This is my first go at writing something for Write Club hosted by You Have to Laugh. They ask that it’s funny. Not sure mine is, but here goes. Ten of the things I wish I’d known before I had children:
1. There are a lot of parenting blogs.
Some of them tell it like it is and should be studied in preparation and clung to as proof that you are not going insane, that your children are not possessed and that you will survive it; others are highly idealized/selective/downright lies and should be ignored completely.
2. You can get varicose veins in places other than your legs 🤭 I’ll leave that to your imagination.
3. Weeing in private is a luxury and should be savoured.
All of those rushed solitary wees in the past fill me with regret. My daughter likes to be there when I wee (and give a commentary), but she always tells me to go away if she needs the loo. This is a perfect example of toddler logic.
4. Ditto sleeping through the night.
My children currently have an efficient tag-team set up, giving me short bursts of ninety minutes of sleep, while they each get three-hour long stretches.
5. And drinking warm cups of tea.
6. Earrings and long hair are just asking to be yanked painfully.
The most sensible course of action is a pixie cut. Or a bob at the most.
7. At some point you will be covered in vomit, snot, dribble, wee and, most probably, poo. Possibly all at the same time. And you won’t even care.
A few weeks ago my daughter decided to look as she was weeing, thus sending a jet of wee straight up the sleeve of my dressing gown. My only reaction was to sigh. (And put my dressing gown in the wash.) Later the same week, my son vomited profusely down my front, while we had guests. I took off my jumper, mopped at my skirt and continued to entertain.
8. Parenting ages you.
According to the age-recognition software on my phone, I’m in my late 30s. (Actually, I just checked. 44. Forty-four.) I’m 28.
9. Friends without children do not get it. You will therefore acquire “mum friends” with whom you only ever discuss poo.
I actually received a birthday card this year from a friend who could imagine me curled up on the sofa reading a magazine (about mindfulness, no less) with my two-year old curled at my feet and my newborn in my arms. She’s always had a better imagination than I have.
10. Having children does not suddenly make you feel like an adult.
You still make it up as you go along but now you have small humans to keep alive as well as pretending you know what you’re doing at work. If at any point you do feel like you’re on top of things or know what you’re doing, your child will enter a key developmental stage and you’ll be left sobbing in a corner.
So there we are! My ten, although I’m sure I could think of plenty more.
Some other bloggers in Write Club have shared what they wish they’d known BC – go and have a look!