I’m not sure if I was lucky with this but I didn’t get any advice before becoming a mum. You see we adopted and so I missed the bulging belly part that seems to give people the right to rub it, as if instead of a baby I have a genie growing inside me, and pass on unsolicited advice.
Our first baby arrived with about three weeks’ notice and our second, with five days! I went from footloose and fancy free to a new mum in record-breaking time.
So I got no advice. None! I was thrown into the deep end sans floaties. It was probably the best thing because if you were to ask me what advice I would give to someone about having kids it would quite simply be ‘Don’t!’
The truth is no one talks about what really happens when you become a mum or dad. It’s like the parenting version of Fight Club, the one with the 1st rule ‘Don’t talk about fight club!’ Because if you knew the actual truth chances are we would be extinct; people wouldn’t procreate. At all!
Here are my pearls of wisdom for you before you become a parent. You can thank me later.
1. You find yourself at the most basic level of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Self-actualization and world peace go out the window when all you want to be able to do is eat, sleep and drink a cup of coffee without any interruptions
2. If you’re scared of dying alone you don’t need to worry about that when you become a parent. No Siree Bob, with a baby in the house you are NEVER alone, not when you pee or poop, bath, sleep, read a book, or hide in the closet.
3. If you have any OCD tendencies deal with them now because you will be barfed and pooped on, you will be sharing germs with your little one as you eat a half-eaten sandwich or swap sweets because you’re eating the one they wanted.
4. Nothing will ever be personal again. People will know how much champagne you drank on the weekend, they’ll also know you fart / snore / talk while sleeping.
5. When you become a parent you lose everything. Your sanity, your valuables, your identity, your space in the bed. The list goes on.
6. You soon realize that the definition of a dictator isn’t as per dictionary.com: a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force. A dictator is in fact a nappy-wearing pacifier-sucking often bald little person called Maddie, Emma or Ben.
7. You will have days when you want to get into your car and drive. And drive. And never come back because you soon understand that being a parent is hard.
But if you had to ask me what my best piece of advice is now, as a parent, it would simply be – enjoy every single moment of the rollercoaster ride that is parenthood.