With a lot of close friends falling pregnant lately I’ve been thinking of what I would have liked to know about parenthood before actually becoming a mother. What I wished someone had told me. I knew that my life was about to change, and I know now that you can’t really prepare for the massive change that babies bring, but to be a little bit more prepared and had a heads up on a few things, just would’ve been nice. So here’s my list of what I wish I’d known.
- Toilet Time. For the parents, not the kids. Going to the toilet is no longer a personal thing, there is always an audience. And going by yourself is just as good as a holiday in Hawaii. Hubby and I take turns locking ourselves away ‘on the toilet’ as an escape from the kids, usually around 5pm. You know, right when they’re going rank.
- Sleep. Yes, you all hear about the endless sleepless nights of the newborn phase. What I didn’t know is that the sleep time battle will last for the next three – five years. Sleep is not something that comes naturally to every person and its your job as a parent to teach a child how to go to sleep. Every night. Yes, there will be tears. Oh, and the kids might cry too.
- Dinner. Remember the last time you went out for dinner and there was a lady at the table next to you? She ordered the steak – done medium rare with a side salad. With all the nuts picked out. And the dressing on the side. And precisely 4 shavings of parmesan on the steak. And some M&M’s in her ice-cream, but all the orange ones picked out, cos she doesn’t like the taste of them. You think she was fussy? She has nothing on a 3 year old. Don’t bother buying all the baby books and making all the hidden veg meals. The more effort you put into dinner, the quicker they’ll turn their nose up at it. Just butter the toast and give it to them. And remember that they’ll eat you out of house and home when they’re 15.
- Kids love the TV. To clarify, they love it so much, they’ll want to be within 2 inches of it for their favourite show. If I had a dollar every time I told Noah to get back from the TV, I’d be a quadrillionaire. (is so a word.)
- Used to Yuck. There will be days where there’s mounds of dirty nappies, poo under your fingernail, toys on the floor from one end of the house to the other, this morning’s breakfast smeared into your favourite dining chairs, food on the pantry doors, dirty clothes piling up under the clean ones you just brought in and you won’t care. Kids are happy, fed and sleeping and you’ll realise that there is more to life than a clean house. Like sleep. Or the taped episode of Offspring that you missed last night.
But you know, I know I probably read a similar article when I was pregnant and thought ‘Nah, that won’t be me. My kids will listen to me and eat all their gourmet food and leave me alone on the toilet’. Ha. Ha. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What do you wish you had known before you had kids?
I’m Daneyl, I’m a blogger, wife, mother and opera singer (but only when I’m in the shower). I’m the most relaxed when I’m being creative, cooking, reading and writing. I love being a stay at Mum and learning how to be a parent to my two gorgeous cherubs. Check out my little blog at www.thestrandsofme.com