Anyone who has been a parent longer than "sperm meets egg," knows there are certain job hazards which accompany the role. From the literal pains of labour and delivery to the pinching feel in your wallet when buying an infant car seat, parenting can be pretty painful. (Why are car seats like, $500 now? Is this thing rated for space travel? How is something not designed to actually drive itself, so expensive? Sorry, Junior, University is no longer an option; you had a car seat.")
Once the baby is here, parenting pains have really just begun. You know these pains; you know them well.
When those pains start to show up, head out to your local drug store and stock up. I'd suggest over the counter pain relief and the biggest jumbo bag of salted chocolate caramels you can find. This will be your manna for the next 10 years. For your child's teen years, see: Liquor Store.
Cause: Watching "Look at this awesome Minecraft thing I built that you care little about and are doing a half-assed job pretending to" gives me a headache like no other. Show me the parent who hasn't experienced vertigo equivalent to standing atop a single pillar 100 feet above the ocean from watching three minutes of Minecraft or some other fast-moving game and I will show you someone whose child has yet to discovery electricity. I can't watch for more than 30 seconds before I get queasy — and I've held human vomit in my hands.
Treatment: Paint fake eyeballs on the lenses of your glasses. You can watch (nap) for hours. You are winning at this parent thing, my friend.
Cause: Parents can experience neck pain for several reasons; really, the causes are as varied as the children who inspire them. For instance, neck pain is often exacerbated by rolling one's head back in attempt to speak directly to your heavenly deity of choice, usually accompanied by the phrase "Why me and where did I leave the chocolate?" This generally happens during the toddler years after finding all your wooden spoons and a garlic press in the guest bathroom toilet bowl.
Treatment: Hide all interesting kitchen implements, and get a latch for an outside bathroom door.
Cause: "My stomach hurts" doesn't belong solely to four-year olds who eat only white foods and haven't pooped since Tuesday - three weeks ago. Parents get hit in the gut too. While triggers can differ, it's almost a given that some sort of stomach pain and cramping comes with adult territory. From eating the last few (hundred) fries on your child's plate or spoons of blueberry baby food, you know, to make loading the dishwasher easier - to the stress cramps from worrying about paying for both car seats AND secondary education, parenting can be a gut punch like no other calling. A survey of Canadian adults found that 74% have experienced stomach pains unrelated to menstruation, and more than one third (35%) are hit monthly. Sometimes cramps are unexplainable but you just need them to FALL IN A HOLE.
Treatment: Heating pad, avoiding triggers (if identified, which often they aren't) or Buscopan. Buscopan is a product designed to relax those tight, cramping muscles in the stomach, thereby relieving the muscle spasms and associated pain. It's available over-the-counter and you should keep some in your parenting survival kit. Also, maybe stop eating week-old cheese strings you find between the van seats.
Cause: So You Think You Can Dance, Child? Of course you can! That's why we enroll you in ballet, jazz, hip hop, fusion jazz ballet, and that sport where you wave around a ribbon on a stick. We also sign you up for sports, camps, drama clubs, art societies, and we even put you on the bus for some weird thing we thought was summer school but turned out to be a fringe political rally.
For this, we willingly pay and it's all worth it because we get to see you dancing/playing/hockeying your heart out at recital halls, dojos, and freezing cold hockey rinks week after week. That's a lot of sitting. My back still hurts when I recall Hockey Season-whadda-ya-mean-they-made-it-to-the-playoffs-palooza of '12. You can easily double the ass/back pain if you have a kid at competitive levels.
Treatment: Pillows, pain relievers, massages, fake appointments that take you away from the rink.
Cause: Stepping on small toys on your third late night trip down the hallway to answer "Mommmmmmmmmy!" cries.
Treatment: You have a few options here. I'm a big proponent of the House Rake, something I implemented during my first set of the toddler years. Simply buy a clean plastic rake, and keep it for indoor use only. Sure, the neighbours may whisper in groups while they watch you raking your living room from the sidewalk, but those suckers will be hobbling all week after they fail to avoid the small LEGO takeover dotting their hallway tonight.
Cause: You have kids. Your heart is no longer your own.
Treatment: I'm sorry. There's nothing you can do. These guys have your heart wrapped around their little fingers and they're not letting go, anytime soon. Fortunately, it's a sweet pain, which is a good thing, because the heartbreak of children is everlasting, exhilarating, and by most accounts, chronic. Take two hugs and call me in the morning.