5 things you should know before having children
Thinking of having your own little family is a lovely thought. Life before children makes it seem idyllic. I really visualised that sepia coloured photo in my head at 22 too, you know , holidays every year, perfect clean kids with side partings and tank tops a lovely four up four down somewhere in the Cotswolds. Yes, yes I know, I’m living in 1940 in my head. It’s really rather nice. No one tells you about the reality of having children, and the expectation is really different to the reality.
I’ve had more than my fair share of epic parenting fails. I had one last week when G decided to get into the pool in his clothes. His Spider man wellies are still drying out in the kitchen. It happens…
So here we go, these are the five things that your mother never told you before getting pregnant, having a new born or planning your own family.
The last three weeks of pregnancy last approximately 600 years
All prospective parents are aware of the perils and pitfalls of pregnancy. See I alliterated there and it sounded quite cool. Aherm. Anyway. You are told quite early on in pregnancy, you may get sick in the mornings, or in fact all the bloody time; you may well swell up, get moody, and you’ll quite obviously gain some weight. On the plus side your hair and nails will look awesome.
You’re also told you have to pee in a plastic cup once a month, and that you may feel a little uncomfortable when you reach your third trimester. Great. Got that. If you’re a supporting partner be prepared to put up with a bit of extra moaning, tantrumming and crying because it’s all part of the course.
What no one tells you is that the last few weeks of pregnancy last approximately 600 years. I don’t know if it’s the fact that you stop working, or that time physically crawls to a halt. Every day before your due date just feels like a whole year. Going over your due date is the most excruciating wait of your whole life. All you want to do is meet your little bean! You go to bed sulkier and sulkier, each twinge is a contraction, an involuntary whoopsy are your waters breaking….WHERE’S THE JUSTICE!
Newborns have the ability to pickle your brain
You’re expecting lack of sleep, constant feeds and people calling to see your gorgeous new arrival who made you wait
centuries 2 extra days over your due date. You’re expecting your coffee consumption to treble in the first week at least, plus you’re cover in muslin squares for the projectile milk vom. Feeling all prepared? Yep. So then you sit there for a cuddle and the little one falls asleep on you and your coffee is just waiting on the table next to you. And you can’t reach it.
So you spend the next hour just staring at a perfect little face, eyes moving beneath eyelashes, listening to the little whistles coming from tiny little nostrils. Unaware that you’re getting covered in drool. In your own little universe, brain pickled, completely unaware of time, space, or impending doom. Just you and this baby you created. And that’s when time speeds back up. These moment when your coffee’s going cold go TOO QUICKLY.
Be aware that for at least the next three years you will forget your name, your address and your telephone number at regular intervals before you finally feel a little more like your before children self.
Nothing is yours any more (and definitely not sacred)
Your house, your cream carpet, your lovely new wallpaper means NOTHING to your toddler. And you know what means nothing at all any more? YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!
I learnt this the hard way. I made the mistake of treating myself to a bottle of my favourite perfume Chanel Coco Madamoiselle. I don’t normally do materialistic, ok? But this was the perfume and it lasts ages, and you only need a little bit…anyway I digress my daughter when she was a daughter decided to clean the bathroom with it because I’d left it on the sideboard.
The lovely cream carpet you worked your butt off for is a gonner. Crayons don’t wipe off. Neither do hypoallergenic paints, PVA glue is a thing of hairdressers dreams and you NEVER EVER earn more in a month than what you spend…
It’s how memories are made after all.
Your sleeping pattern doesn’t return to normal
Did I mention your bed no longer belongs to you in the above listicle either? Make the most of long lie in’s and reading/watching tv/playing on your phone in bed, because that’s a thing of the past. Getting a lovely eight hours plus of pure blissful uninterrupted sleep doesn’t return to normal whilst you have a child beneath your roof.
You expect it when they’re babies. You also expect the early morning wake up calls when they’re toddlers. What you don’t expect is a ten year old who wakes you and the whole house up burning toast trying to make you breakfast in bed, or crying because he’s stumped his big toe on the baby gate, or (and this is the most recent one) putting the TV on so loud that it would deafen polar bears in the North Pole at 5am.
I’m not knocking a coffee in bed in the morning (as my son does this quite often), but pre six am, mam can’t even remember her own name.
Time works differently before children
It’s a weird one. But all the moment I’ve mentioned above, seem to have been lived yesterday. I swear once a baby is born into your family, it feels like someone presses fast forward on your life. So this is the biggie. It doesn’t matter what you have, what your job is, how hard you work, your children and moment with your children go so quickly. Make the most of them, because before you get a chance to recover from their birth, they’re planning where they’re going to do when they leave school.
You’ll never laugh as hard as you do when your kids make you chuckle, you never cry in the same way from pride, fear or happiness as you do over your children. You never get a second chance to prove to your kids how precious they actually are. Make the most of it.
Until the next time