The Baby Years
1. You will feel more tired than you ever thought possible. More tired, in fact, than the time you stayed up all night queueing for Take That tickets when you were 16. More tired than the time you went out every night, drinking Bacardi Breezers, for a whole week, when you were 22.
2. You’ll get a four hour block of sleep and feel like a NEW PERSON and feel like you can take on THE WORLD.
3. You will feel judged for your choices: breast or bottle, routine or baby-led, co-sleeping or cot, purées or finger food, home-made or shop bought…. the list is endless.
4. But you will learn to block out any judgement. Just smile and breathe!
5. You will post baby spam on Facebook – even though you swore you’d never become that person.
6. In a matter of weeks, you’ll go from being confused and befuddled by vests, baby grows, nappies, breast pumps, nursing bras, Sudocrem, Jumperoos, Bumbos and buggies…. to being the biggest ever expert. In the whole world. You might even write a book on it all. Just because you can.
7. You will strike up conversations with strangers who have babies. She has a baby! We have so much in common! She might end up being by NBF!
8. You will discover a whole new world of guilt. Guilt about giving your baby formula milk, guilt about leaving your baby with a family member, guilt about giving your baby Calpol for the first time. You’ll look back on all of this stuff and wonder why you felt guilty. But at the time! Dying of actual guilt.
9. Your baby will have a massive nappy explosion at the worst possible time – usually just as you’re about to leave the house, or when you’ve just arrived at a friend’s house, or right in the middle of a Baby Sensory class. Oh and you’ll have forgotten to bring any baby wipes with you. So you’ll have to ask to borrow some from a friend. And you’ll feel like a fool.
10. You realise the hard way that a hangover and a baby don’t mix well. Would it be frowned upon to vom outside the church hall after a Sing ‘n’ Sign session? Oh and why is the CBeebies house so brightly coloured, even when you’re watching it wearing sunglasses?
The Toddler Years
11. Your child will do something amazing (count to 20, build a huge tower with peanut shells, moonwalk at eight months old…) and for a split second you’ll wonder: “Maybe my child is an actual GENIUS” before realising it was a fluke/something all kids can do.
12. You’ll text a friend before realising it’s 6.10am and chances are, since they don’t have a small child, you’ve probably just woken them up. Oopsie.
13. You will step on a Lego brick and discover a whole new world of pain. “FUUUUUU-n times.”
14. You find stickers everywhere. On your child. On you. On clothing that has been through the wash. On walls. On tables. On food. On the cat.
15. You will find the following positively applaud-worthy: urine in a potty, poo in the toilet, the eating of vegetables. Dark days.
16. You see any time after 11.15am as a suitable time for lunch. See also: 4.30pm and tea.
17. You start to develop a crush on CBeebies presenters. Hello Mr Bloom and Dr Ranj…
18. Your child will have a tantrum over at least three of the following: a t-shirt being the wrong colour, a banana being peeled for them, having to wear shoes to go outside, milk being poured on their cereal, having to go into the bath, having to come out of the bath, the fact you can’t fast forward live TV….