22 things you think you won't do as a parent

22 things you think you won't do as a parent

…But almost certainly will

It’s impossible to understand the full reality of caring for a tiny human 24/7 until you experience it. No matter the meticulous planning and organising, nobody can be mentally prepared for the changes a baby brings. All of that said, during pregnancy and even before, it’s natural to imagine what life as a family will be like. You might think about what you’ll do with your time together and what your day with a baby will look like, as well as big things like whether you’ll have a boy or a girl and what you’ll name your little one.

The other thing many of us do -- in fact, it’s arguably impossible not to -- is look at how other people parent their children. Friends or family members will talk about their baby: patterns, proud moments and parenting woes -- and it’s normal to think about how you might handle these things when you have your own little one.

And as you prepare for your baby’s arrival, you’ll likely read an encyclopedia's worth of parenting information and advice, from creating routines to sleep and feeding guides. These will naturally shape your opinions on parenting styles and help you feel as though you are prepared and ready.

Now, if you’re reading this after your baby has arrived, you’ll have realised the last sentence is a big laughing lie, as you can never really be ready. And if you’re reading this before the birth of your little one, maybe try to prepare yourself for the reality of NOT really being prepared at all!

We’re not saying you’ll do all of the things on this list...but we’re confident you’ll tick a fair few. No matter how you thought you’d parent in theory, the reality of a demanding baby is almost always very different. The things we quietly believed we’d never do may well become some of the things we have to embrace in order to survive... 

Things you think you’ll never do with your baby

  1. Use the telly to virtually babysit so you can get anything at all done or just switch off and rest. Baby TV? CBeebies? Kids YouTube? Yes please, bring it on!
  2. End up getting sucked in to said channels yourself… particularly the songs… which remain stuck in your head all day.
  3. Leave the house with unbrushed hair and stained clothes.
  4. Bore people with photos of your baby.
  5. Co-sleep.
  6. Struggle to get any sort of order or pattern to your day… but the day you finally do...
  7. Be forever ruled by your baby’s routine and live your life around it.
  8. Sing in public to stop tiny tears (and maybe even dance if the situation calls for it).
  9. Lose all patience on a regular basis.
  10. Obsess over baby milestones.
  11. Complain continuously about the lack of sleep (you just didn’t know how hard it could be!).
  12. Let your house be taken over by toys.
  13. Lose hours online searching for solutions to baby sleep issues… when you should actually be sleeping yourself.
  14. Resent mums with amazingly sleeping babies (but in your defence only if they show-off about it).
  15. Spend silly amounts on baby gadgets -- anything that might help make life a little easier.
  16. Drive around in the car to get them to sleep. At night. In your pyjamas.
  17. Creep around in silence once your baby is finally asleep. Yes, you’ve tried making noise as normal and it DIDN’T WORK!
  18. Spend half your weekly food budget on baby friendly snacks.
  19. Whisk them to the Doctor for every little niggle (this usually passes by the end of the first year, and definitely by the second child).
  20. Buy expert parenting books – but feel too tired either to read them or implement their suggestions.
  21. Feel beyond ready for bed at 9 p.m. and fall asleep on the sofa anytime you attempt to stay up later.
  22. Realise it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or what other parents do. Doing what works for you and your baby is the only path you need to take.

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