No matter how many times you babysit, how many puppies you hugged as a child or how many times you’ve watched The Wiggles with your nephew, you can never truly be prepared for parenting. We polled some in-house experts (which, ahem, may or may not have included ourselves) to learn what they found to be the most surprising things about being a parent.
Not even the bathroom is a private place
We hope you enjoyed all those times you got to pee with the door closed because, friend, those days are well and truly over. Same goes for showers, shaving, plucking and any kind of hair removal at all, actually.
… and your private parts are certainly not private anymore
Men have been trying to figure out how to answer “What’s that, daddy?” since the dawn of time. If you can come up with a non-awkward response, we’re all ears.
Kids are far too honest
Nothing crushes the soul quite like a three-year old lovingly touching your face as they ask “are you 100 years old mummy?” … except maybe when that same child starts poking you in the tummy and telling you that you feel squishy.
Sleep was a nice thing to have
Remember when you were a child, and you simply could not wait to jump out of bed in the morning? Payback is brutal. From crying sporadically through the night as a newborn, to being scared of monsters under the bed as a three-year-old, to pre-teen sleepovers, house parties and (just when you think the stress is over) having a child who can legally stay out drinking until all hours of the morning… you can kiss goodbye to a full eight hours for at least the next 18 years.
You will doubt yourself
No matter how confident you are in making decisions in your everyday life, parenting is a whole new ballgame. You will constantly be asking yourself “is this what my child needs?”, “is this what my child wants?”, “am I doing the right thing by my child?”. There is no right answer here unfortunately – you’ve just got to do your best!
You will think your child is the best looking child to ever exist
Remember when you were child-less and you saw a strange-looking baby and you wondered whether the parent realised how weird looking their child was? They didn’t.
You will worry, constantly
Parenting feels like a dangerous business. How many different ways could that coaster cause injury? How can we be truly sure that trampolines are safe? That the school bus is a trustworthy mode of transport and that little Jimmy isn’t leading your totally innocent child astray?
You will come to rely on your partner more than ever before
In both a practical and emotional sense, you will need to have each other’s back, to provide support, love, an ear and understanding. When it comes to parenting, team work truly does make the dream work.
Everyone has an opinion
Every child, every pregnancy, every birth, every relationship and every life is unique – and yet everyone has an opinion on how to do it right. All you can do is make decisions that you believe to be best for you and your family.
There’s always room in your heart for one more
On your wedding day your heart is so full of love and joy that you don’t know how life could get any better. But then you get a puppy, and somehow your heart gets even fuller, and by the time your first child comes along your heart is so full of love that you can hardly breathe. You don’t know how you could find more love to give a second child, but you do. Same goes for your third. Fourth. Fifth. Sixth (you crazy person!).