Things you wished you knew before you became a parent..(42 Posts)
That you'll never know a proper nights sleep ever again. Even if your baby /child is asleep your sub conscious will always be on alert, the slightest cough snore sneeze whimper during the night will wake you instantly.
Yep, that above about sleep! You'll always be tired and no one will ever be able to understand the tiredness!
Oh and you are tougher than you'll ever imagine when dealing with poo and sick and scary things and tantrums and terrible twos...
That baby wipes get stains off all sorts of things.
I can rationalise anything and argue my way out of a paper bag, but my two year old blows all that shit out the water. I never knew small kids were capable of such stubbornness!!
That you need to pick your battles. Child doesn't want to wear that outfit? Fine, let her pick for an easy life? Child doesn't want to brush her teeth? Sorry love, not negotiable.
You will be tougher (and more patient) than you ever thought possible. You will wonder what you did with all your time, prior to having a child. You may nearly go insane with sleep deprivation in the first year. Housework gets relegated to a distant second place after the kids (although I will always make the exception for picking up lego blocks).
Nobody is really too sure of what they are doing as the kid has not read the parenting manuals. So each age range represents a giant social experiment that you (or may not) successfully manage. And just as you think you gave cracked it, they change again...
That flexibility is the key to everything. Everything.
How quickly it passes and how much you both enjoy and dread watching your child grow, people tell you but you don't really understand until this child that needed you for everything is closing the bathroom door on you and telling you they don't need mum's help and boy does that happen fast.
That I wasn't cut out to be a parent!!
Which you can't really find out until you try it and by then...
Oh well, good luck with whatever choices you have OP.
Nobody told me how much FUN it would be, that I'd laugh more than I ever did before, and that viewing the world through the eyes of your child is a joy 😆
Sleep, sleep, sleep! I miss it so much. Also that feeling of responsibility that never leaves you even if someone else is looking after your them. Oh and lie ins.... I miss getting up when I want to (if at all ).
Do you like your clothes? Well get over that now as they will not look pristine and perfect for a long time. Sick, biscuit, mud, blood, grass, squash .. your clothes will be accessorised by them all.
Other mum friends will save your life and sanity over and over. Make those friends asap! I waited far too log due to anxiety but they are invaluable.
You will not believe how much you can love someone. Seriously you will know a joy that is totally raw. It's incredible
That you'll never feel 100% healthy again, even at your best, pre kids you would think that you were running on 60% and spend the weekend on the sofa recovering.
That absolutely NO ONE cares about the above and you'll discover you have a new found capacity to power through and carry on that you never had before, and that it IS worth it. (although sometimes only in hindsight)
That everyone who was a parent before you really Meant the stuff they warned you about. I heard it but it never really sank in until after DD arrived. I remember thinking, why didn't anyone Tell me!? They did, I just shrugged it off.
You won't 'do it differently ' when you have kids. Your idyllic view of parenting that you had before you actually were a parent will quickly dissappear and you'll do what is best for you and the kids, sometimes that means plastic tat or screen time ( the old me is hoiking up her judgy pants saying ' yes but no more than twenty minutes a day '!)
Even if the parenting books are legitimately helpful, at 5am if Gina Ford/Super Nanny etc walked in you would cheerfully punch them in the face. Probably with a sicky muslin wrapped around your hand.
Your heart will multiply in size like one of those sped up films of a massive oak tree growing from a tiny acorn. There is so much Love for your baby in your heart. ( I always rolled my eyes when. I was told this pre baby)
You might become addicted to smelling your newborn and become irrationally angry with anyone who holds them wearing heavy perfume for interfering with that intoxicating scent.
I'm only 10 days in, but I wish I'd known not to stress as much as I did about breastfeeding. It just didn't happen for me at first, and I got myself very upset with the expressing, giving formula and catastrophising that I'd never breastfeed. When my milk came in on day 5 he managed much better. We're still mixed feeding but there's more breast than anything else. The stress of it totally spoiled the first few days for me and I wish I knew it would all work out in the end!
That nothing smells as nice as the top of your child's head
Lack of sleep .
