like these ...

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    There are few things easier than spotting a novice mom in a crowd. Why? Because, at one point, we were all first time moms worrying about every little fall or spill. The pro moms, however? Ain't nobody got time for that ...

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    Remember the days before you had children? You know, when you knew everything there was to know about everything and nobody could tell you otherwise?

    Snort.

    And then you had a baby and realized you didn't know anything then, you don't know anything now, and who the hell let you take this child home?! 

    Motherhood is filled with constant lessons, no more so than in those early days when you learn valuable things like these ...

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    I love my kids with all of my heart, they complete me, they're my heart beating outside of my body, and life before them doesn't compare. Of course. 

    Having said that ... they suck. Maybe not as much as other kids, but they can. Well, at least 20 things about them do.

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About This Column
Jill Smokler

Being a parent can be scary and so we offer Jill Smokler, better known as Scary Mommy, to bring some levity to the ridiculous (but sometimes serious) situations we often find ourselves in. And since the life of a mom can be ruled by the lists she keeps (good, bad, or otherwise) we thought you would appreciate, and maybe find some usefulness, for these lists here.

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