5 Things I Wish They’d Told Me at the Start

I was 25 when I had my daughter Ilia. Now, I know it’s not super young, but it was young enough, a year out of Uni there I was with a kid. Thing was, I was pretty sure I was all grown up, only I didn’t have an actual clue. Her first night I sat on the edge of the bed and fed her, wrapped her up and popped her into her crib, and then lay down to sleep for the first time in 3 days. An hour later and I was pacing the floor looking at this tiny wide eye not at all wanting to sleep newborn creature wondering why the hell it would not sleep and   where the hell I could take her back to. No one gave me much advice back so I’m going to give it to myself now…

  1. IT WILL GET EASIER. No brainer right?! No. It’s. Not. It’s really not when you’re absolutely exhausted and have no clue how to keep the house as tidy as you have to keep the house or how to make the baby sleep so you can make the perfect dinner or how to stop your nipples from feeling like they actually might fall off. In the very very early days you have no sense of perspective at all, and you don’t know that it does get easier, and if not exactly easier, it gets different. You’ll get used to your new reality and you’ll get good at it, you will.
  2. LEARN TO LET SOME THINGS GO. Chances are your house won’t ever be as tidy after kids as it was before kids. Kids are messy creatures, and people give them lots of plastic crap to mess the house up with. And even if you manage to pass the crap onto other unsuspecting parents, even wooden toys make a mess, even organic finger paints will end up on the walls, and everything takes a long time to tidy. So at the risk of sounding like a Frozen character, let it go.
  3. BING IS YOUR FRIEND. Bing and Sula are weird. Really strange. Kids’ TV in general is whack. Don’t over analyse it. Chances are you won’t, not when you’re sleep deprived off your tits. Sometimes it’s your friend, sometimes it’s needed. I manage to make all kinds of excuses about how educational Octonauts is and how much they language they’ve acquired from watching it, even though I’m pretty sure the educational value of Bing and Charlie and Lola is pretty negligible, when really it’s about my sanity – some screen time is a small price to pay for being able to eat breakfast or drink coffee, whilst it’s still hot.
  4. YOU WILL GET YOU BACK. Hands down, you won’t be the same. I’ve found having children the biggest game changer of all, and each child’s changed me even more. But you’ll learn to navigate parenthood, you’ll learn how to manage change and challenges like a pro and soon enough they won’t be constantly attached to you, and you’ll find that although you’re not the same person you were before, you wouldn’t swap the person you’ve become/are becoming for anything.
  5. THE DAYS ARE LONG, THE YEARS ARE SHORT. Someone posted this on my Instagram the other day, and it’s so so true. Watch out, you might even want to do it again. A few times…
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