Difficulties of breastfeeding (if it don't come easy)
Never having a long relaxing bath again
Not to have more than five mins getting ready
But having your heart melt at this gorgeous little babe that sits on your lap with a wobbling head. All happy and content
I'm actually glad I didn't know anything because I'd probably have resolved to stay childless
But to answer your question. The sheer relentlessness of living with kids. Their ability to spot you relaxing for 60 seconds and hone in on you with ridiculous demands that must be met NOW. The whinging. The never sleeping. The fact I've aged about 10 years. The fact you can never hide. The fact you could take them to legoland, kill yourself keeping it all in order for two days, this ride, that ride, and when you ask them later what they enjoyed most about the break they'll say the pack of crisps they had in the car on the way home. You'll never wee , poo or bath in peace again. Your bed will never stay made. Your life from around 5.30pm and 8.30pm will enter some sort of twilight zone on a daily basis where everyone has some sort of personality transplant because the word 'bed' was mentioned in passing. The fact you will turn into a world class negotiator, able to navigate your way through heading off tantrums at forty paces, every minute of every day. The fact your bathroom will just constantly smell of wee. The burden of responsibility that you now don't just have yourself to keep alive and safe, you have 3 other human beings who are apparently hard wired to run into roads, pick up sharp knives and eat coins.
I could go on
Theyre great really and I am often caught short by a loss of breath that these bundles of wee-smelling pests are all mine to squeeze and slobber over whenever I'm not trying to hide
You will no longer buy clothes for yourself because "oh that's so pretty"......you'll buy it because "that's comfortable and will hide a sick stain well".
Any pre-kids aversion to sick/poo/pee will be eliminated within the first month or so. I always had an awful fear of vomit.....then I had DD. There's a bout of a sickness bug doing the rounds at the moment, and DD did the most spectacular, projectile vomit across my living room. Not once. But four times in the space of about 3 minutes....I had no choice but to clean it up. A year ago, that task would have been impossible for me.
DropYourSword I could have written your post! I'm glad it's working out for you now. I stressed about 'not breastfeeding' and it took me a long while to realise that I did, we just topped up with a bottle and it's nice that way as my DH could get involved too.
Congrats on your baby
In the early days, the sheer relentlessness and mind blowing OMG we made that new human. I felt like I was winging it everyday and someone would tap me on the shoulder and take DS back as it was too big a task for me as I wasn't a proper adult
I was 30. It's like that joke that you look round for a sensible adult and realise that'll be you then
Now the DSs are 9 & 11, the realisation that perhaps I do know what I'm doing
still constantly question myself
The confidence having children has given me is mind blowing to me. I was so shy and quiet and I'm now a totally different person and put up with no shit from anyone. In fact if the post children me met the pre children me I wouldn't recognise myself.
How boring babies are, but how utterly hilarious toddlers are.
The sleep thing is a myth btw - my DS was a nightmare as a baby but started sleeping solidly through the night (all night from bedtime to 7am) by 8ish months and since then we've had unbroken sleep. Not all kids wake up constantly.
You will learn more from your child than they will learn from you.
You'll understand what tiredness really is!
I also find myself much less judgemental about other parents. We're all just muddling through, trying our best. What's right for one parent won't be right for another, and that's FINE.
Every child is unique and special and amazing!
You'll learn who your true friends are. And the importance of support.
Accept that it will be really tough, especially in the first year. But also cherish the good times.
And remember to take lots of photos to look back on
You realise how much spare time you had before. I've work colleagues who come in all flustered because they've "not stopped" all weekend, but it's doing nice choice things like nights out / spring cleaning their house / camping etc. Nothing obligatory.
You will never again be able to throw open all the windows and doors, chuck on a music channel and blitz the house. I never thought I'd miss doing this. Till I now snatch moments to tidy and clean through the day. I yearn for 6 hours alone just to spring clean. Of course if I ever actually got 6 hours I'd probably sleep for most of it.
How vocal the parents with babies who "sleep through" are - they tell you at every verse end and it's easy to believe that your child is a terrible sleeper. The reality is that those of us with "average sleepers" (the vast majority!) just mostly keep quiet
I'm not "vocal" in the slightest in real life about my child's sleeping habits
I'm just saying the whole "you'll never sleep again" isn't true for all. All children are different of course and I'm 8 months pregnant with my second who might wake up hourly until she's 5 for all I know.
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