“You’re the best parent in the world before you’re a parent.” Never was a truer word spoken. I don’t know about you, but before our little boy was born, I had all sorts of ludicrous ideas about what we were and weren’t going to do when the baby arrived. It’s hilarious how clueless I was when I look back and now when I hear parents-to-be say similar things, I nod and give them that ‘yeah…you just wait’ look. In no particular order, here are some of the things I swore I’d never do…but I do:
SNIFF MY BABY TO SEE IF HE NEEDS CHANGING
Yep, it’s the best way to know. I used to see parents hanging their children up while they took a whiff of their behind to see if a pit-stop was required – NEVER, I used to say. The sad truth is it’s the quickest way to know!
CHANGE OUR LIVES FOR THE BABY
Yeah, good one. Life changes; there’s no two ways around that! It’s not a bad thing though – I think we were really adamant on not letting a baby change what we do…turns out keeping a human alive is in fact a pretty full on job.
USE A BABY VOICE
Baby voices grate on me so much and I swore I’d never use one. When the baby arrived, some innate switch in my voice box was thrown and every time I speak to him it’s in this weird soft voice. I think it’d be even weirder if I just spoke to him normally. Oh god, I’m one of those people now.
LET MY CHILD MANIPULATE ME
Never did I think a 1 year old could be so manipulative. It’s hilarious. A child the size of my shin completely controls my emotions. With one face he can pretty much get what he wants and he totally knows it. Until you’re a parent, you can’t comprehend the Jedi mind power of a child.
TALK ABOUT SLEEP
I swear that I talk about sleeping for longer than I sleep. Not so much now, but in the early days I certainly spent a large proportion of my time talking about sleep to people who quite frankly couldn’t have cared less. Sorry.
Man, all that advice! You get hit from every angle as soon-to-be and new parents. I swore I’d keep my mouth shut, but sometimes I find myself giving out advice. It’s totally meant in the kindest way and I see why you get so much now!
MEASURE MY BABY’S PROGRESS
I’m not hugely competitive (I am) and I always told myself I’d never compare my child to other people’s. Of course you don’t mean to, but it’s inevitably going to happen. I don’t do it in a competitive way though; it’s more of a measure of progress way.
Being a parent is a hard job. I’ve done some hard ass jobs in the past where quitting or stopping hasn’t been an option. I thought I’d breeze the parenting resolve. That was of course until I actually had a child, who has the scream of a banshee. It still takes a lot for me to give in, but public places are my weakness. I hate seeming out of control so even though I said I’d never let the baby get his own way…sometimes he does.
CHANGE MY WAYS FOR ANYONE
This is the thing I feel most pressure on. I always said I’d do what I thought best and me and my wife would decide ourselves what’s right for the baby. It’s so hard though as there are massive pressures which influence you all the time. We’ve tried our best to stay true to ourselves, but as a new parent there are times where you really question yourself. I said I never would, but there have been times where I’ve changed what I’m doing because I don’t want to appear out of control or ignorant. Shame really.
START A PARENT BLOG OR INSTAGRAM
Hilarious. It’s ironic how one lunch with your pals mid-pregnancy can flip your views. I said I’d never do any other writing than educational stuff and look at what I do now – thanks Kate and Clo!