We heard the horror stories and watched the Hollywood fairytales but nobody can really explain what it’s like to have your first child.
You cry more in the first few months than you have in your life
It’s impossible to prepare for the rush of emotions when that baby comes along and when you combine it with hormones and exhaustion, there’s only one result – tears, lots of them, all the time. Half the time you won’t even know why.
You’re convinced you’re doing everything wrong
Everything is new and and it’s impossible to stop you doubting yourself all the time. You think reading books and asking advice will help but sometimes, it just confuses you more.
You eventually learn to trust your own instincts
Once you get to know your little one and see that they’re healthy and happy, even when you accidentally put their nappy on backwards, you realise that you’ve got it under control. At least until they throw their next tantrum for absolutely no reason.
You realise how important your friends are
We all love our besties but it’s only when they offer to sit with your cranky newborn for a few hours so that you can get some sleep that you understand how truly lucky you are to have them. Then, the tears start again.
You have a whole newfound respect for your parents
Technically, we all know that our mother went through childbirth to bring us into the world and our parents worked every day to keep the show on the road but it’s only when you do it yourself that you realise the extent of it. Bonus points if they help out with the babysitting.
You will change your opinions
We all have certain ideas of how we will bring up our children but when you haven’t slept in 24 hours and the only thing that will calm your little one is Baby Genius on Netflix, you’ll be grabbing that remote faster than Usain Bolt.
Your social life will not be over
Are you going to be out clubbing a month after you come from the hospital? Probably not. However, you will make a return to the outside world eventually and in the meantime, Netflix and wine is a pretty good substitute. In moderation, of course.
You will have moments where you wonder if you made a massive mistake
After getting up for the sixth time in one night, you’ll fear that the sound of a baby’s cries will never leave your ears and, just for a second, if parenthood is all it’s cracked up to be. Then, you’ll look into the cot and realise that yes, it really is.
Doing the shop will become a weekly joy… if you leave the baby at home
If you have a partner at home to take over parenting duties, having a steady weekly appointment to get out of the house will become one the highlights of your existence. A quiet, peaceful stroll around the supermarket – bliss. Although you’ll probably panic once or twice and worry that you left the baby in the meat section.
You will develop an amazing tolerance to gross bodily fluids
Newborn babies don’t do a whole lot but they do throw up on you constantly and they do fill nappies constantly. Neither will phase you after about two days.
You will hate and love your partner more than you ever thought possible
The aforementioned lack of sleep and all the panicked confusion that a new baby brings will mean that you will fight with your partner over the tiniest of things when you’re having a bad day and think they are the greatest human ever created on a good day.
Your house will become a mess and you won’t even care
“Why haven’t I cleaned the sitting room? DID YOU NOT SEE THE SCREAMING BABY IN THE CORNER?”
It’s the best thing ever
Sleepless night? Endless stress? No time to eat, sleep or take a shower? Yep, all true. But being responsible for creating the cutest, funniest best kid ever? Priceless.