This is a blog born out of sleep deprivation, which as any parent knows is something that happens frequently. When I was pregnant with Beansy 7 years ago, I wish I knew the following 8 tips for surviving, forewarned is forearmed and all that....
Who can remember pre-kids when you used to wallow in your bed at weekends reading the broadsheets, sipping coffee and watching Saturday Kitchen. This will NOT happen for a long, long time (7 years and counting) even if you go away for the weekend, your body clock will naturally wake you up at 7am. It's called Sods Law and is a frequent law of parenting.
2) Head Space
I can just about remember a time when I used to get bored, bored of doing everything and bored of doing nothing. You won't even get the head space to just "be" once you have kids. They will consume pretty much your every thought and try as you might to shake it away, it rarely happens.
I am the Queen of Routine. Prior to having kids I was just going to "go with the flow" but trial and error shows that my kids and me need the boundaries of a routine. They need to know that bedtime is 630pm the same way I need to know that 7pm is wine o'clock.
"Oh darling, let's go to Paris this weekend" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
I was never, ever a worrier. Now I worry. About a lot of things. Irrational things. Rational things. Things I have no control over are the worst (and being a parent has let me see that I can be a bit of a control freak which in itself has freaked me out)
Your relationship will change. As you embark on the path of parenthood, it will become apparent that you really need to work at your relationship. Especially when your children are so young, they quite rightly become the centre of both your lives and you find the focus moves from you as a couple, to you are parents. You must make time and effort if your relationship is to flourish.
7) Protective Gene
If anyone *dares* say anything about your kids in the negative (family/close friends aside) you will fume internally. Guaranteed. Even if they are right and you know they are. (or maybe that is just me?!). Equally, if another child hurts your child, you will rage. Again internally because it really wouldn't be cricket to thump the little lout who has just slammed your precious child's fingers in a door intentionally or stamped on them during a rugby scrum. IF you ever have the misfortune of having a child in hospital then this is the when the gene is at it's most powerful. You will also feel helpless.
Saving the best to last here...
You will be overcome with a love so strong, that it sometimes bowls you over. You can quite literally feel the invisible strings that bind your heart to your children's. They are the creation and being of you. You love everything about them and always will, even though you sometimes might not like them or their behaviour, you will love them eternally. They are the future and the future is as bright and shiny as a new penny. It is a wonderful and splendid thing. It is a life journey that will be tinged with success/failure/happiness/sorrow but once you have taken that first tentative step on the journey of parenthood, you won't be able, nor will you want to, step off.