There are so many things about being a parent that you don’t find out from reading parenting books.
Before I became a mummy to twins, I was one of the masses that thought they had a fairly good grip on what life would be like post-baby.
I was one of those people that thought rather smugly to myself that I won’t be a parent with kids screaming in the supermarket disturbing the peace. Looking back, past me kind of deserves a slap to the chops as I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I am a mummy to twins and I have been (on more than one occasion) that parent who had children trying to escape the trolley while yelling about how unfair it is that they can’t have the toy that is located on the shelf conveniently within their reach. I also realise I really had no idea what life would be like.
Below are 15 pieces of advice that I would give my pre-parent self.
1. You are not tired. You may think you have had a hard day at work, and your bones ache from all the shopping and coffee dates, but you really are not. Once you have had the experience of sleeping a glorious total of 45 minutes every night for two or three weeks, then you will know what being tired is.
2. Sleep is a luxury. Get as much as you can, while you can.
3. Stop being judgemental. Children don’t like to conform to social norms. If you see a parent yelling, crying or trying to wrangle a tiny human into a tantrum free state, you can guarantee that 99 per cent of the time they are doing their best.
4. Save your money – kids cost the big bucks.
5. Have sex more. Those yummy spontaneous morning sessions get a lot harder when you can hear demands being shouted at you through the baby monitor.
6. Stop caring what other people think. Everyone will want to give you their opinion on how you are raising your child. Ignore it or at least take it with a pinch of salt. Only you know what works best for your family.
7. Treasure your alone time. It will soon be a thing of the past.
8. Appreciate your pre-baby body. It is hot, so get as much enjoyment out of it while you can.
9. Look forward to your post-baby body. It is also hot. Plus you just unlocked one of the greatest achievements out there (birth) and have the battle scars to prove it.
10. Stop hoarding. Seriously, all that crap you have piled up in boxes and strewn around the house get rid of it. Kids take up a massive amount of space. Prepare for a toy invasion.
11. Embrace chaos. When you have children you soon realise that your world is full of chaos and the unexpected. You have to be prepared for everything .
12. Take a moment to appreciate child free shopping trips.
13. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Parenting is tough. You will constantly learn, make mistakes and have many wins.
14. Keep your sense of humour. When you are elbow deep in poo and are surrounded by screaming, a good sense of humour will keep you sane.
15. Prepare for the love. You cannot even imagine how much love you will feel when you have children and how amazing it is to be loved the way your children will love you.