10 things I wish I’d known before becoming a parent

I have to admit that when I was pregnant the first time around, I didn’t attend any antenatal classes as even then I was suffering with anxiety and I was too frightened to, even more so than the thought of giving birth! I learned everything I thought I needed to know, from books, videos, and the Internet. Even just over 4 years ago, there was a lot of information available, and with the ever growing world wide web, there is more & more becoming available every day, every minute, even.

One thing I wish I had done more of though, is read more parenting blogs as I now know that you can find a wealth of “tried & tested” information from actual parents, rather than from professionals who possibly don’t even have children of their own. The parenting community is so helpful and someone will more than likely be able to offer you advice on practically anything. Babies Lounge is one such site that I wish I was able to discover! Though it does help to remember that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to children or parenting, and it may all be trial & error to begin with, heck, it still is with me winging it.

Other than the information I seeked out whilst pregnant, here are 10 things I wish I had known before becoming a parent:

  1. Trust your instincts! Mummy (or Daddy) instinct is the one thing that should be trusted, on all accounts. If you feel there is something wrong with your child, seek advice. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to your child.
  2. Don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to. If you want to formula feed, then do it. If you want to breastfeed, then do it. If you want to use disposable nappies, then do it. If you want to use reusable nappies, then do it. Etc, etc.
  3. Your baby may not want to sleep in their own bed. Ever. Mine still don’t, and they are not babies any more!Not in own bed!
  4. All babies develop at different rates. Your friend’s baby may get a tooth at 3 months old, but don’t worry, it doesn’t mean yours never will! (Though it may feel like it at the time).
  5. Parenting and growing up is not a competition. I felt like I always had to keep up with everyone else, but now, I just enjoy watching them develop at their own pace rather than trying to rush things.
  6. You are likely to drift apart from friends as you now have a completely different lifestyle, but at the same time you will gain some who will be friends for life.
  7. You might never be able to laugh again without peeing yourself. (Pelvic floors, ladies – they’re important!).
  8. If you have gained weight whilst pregnant, it won’t all just disappear when baby arrives. Nine months (give or take) to gain it, maybe the same to lose it! (Or 4 years in my case…).
  9. Dropping the subject of poo into a daily conversation becomes a normality. Like, seriously.
    Example, over coffee with friends: “So, what have you been up to recently?”. “Oh, just following <insert name here> around with a bucket as they have finally discovered how to remove their nappy and decide to drop one out everywhere”. “Ah! Me too, me too. Chocolate cake, anyone?”.
  10. Following on from point 9, you will lose the right to pee or poo in peace. Even when the kids have gone to bed, you will go to the toilet and find a member of the Paw Patrol staking you out.

I could go on, but I will leave you with those to ponder over!

Is there anything you wish you had known before becoming a parent?

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