1. Parenting is something you can never prepare for.
I had some really good apps and parenting books whilst I was pregnant. They were like my bible. I spent a large percentage of my pregnancy reading about what I needed to do to establish a good sleeping routine (Fucking lol), when to wean, and how to clean a newborn’s bottom with cotton wool and water. At that time, I felt incredibly smug. I had this ‘Mummy thing’ down to a tee. Right? WRONG. Do you want the truth? As I’ve mentioned many times before, these babies do not come with a manual. They aren’t the same as the next. So take it from me, don’t waste your money. Spend it on a pregnancy massage, or a fat takeaway where no one will judge you. Those apps/books haven’t seen the light of day since N popped out.
2. “I’m tired” will become a frequent phrase on your repertoire
Now, everyone tells you that you’ll be tired. You think you know how to pull a few all-nighters. What no one tells you, is that you’ll be pulling all nighters forever. My kid must be faulty because he’s two and still rarely sleeps through the night. I’ve been permanently tired since about week 8 of pregnancy. You’d have thought I’d be used to it by now… but I’m really not. It takes everything in my power to not pinch people’s cheeks very hard when they tell me that their little poppet has been sleeping through since birth. Were you aware that there’s a 3am that doesn’t involve alcohol?
3. Multi-tasking is something that comes very quickly.
Pre pregnancy Abi was a bit of a clumsy twat. She could barely stand on one leg without falling over, and everything took her about fifty hours to do. Since N has come along, I’m pretty gifted in the art of multi tasking. I can change a nappy blondlfolded whilst texting if needs be. Multi tasking makes my life so much easier and it really does become second nature.
4. You will take pictures of EVERYTHING.
Nothing is sacred here. You’ll take photos of vomit, your child’s explosive bowel movements and of various piles of washing that need to be put away. It’s just sort of an initiation into motherhood. I remember saying that I wouldn’t post many photos of N on social media… look how that turned out. Pictures of your child are like crack to parents (not in a weird way). I can spend hours flicking through the thousands of pictures of N on my phone and in my albums. I’m also that really annoying mum that likes to thrust my phone into people’s faces like “Look! N pretended to use a shoe as a phone today, isn’t he precious??????”
5. You’ll want to bottle the pride that you feel.
Every day, N does something that makes my heart literally want to burst out of my chest. For example, instead of waving today, N actually said “bye!” for the first time ever. Not a big thing to your average Joe… but I wanted to run around my street screaming and fist pumping the air like an absolute wanker telling everyone that my baby is just SO CLEVER, like he was the first child on planet earth to ever say bye! My friends without children are sympathetic to my little pride outbursts, but they won’t really get it until they have their own.
6. You’ll develop a love/hate relationship with CBeebies.
My relationship with CBeebies has been known to be slightly rocky. As much as it keeps N entertained whilst I shower, clean (scroll through Facebook, try and take a quick ten minute nap) and tidy up, it can involve a huge stand off with your two year old when you want to watch grown up programmes like; everybody loves Raymond, Jeremy Kyle, Dance moms etc. N has become so conditioned to CBeebies that he’ll thrust the remote into my face and demand “beebies!” Until he’s blue in the face… he goes fucking nuts when the bed time song comes on. At such crucial times, you put Tiny Pop on and hope for the best. I’ve have been slightly criticised for letting N be babysat by CBeebies sometimes whilst I’m busy (trying to drink my tea when it’s actually bloody hot)… but fuck it. I’m not sure why I should be apologising for letting him watch programmes that were created for his age group. So fuck the haters, CBeebies is great.
7. Being a parent makes you a better person.
I’ve become so much more sympathetic, emphatic and more aware of other people’s feelings and emotions since becoming a Mum. For me, it’s made me want to go more out of my way to help others. On the flip side, I take much less bull shit. Rather than worrying about losing friends, I’ve realised that they aren’t really friends if they can’t respect my authority and responsibilities as a parent. My main purpose on this earth now is to provide my baby with love, care and happiness and if the people that used to be friends can’t accept that I can’t just go out for a piss up at the drop of a hat… shows what sort of people they are. It’s not an insult, but they will understand when they have children of their own.
8. The world is a much, much scarier place.
I’m a bit weird, I’ve always found natural disasters terrifying. So films like the day after tomorrow, 2012 and volcano scared the living shit out of me. Now… EVERYTHING scares the bejesus out of me. When N was first born, I’d convince myself that anything and everything could kill him. Probably a bit of my anxiety and depression surfacing, but things are still as terrifying now. I look to the future to when he’s at school. What I’ll do if he’s bullied at school, groomed on the internet, abducted on a school trip… things that are very unlikely, but not impossible in our society. Sometimes, I just want to wrap him up in cotton wool, and keep him safe from all the bad thats in our world. But if I did that, I’d also be sheltering him from the good.
9. When your little one inevitably does something dangerous and falls, there is a pretty good chance he didn’t learn from it and will do it again.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve told N to stop climbing on his toys, to stop jumping on the sofa, to stop bringing balls up the stairs. “It’ll all end in tears, then you’ll be sorry” I say to him. It does all end in tears, he’s sorry for about 30 seconds, then smugly jumps on the sofa whilst making eye contact for good measure.
10. Sometimes kids are dicks. It’s okay if you don’t love every second of being a parent.
I’m not age specific here. From newborn to teenagers, children are sometimes just dicks. They push buttons and boundaries thousands of times and sometimes they might scream in your face if you give them the wrong flavour yoghurt. That’s just part of the journey. Rumour has it that a glass (bottle) of wine at the end of the day does help ease the dickishness of a child. As I write this, N is screaming at me because I’m selfishly writing on my phone rather than helping him put his screen on his interactive bike (even though he’s been asking for it on and off all fucking day)