When becoming a parent you will receive your life-long ticket to board the learning train and regardless of how old they grow there is always something new to discover. There are so many things I have learnt since becoming a parent fifteen years ago – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??- so many in fact it would take me a lifetime to write them all down! I therefore decided I would limit this post to just 10 things I have learnt since I entered the world of parenthood.
Nothing You Do Will Prepare You For Parenthood!
Despite attending pre-natal classes, reading books a plenty and heaps of experience helping with my younger siblings nothing prepared me for having my own children. It is the hardest, most worthwhile job on the planet. There will always be highs and lows, but there are no words worthy enough to describe the all-consuming love you feel for your own flesh and blood. It is a mind-blowing experience like no other!
Being An Afternoon Person Is Not An Option!
I love my bed, what can I say guilty as charged! Before I became a parent I loved nothing more than a good old lie in on my days off. I learnt very quickly I could wave goodbye to those days! I am now forcibly made to be a morning person and have to like it or lump it. I would love to know who decided school should start so early or know the secret of those parents who brag that their children lie in!
Kids LOVE Repetition
We all have those movies and TV shows we could watch more than once but children take this to the extreme! Be it story books, games, TV shows, movies or indeed anything else once they find something they like you will made to endure it more times than you ever thought possible! I actually liked watching Paw Patrol the first billion times – it was a welcome relief from Peppa Pig! However, when you realise that you can recite the script for every episode and have complete faith in your ability to win Mastermind with Paw Patrol as your specialist subject you know you need to find a new favourite show before you go mad!
Organisation Is Key
Before kids I could be up and ready to leave the house for work in no time at all with no forward planning required. From the minute you become a parent organisation becomes the centre of your world. Without pre planning and organisation you will never leave the house on time with everything you need. Simple trips to the shops need military precision let alone making it to school for 9am with everyone dressed in the correct uniform, reading books complete, dinner money, reply slips, letters……the list goes on. Having always prided myself on being an organised person pre-kids I now know I was wrong. My trusty calendar has become my best friend, dutifully reminding me of the upcoming events my poor baby brain can no longer remember, ensuring my children turn up to the parties they have been invited to and the classes I have signed them up for.
Everyone Has An Opinion
It seems as soon as you become a parent people take it as a green light to tell you how you should or shouldn’t raise your child. Everyone, friends and family and even the cashier at the supermarket seem to have something to say about your parenting. I quickly realised that despite meaning well I knew how I wanted to raise my children and took to politely listening to their advice and opinions. I then only took on board things that I felt were useful, letting the rest go in one ear and out the other.
Never leave the house without a snack and/or drink about your person! I have learnt from past mistakes that being out of the house with a thirsty or hungry child and no provisions has the potential to start WW3. Even if they have only been fed a mere half hour ago that will not prevent the complete meltdown and accompanying howls of being ‘starving’ in the middle of Primark when you declare that all you have in your bag is slightly hairy boiled sweet that has somehow mislaid its wrapper. As with any ‘battle’ ensure you go in fully prepared and you will always be victorious.
Never Divulge Information
One of the most important lessons I have learnt as a parent is never under any circumstances tell the kids about anything unless you know it’s a certainty. Whilst it is tempting to tell them that next week they will be going to Blackpool for the day, it can come back and bite you on the backside if for some unforeseen reason your day out has to be cancelled. This logic also applies when making promises, don’t make them unless you can 100% guarantee they will happen, it will be you that pays the price of an inconsolable child.
What could be more fun than an afternoon of crafts I hear you say and yes, I would agree but glitter is banned – except for on very rare occasions when I seem to have temporarily lost my sanity. I could throttle the person who invented the damn stuff! Regardless of how well you think you have contained it those little sparkly flakes get EVERYWHERE! Despite regular cleaning and hoovering you will still see the remnants of your Christmas Card making session even though it’s July. I would recommend a blanket ban on glitter to all parents!
Your Wardrobe Will Be Empty
Your child will be dressed in the best threads money can buy whilst you are wearing a pair of jeans you have had had since high school, that is the reality of parenthood. All of those trips to the shops when you would usually treat yourself to a new frock are gone and instead replaced by the NEED to buy all of the cute outfits you have seen for the kids. Whilst your little one has enough clothes to wear an outfit a day for the whole year you will be re-wearing the same t-shirt three days in a row! This will also mean you are skint!
Children Are Magicians
Despite being small in statue don’t be fooled your child has magical powers. They are somehow able to make laundry multiply before your very eyes! One minute you are breathing a sigh of relief as you gaze happily into an empty washing basket only to turn your back for mere seconds to find it overflowing once more. I’m not sure who are the most talented, it could be the newborns who seems to have a knack for conjuring sick covered baby grows or the teenagers who magically produce items you could have sworn had been hung freshly washed in the wardrobe less than an hour before. Either way I’m not overly keen on their powers as it means the majority of my life is now spent as a washer woman and my house resembles a laundrette.
Let us know what lessons you have learnt since becoming a parent in the comments below we would love to hear about your experiences.