When I arrived home from hospital with my firstborn it suddenly hit me that I didn’t actually have a clue what to do with this little person I had created. Luckily the basics of feeding them, changing them and generally keeping them alive were straightforward enough but there are a few other things that I have learnt on the job….
I never knew the true meaning of tiredness until I had kids
I have always liked my sleep and was even known to have the odd afternoon nap on my days off yet I’m sure I must have said ‘I’m so tired’ on at least a daily basis. Now I have to laugh at pre-baby me because I had no idea what true tiredness actually felt like! I only learnt about true tiredness after being rudely awakened night in, night out then having to drag my ass out of bed and figure out in my sleep deprived state what the mini person required at 3am. Then somehow despite being up half the night that same mini person is full of energy and jumping on your head at 6am because apparently it is time to get up and start the madness of another day!
I have learned to appreciate the little things like going to the loo by myself!
Before kids I took the little things in life for granted. Going to the loo, having a shower, eating dinner, deciding to go to the shop or simply walking out the door were all things I did everyday and never gave much thought to. After kids these things have turned into major chores that require much planning before being carried out at breakneck speed! The odd time I have managed a trip to the loo or shower without a child (or dog) waiting for me it feels like I have had an all inclusive spa break!
Toys that have 40 million pieces are the bane of a parents life
I know pre-kids I most likely bought these type of toys for kids as presents and I’m sure their parents were cursing me but as a mum I can’t stand the sight of toys that involve 40 million different pieces that somehow end up scattered all over the house and garden with bits getting lost or even worse stood on in my bare feet! So if anyone with kids who should know better buys such a toy for your kids that is pretty much a sign that they have always hated you or maybe payback for a similar toy you brought to their house in your pre-kids naive days!
You can ruin someone’s day by giving them the wrong cup
This was a lesson I learnt when we entered the toddler phase. Giving a toddler the wrong anything can be disastrous and totally ruin their day. Thankfully I have also learnt that the disaster can be fixed just as quickly as it started with a simple distraction and all will be well in the world again!
Not all babies are the same
A major pet hate of mine since having kids has been the well meant advice from random people who tell me what I should be doing with my babies as that is what they did with their babies. For a first time mum it makes you feel as though you are doing something wrong if your baby doesn’t seem to respond the same way as someone else’s child. Thankfully by the time I had my second baby I realised that there wasn’t anything wrong with me or my kids but just that not all babies are the same, what works for one baby might not work for another. So I make a conscious effort not to try to bombard new mums with unwanted advice unless asked, my main advice would be just go with your gut and do what works best for you and your children!
Facebook/Instagram family life isn’t real life
All the picture perfect families on Facebook and Instagram don’t portray real life. Let’s face it no one wants to share a photo of them cleaning up the aftermath of a pooplosion or their kid wiping snot on the dog. Occasionally by pure fluke I manage to get a semi-Instagram worthy shot but even then I probably have to crop it to cut out some of the mess in the background!
You will never have felt a love like you have for your children
This is the most important thing I have learnt. It is impossible to describe the love you have for your babies until you have experienced it yourself. I would literally move mountains if I had to for those little people plus there is no better feeling in the world than their little chubby arms wrapped around you and at the end of the day that is what makes everything else worthwhile!