This blog post is partly inspired by the @tattooedtealady Instagram challenge from a week or so ago, which asked what you wish you had known before becoming a Mum. I’m going to do a list because everyone loves lists. Well, I love them anyway. Also because I feel like I spend half my life counting now, since Jonathan developed an obsession with reciting the numbers one to ten. Seriously, the other day I woke him up from a mega nap by whispering ‘Eight’ to him, and he sat bolt upright, grinned and shouted ‘NINE!’. My child is weird. Eight is definitely his favourite though, so on that note:
8 Things I wish I had known before I became responsible for my Tiny Human:
- You will find your child endlessly fascinating and your capacity to talk about them will be limitless. You will say you won’t do this, but you will. Someone will tell you about something super interesting they did at work, or an amusing anecdote from the pub, and you will reply with something along the lines of ‘Jonathan can say keys. We went to the park. He climbed up the slide. Look! Here are some photos!’.
- Breastfeeding will not ‘save you money’ if you buy every sodding thing you see a cooler mum than you wearing on Instagram. I was so bad for shopping during late night cluster feeds. Things I have seen on Instagram and now own: Saltwater sandals, a cloud mobile, a Peter Pan print for the nursery, half of the Mere Souer store, a Mama bracelet, Mama chain, and probably a bunch of other things I have since forgotten.
- You can function on a lot less sleep than you think you can. Yes it is shit. Yes you are allowed to moan. Yes, your fantasies about king size beds will change from anything vaguely X-Rated to something more like Sleeping Beauty minus the bit where that dolt turns up and wakes you up. BUT you will manage. Some days will be better than others, but don’t beat yourself up about the laundry, the dust, the fact you ate biscuits and cold toast and nothing else all day. You’re still standing, your kid is still alive. You conquered today!
- Baby fingernails grow at a rate incompatible with what a total ballache cutting them is.
- Toddlers like to put things in places they are not supposed to go. Last month we left about 2 hours late for a trip to Stratford Upon Avon because the car keys were nowhere to be found. Eventually I found them at the bottom of the bin. Thanks kiddo.
- You will develop STRONG FEELINGS about CBeebies shows and presenters. Some of these will be very negative. I have shared many an early morning rant with some Mum friends about whiny Bing Bunny before the caffeine has hit my bloodstream. I’ve also not been able to get over the fact that Andy looks like Fatima Whitbread since someone pointed this out to me. Hey Duggee and Sarah & Duck on the other hand get a big thumbs up. Also Teletubbies is obviously made by some creepy child hypnotist who I officially love because it means I can drink my tea while it is still hot before I get dragged into the IKEA circus tent yet again.
- I refer you to point 6. You will do most if not all of the things you told yourself you wouldn’t do. Stick your child in front of the TV for five minutes peace? Check. Do stupid baby talk in an annoying voice? Check. Pile up the annoying noisy plastic toys while the beautiful wooden ones gather dust? Check. Let them play with the remote/your phone/your keys? Check. If you don’t do any of these things well done, you are a stronger woman than I.
- Your child will have an innate sense of when you are at breaking point, and lift you straight back up again. When you are more exhausted than you ever thought you could be after weeks of cluster feeding, there comes that first smile. When you have spent all afternoon dealing with tooth related whinging and toddler tantrums, there they are snuggling into your chest and saying ‘Mummeee’. You’ll wonder what the hell you have let yourself in for half the time, but my goodness your heart will be full.