I don’t know about you, but when I look back at my pregnant self, I can’t help but snigger. I always thought I had realistic(ish) expectations of what it would be like to be a new parent. I’ve never set myself the highest parenting goals, but there are certainly things I thought I would never do or say:
1) Become a nappy sniffer. I’ll be honest, I used to be mildly disgusted when parents sniffed their baby’s nether regions to check for a dirty nappy. I now know it’s the quick way to see if yet ANOTHER code brown needs attending to.
2) Cover sick with towels. If my baby does a vom in the middle of the night, the idea of changing the sheets and disturbing an even more irate baby just isn’t worth it. Towels do the trick until morning, when you realise quite how gross it is!
3) Compare, applaud and discuss the intricacies of your baby’s bowel movements. Because a poonami can break you and getting weed on is just par for the course as a new mum and you NEED to tell someone.
4) Pretend your baby hasn’t got a dirty nappy. Particularly if it’s in the hour before you know daddy is coming home, just because it’s nice for daddy not to miss out on all these magical moments too.
5) Become passive aggressive with your partner in front of the baby. A good example is “Daddy will go and do the washing to give mummy a break, because Daddy loves to do the household chores too”. Just do the washing goddamit – don’t make me ask you again!!
6) Consider going to the toilet on your own a luxury. The sheer bliss of not having a baby staring at you, crying or clambering over you is a beautiful thing whilst you’re doing your business. TREASURE EVERY MOMENT.
7) Argue about tiredness. I mean, it’s not a competition as mum wins every time, but the amount of time I have wasted when I could be sleeping having the “I’m more tired than you” argument is quite frankly tiring…
8) Have a second career as a CBeebies presenter. Well that’s what it can feel like most days with all the singing, dancing and cheery smiles for your little one. Not to be attempted on a hangover.
9) You have an unidentifiable stain on your clothing. But you go out wearing it any way. Is there anything a baby wipe can’t mop up?
And for those with slightly older children…
10) Use bribery. One of the best parenting tricks out there. Because who wouldn’t behave nicely for a biscuit?
11) Allow so much screen time. Something I frowned upon before having my son. Who was I kidding. If 30 minutes screen time buys us some peace and quiet – I’m in. There are 23.5 hours left of the day for other activities!
12) Become a secret eater. You don’t want them to spoil their next meal, but you’re desperate for a piece of chocolate. Hiding behind kitchen cupboard doors is a firm favourite.
13) Sound like your own mother. One day you’re all hip and cool, the next you’re a mum and saying things like “in my day…” and “because I said so”. It happens to the best of us.
About Lucinda Hutton
Lucinda is the owner of Nurturing Mums, a popular postnatal course in North London & Hertfordshire. In her former life, she was a corporate lawyer. She loves wine, champagne, gin… you get the picture! She lives in North London with her husband and toddler who has spent his first 18 months in and out of hospital.