A couple of my friends have recently given birth. I have no intention of jumping on that particular bandwagon again, however the subject of new parenthood did cause me to hark back to that bewildering time in my own life.
Forget sleepless nights, weaning advice and potty training. Here are the things that I wish someone - anyone - had warned me about in advance...
1. From here on in, everything takes twice as long. Forget grabbing your coat and nipping to the corner shop for a pint of milk. This is now known as a military-style exercise. Prepare for the eventuality that, having spent 30 minutes grappling with small limbs and small clothes, you will realise, in the middle of the Co-op, that you have forgotten to change out of your own slippers.
2. Expect to be late for everything for the first six months (or in my case six years). This will not sit well with a) your boss b) elderly relatives and c) childless friends. Please refer to point 1 above.
3. Getting ready to go out is no longer an enjoyable part of the evening. If you are fortunate enough to possess a) sufficient energy and b) willing babysitters, you may wish to actually leave the house in the evening without the company of small people. The previously enjoyable process of choosing an outfit, applying make-up and (sigh) sipping an advance glass of chilled white is no longer an option. Instead, you must master the art of the 30-second shower, the 10-second clothes change and the application of mascara in a moving taxi. Please refer to point 2 above.
4. Retail therapy is no longer part of your repertoire. Saturday afternoon clothes shopping, in particular, is out of the question. Make friends with your Next Directory and, indeed, any other trustworthy internet or mail order clothing company. That's where you'll be shopping for the next decade.
|Make friends with mail order|
5. Your parents now have no interest in you, other than as chauffeuse for their grandchildren. If you receive a cursory "hello" and "goodbye" as you arrive and depart then you're doing well.
On the plus side, you are about to discover an amazingly versatile household staple in the form of baby wipes. Ten years on and we're still finding uses for them in Average Towers. However did I survive without them?
What do you wish people had told you in advance about parenthood? Leave a comment and let me know!