Before I became a parent I was very judgmental, I didn’t know that I was, but now that I am a parent I can totally admit that the ideas I had about parenthood and motherhood before I entered the squad was full of judgement. It has been a steep learning curve and there are some aspects of motherhood that has taken me by surprise!
- The risky game of Is It Shit or Is It Chocolate? Do I have to elaborate on this one…?
- I relate to all the ‘mom’ characters in films and books and TV. I now posses knowledge that gives those parent characters, and mum characters specifically, a depth I was previously unable to understand or even see.
- You can function on a lot less sleep than you think. By function I mean; you will survive. You may find your keys in the freezer, and you will be so tired that tears won’t even come out of your eyes when you cry, but you’re alive.
- You cannot control all the environments your child will encounter. So when you think your child won’t own any plastic toys, or taste chocolate before they are 2, you are forgetting about grandparents and other people.
- The time I cut my finger on a dried piece of Weetabix. True story.
- Loneliness. Ok, this one isn’t so nice. But it caught me off guard. Motherhood can be pretty isolating, and making new friends is hard. I didn’t know about NCT while I was pregnant with my first baby, so I feel I missed out a little bit on that social aspect of expecting a baby. Luckily I attended pregnancy yoga classes and I met some mothers there, who I again met when I started doing baby yoga at the same place. One of these women I now consider as one of my closest friends! But that was the first time. The second time around is different because the mums you knew the first time have gone back to work, and the classes you could attend with one baby isn’t suitable to bring along a toddler too. Plus you have less money. That’s just a fact.
- The power of an accepting and openminded online community (Instagram’s mum squad is friggin’ tight!).
- Kids can be assholes. And parents too. That includes you as a parent as well as other children’s parents. You know it. This where mumguilt comes in.
- The insane quantities of plastic bottles and sippy cups. I swear we could set up a shop. Every time I open that cupboard it is like an avalanche of rainbow coloured plastic.
- The importance of finding that one person, or two or three if you’re lucky, that have the same parental values as you. Someone who you can drink wine with during a playdate, the person who will give you a hug when you need it and won’t compete with you and your child’s milestones (you know the one “oh, my baby slept through from 6 weeks” – you don’t need that kind of competition in your life). When you find this person, cling on to them for dear life. You need each other!
This list really could go on and on! What has surprised you about parenthood?