The 16 things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent.

So following on from my last blog I thought I’d look back further at the things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent. I’ve been a parent for over five years now (how?!) and whilst eye bags have become a permanent feature of my face and I can’t remember the last time I finished a cup of tea, being a mum is the best. Here are the 16 things I’ve learnt since becoming a parent…

Time flies.

It sounds cliché but seriously it does. One day you’re holding your newborn baby and wondering what the hell you’re supposed to be doing and the next you’re waiting patiently ticket-in-hand at Clarks getting their first pair of school shoes. Harley has a huge milestone coming up next year – he has to start taking the orange flavour of Calpol. Poor kid, he has no idea the level of disappointment that is coming his way.

When kids really like something they REALLY like it.

This goes for food, music and films. It really is possible to watch a film more than 100 times and in some cases watch the same scene a thousand times – we’ve watched the Let It Go scene from Frozen more times than I’ve watched episodes of Friends.

Do anything you possibly can to avoid a stomach bug within the first few months after giving birth.

I had norovirus when Harley was four weeks old and genuinely believed I would die. The stomach cramps were worse than labour.

Nothing really prepares you.

You can read all the books and attend all the classes but the only way you really learn is by doing. Nothing throws you into the deep end more than leaving hospital with a baby in a car seat and being told that it’s your responsibility to care for and raise them.

The big parenting secret is that nobody really knows what they’re doing.

It’s all guesswork really. Honestly. Others might look like they know what they’re doing but they’re just good at hiding it. Go with your instincts and you’ll be fine.

You could win a gold medal at the Ultimate Multitasker Championships.

Seriously the things you can get done before an 8.30am school run is actually technically impossible (eating toast whilst stimulanenously making breakfast for the kids, ironing the school uniform and packing their lunchbox all whilst watching some breakfast TV) but somehow it just happens.

You will stay up really late.

Mainly for the silence and also because it’s the only way you can get anything done. For me the time between the kids bedtime and mine is basically personal admin time when I catch-up on Whatsapp messages, watch Instagram Stories and binge-watch Netflix series.

Everything gets put into perspective.

For me it was genuinely like a switch. One day I realised that actually most of the little things I used to stress or worry about weren’t really the things I should be worrying about. Making sure that this tiny little person is safe, happy and healthy is everything, and anything else is secondary.

Kids love mess.

Now I’m not sure if this is the same for every child but my two love nothing more than to make a mess. I think they’re rebelling early. The only two sure-fire ways I’ve found to get them to help tidy up – 1. make a game of it and play the ‘Tidy Up’ song and 2. Bribery. Chocolate works every time.

It’s ok to want to be alone sometimes.

Time alone is like a currency between parents, if you can wangle an hour by yourself during the daytime then you’ve basically won the parenting lottery. Mine is mainly restricted to work (God I miss my lunch break – I’m on furlough at the moment), the supermarket or the twice-yearly trip to the hairdressers. But seriously a bit of time just to focus on your needs is a must – even if it’s just to sit in the car for 20 minutes and listen to something other than the Frozen 2 soundtrack.

You’ll never be bored.

Seriously I can’t remember a time when I was sat long enough to be bored. There’s always a missing doll to find or dirty nappy to change!

You’ll never get enough sleep.

You’ll always be tired even when they do sleep through the night. I don’t think there’s a reason for it, just a side effect of parenthood.

Oh how you’ll age.

Grey hairs, wrinkles and losing grip of ‘youth culture’. I actually found myself walking out of a sports shop last week complaining the music was too loud. For me though, the scariest moments come when I’m watching programmes like X Factor and The Voice and I realise that some of the contestants are closer in age to my children than my own. Eek.

There will be bad days.

Days when your plans don’t work out, when the kids will argue, when you want to scream into a pillow. But there will also be incredible days where you find yourself questioning how you got so lucky.

And finally, your kids give the best hugs.

Even if they’ve got sticky chocolate fingers. A hug from your children, especially an unprompted one, is genuinely one of the best moments of your day.

Is there anything else you’d add to the list? Let me know by commenting below..

The Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x

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