More ‘Things I Didn’t Know’.

I thought I would write a little follow up to my previous post, 100 + Things I Never Knew About Parenting (click the link if you didn’t catch it) because I am still learning and could honestly write 1000 things down and it wouldn’t be close to exhaustive. So here goes…

  • The first poo after labour is daunting and your midwife will want details. They may even want to see it. So yeah, that’s not embarrassing at all.
  • Buy lots of cheap flannels and hold them on your faff when you have your first few wee’s after labour. It really helps.
  • Your first walk after childbirth feels like your insides might fall out. They won’t. Probably.
  • Breastfeeding hurts.
  • Your feet get bigger in pregnancy.
  • Your organs move while pregnant.
  • Your baby changing bag contains 5 x as much stuff as you actually need.
  • Your boobs will triple in size when your milk comes in. “Hellooooo, Pammy”.
  • Your waters don’t always break and if they do it might just be a trickle. It’s not always the movie scene tsunami of amniotic fluid, drowning everything in its path.
  • Baby finger nails are the sharpest thing known to man.
  • Brixton Hicks can feel very much like labour.
  • Getting out of the house in the morning is like a military operation.
  • Cutting a small child’s hair is an art you probably won’t master so don’t even try.
  • Your child will poo in the bath.
  • You will get vomitted on. A lot.
  • You may accidentally eat poo (don’t ask).
  • About 17 seconds after giving birth, people will start asking about when you are having another. Feel free to tell them to ‘kindly f*CK off’.
  • You may not always like your child. It’s frowned upon but completely normal.
  • You will mutter ‘f*ck off’, ‘f*cks sake’, ‘f*ck’, ‘arsehole’, behind your child’s back on more than one occasion. Daily.
  • There are times your child will sh*t so explosively that all you can do is bin the clothes and hose the kid down like a four by four that’s been off roading.
  • Putting a coat on a child is tantamount to child abuse.
  • Children obsess over the most annoying songs ever released and demand you listen to them singing it, sing it yourself, play it for them on repeat until the next annoying song comes along.
  • Parental guilt is enormous. Don’t let it overwhelm you.
  • You will never poo or change your tampon alone again.
  • We’ve all lost our child in a shop when they are standing right in front of us.
  • Mealtime is chaos.
  • Baby brain never goes away.
  • Your toddler knows how to use your phone better than you.
  • The newborn feeding through the night phase is hard. The dead of night can be lonely.
  • The house will get messy. F*ck it.
  • Everybody has an opinion. Nobody but yours matters, really.
  • Bath time is chaos.
  • You can cook healthy meals on a tight budget. Baked beans are full of protein and cost less than a quid. Don’t think you have to have loads of money to feed your kids well.
  • Snuggles in bed are the best.
  • Children will say anything in front of anyone. Watch what you tell them.
  • Whatever toys your child has, they will always want what somebody else has got. Even if it’s identical.
  • The library is free + fun. Use it.
  • The park is free + fun. Use it.
  • The beach is free + fun. Use it.
  • The Museum is free + fun. Use it.
  • Teach your kids about kindness and sharing from the get go.
  • Just because your child is tired, does not mean they will sleep.
  • Your child may be an angel, but sometimes, just sometimes, they might be the one to start a fight.
  • A gummy kiss from your baby is a legal high.
  • A tiny newborns hand wrapped around your finger is beautiful.
  • If you have a no smoking rule around your kids, be strict with smokers.
  • Don’t be smug.
  • Do your research.
  • Friends without kids will compare having a pet to having a child, try to contain your hysteria.
  • No matter how much time you spend alone, or even if you have a partner working away, you are NOT a single parent. Do not even try to compare yourself.
  • Post natal night sweats are very real. You will need to change your bed daily until they pass.
  • Pregnancy piles are a thing.
  • Pregnancy varicose veins in the faff are a real thing.
  • Your body won’t be the same but it’s done something unbelievable. How could it?
  • Strangers will try to touch your bump. If that’s not ok, and why should it be, don’t be afraid to say.
  • Strangers will try to touch your baby. If you’re happy with it, fine. Don’t be polite about it if you are uncomfortable.
  • Be prepared to show the midwife your faff. They want to know it’s ok. It might look like something from a horror film but that’s normal.
  • Morning sickness can last all day and all night. A pack of polo’s is your best friend.
  • Episiotomy scars ache for years but especially during periods, long bouts of standing or being out in the cold.
  • The placenta is a bit gross.
  • Your newborn is pretty elastic. You will not break them.
  • Your newborn will sleep for what feels like weeks. Enjoy it. It soon flips to ‘never sleeps’.
  • You might get a bit flatulent.
  • Children make up really boring stories and bad jokes. It’s cute, mostly.
  • ‘Boys will be boys’ is lazy parenting that perpetuates the idea that bad behaviour is acceptable.
  • There are no boys/girls toys. There are just toys.
  • ‘Girls can’t/shouldn’t’ is damaging. We can do whatever we want.
  • ‘Hit them back’ isn’t the answer.
  • Other kids will be mean to your kid. Resist the urge to dropkick the little f*cker out of the atmosphere.
  • Boys cry. It’s good for them. Don’t squash their feelings into balls of rage.
  • Loss of confidence seems par for the course.
  • Loss of inhibitions seems par for the course.
  • Just because you conceived/had successful IVF before does not mean you can do it again. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have no right to grieve over that.
  • There are many types of ‘Mum’.
  • Friends & family will struggle to conceive. No matter how happy they are for you, they are still heartbroken. Tread lightly. Offer a safe space to talk if they want to.
  • Friends & family will suffer miscarriage/stillbirth. No matter how happy they are for you, they are still heartbroken. Tread lightly. Offer a safe space to talk if they want to.
  • The baby blues are real. If it lasts more than a week, talk to someone.
  • If your partner isn’t supporting you, tell them. It may be that they don’t know how. Talk. Explain. But don’t settle for laziness.
  • You will imagine a million scary scenarios involving your child. Calm down. Breathe. They’re fine.
  • No child has ever come a cropper from being left to cry by a parent who’s had enough. Better to step back for a few minutes than persist when you are both in a state of distress.
  • Post natal constipation is common.
  • Skin to skin contact is bliss.
  • Nobody can describe parenthood to you and even if they did, you wouldn’t believe them. You cannot fully comprehend it until you’ve experienced it.
  • If any other person caused you the same level of distress, trauma and physical pain & exhaustion that you go through in childbirth, you’d have them arrested.
  • You will go to desperate lengths to help relieve your baby of a snotty nose that prevents them from sleeping, including sucking the snot out yourself. Yup.
  • There will be times when you think your child doesn’t like you. They do. You are their world. If this feeling occurs more often than not, talk to somebody.
  • Don’t be afraid to call the doctor or 111, your instincts are strong. Listen to them.
  • Teach your child their name and address.
  • Teach your child how to dial 999 and when to use it.
  • Make sure your child knows the Police are their friend.
  • Sometimes children have their own issues. Don’t ignore it. Get them help.
  • Not all children can do what is ‘expected’ of them. Be patient.
  • We all make wrong decisions.
  • We all shout at our kids and feel like ‘sh*t’ afterwards.
  • You and your partner, if you have one, will argue more than before. It’s tricky adjusting to life with kids. Talk and be patient with one another.
  • It’s ok to have bad days. We all do.
  • There’s no such thing as the perfect child or parent.
  • Let your children get dirty.
  • Let your children explore
  • Get outside.
  • There is no secret to parenting. It’s hard work, a lot of guessing and tons of patience. All we can do is hope for the best.
  • You only get this chance once. Enjoy the wild ride.

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