If you haven’t yet had children there are things you cannot ever understand.
There are things people simply don’t tell you. They just don’t tell you. The things that could save your sanity.
Therefore, I’m going to tell you.
So listen up and listen good. It could save you a lot of heartache in years to come.
And if like me it’s too late for you, well then I’m sorry . . .
1. Enjoy your sleep.
Never ever take it for granted because it’s a glorious luxury you will have to forgo for what feels like the L O O O N G E S T time.
That bed you adore? The one you lovingly iron and spend a fortune on fancy sheets and throws whatever, will never be yours again.
It will be puked on, weed on and you will forever have to share it with a child who resembles a thrashing starfish the minute they creep in during the night and whisper that the monsters are frightening them and can they just come and sleep with you for a bit?
2. Appreciate your food.
Once children are on the scene your meals will be rushed or cold or a whole bunch of leftovers. Or toast.
For the longest time you will have to learn how to eat with a child on your lap. That child will not care that you haven’t eaten in hours because you’ve been tackling Mount Ironing or sweeping crushed crisps from the rug.
You will have to bolt it down at the first given opportunity or go without. So chew. Chew, chew savour, enjoooooy.
3. Enjoy going to the loo.
Trust me, once you have children you will never ever sit on the toilet alone again.
You will never have a moment to yourself. Someone will always want you, need you, demand your attention. Just because you’re on the toilet doesn’t stop the demanding.
You will lose your headspace. You will never be afforded a day off again. Even when you have a day off, a child-free day, a day when someone takes your charges away for a while, you are not free from the worry, the fretting, the loving, the longing.
4. You can never be ill again
You know those days when you can wallow in self pity, watch daytime TV, drink hot tea and feel sorry for yourself while wrapped up in a warm blanket and wearing bed socks?
Yeah, forget that once a child comes along. And if you and your baby are ill at the same time? You will know the true definition of despair.
5. Don’t bother buying expensive/valuable items.
Nice things will get broken/drawn on/used as a ramp for son’s Hot Wheels cars. And when I say nice things I basically mean everything.
Expensive make up? Watch as it’s used for paint projects or simply for tipping onto the bathroom floor to ‘see how it looks’.
6. You will discover The Fear
The love you have for your children is unbearable. Indescribable. Fierce.
That gripping, intense love you feel is like nothing you will have ever experienced. And the minute you have a child of your own you instantly understand what all those parents were talking about when they said it can be so intense it will take your breath away.
But when you love something that much it instills The Fear in you.
Irrational fear. Fear of the future. Fear of failure.
Fear you’re not good enough.
Fear you’re not doing it right.
Fear for the life, the world you’ve brought them into.
Fear that as you and your baby walk by a car will mount the pavement/a building will collapse/a plane will fall our of the sky.
Irrational fear. But fear nevertheless.
And as crippling and painful as this all can be, as much as you struggle or stumble you absolutely know that you wouldn’t change any of it, any of this ridiculous list, because really? All of it, all the nonsense, the highs, the lows, they all add up to being a parent.