34 Things That Will Happen To You As A Parent

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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.

19. You will cry at a sad bit of an animated film. “No, Mummy just has dust in her eye….” SNIFF!

20. You get stuck navigating your way around a soft play centre. Those tiny holes the kids climb through are no friend of yours. You’ll also gaze enviously at the parents who have older kids that don’t need constant supervision – those parents with their wifi and coffee. Grrr.

21. You have a secret eat of some chocolate or sweets in the kitchen while your child is elsewhere. “What’s that? No, Mummy’s eating a grape! Mmm yummy grape!”

22. You find yourself humming the theme tune to The Tweenies while you’re at work.

23. A friend-slash-relative will buy your child Play Doh and you will curse them under your breath, as you picture it being trodden into your rug.

24. Your child will stop taking afternoon naps and you’ll weep silently into a cushion as you realise what this means. Less time to watch Gossip Girl on Netflix.

The Pre-School Years

25. Your child will say something to their pre-school teacher / nursery key worker which will embarrass you. eg. “Mummy got out of bed this morning and she wasn’t wearing any knickers!”

26. You’ll still be working your way through the cotton wool and baby wipes that you bulk-bought four years earlier.

27. You find yourself becoming a walking-talking parent cliché, saying phrases like “I’m going to count to three….” and “I’m not going to tell you again…”

28. Your child develops a better social life than you. Four parties in one weekend? No problem for these crazy party animals. Go easy on the blackcurrant squash though, yeah?

29. Your house will slowly start to sink into the ground, under the weight of plastic tat from party bags and magazine freebies. Peppa Pig phones, bug hunting kits, hair clips, dinosaurs and more blowing bubbles than you could ever ever (ever) wish for.

30. You will hold a small baby all wrong and say: “I’ve totally forgotten how to hold one of these things!”

31. You’ll wait until your child has gone to bed before taking a large pile of scribbles artwork and filing it very carefully in the outside recycling bin. (Note: it’s very important you don’t get caught. Always do this in the dead of night, under a cloak of darkness. Or as it’s also known in this house: 7.30pm.)

32. Bribery will go from being frowned upon to being a way of life. Want your child to sit nicely? Bribe them with ice cream. Want your child to share? Bribe them with ice cream. Want your child to put their shoes on? Bribe them with ice cream. It’s the only way.

33. You’ll hear yourself being repeated back to you, as your child says phrases like “Oh DEAR Mummy. I’m not very happy with you” or “Would you like some tea? [pause] I’ll take that as a no…” and if you’re really lucky, your child will pick up Friends quotes you say regularly like “That’s not even a word!”

34. Your child will ask you to sniff their hands when they exit the bathroom. You’re pretty sure it’s because they’re proving they washed their hands. At least, you’re hoping that’s why…


34 things that happen to every parent

Now read… 36 things that happened if you were a teenage girl in the 1990s.

Image of hands: Shutterstock



  1. May 24, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    YES! To all of the above. You’ve basically nailed the last 5 years of my life!

  2. May 24, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    This is so funny! I used to have serious envy of those parents having coffees at soft play while I dragged my pregnant body through tunnels and up rigging after my three year old. Now my boy is almost four, I can sit down a bit more while he plays. Not for long though, as my little one will be walking before long and then it all starts again!

    Found myself nodding along to so much of this! 🙂

    Kelly x

  3. May 25, 2015 / 7:52 am

    So so true! Almost 6-years on and we are STILL working our way through the bulk buy of cotton wool. Made me chuckle.

  4. May 25, 2015 / 11:16 am

    I’m 14 weeks in with my son TJ and i still havent got use to the lack of sleep i feel like im in a permenant state of tiredness 🙂

  5. May 25, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Ohhhhh the stickers! Everywhere! I’ve given up now, even at 10 G has her room door covered in random peeling stickers. At least she puts them all in the same place now.

    Never had a problem with CBeebies presenters though, so my sanity is completely intact. Or still in the pre-thirty Beckham addiction phase, whichever way you look at it 😉

  6. May 25, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    Wilf has started saying recently ‘listen you have two options mummy’ and ‘I’m going to let you think about why that wasn’t good behabour’ I realise OMG this is what I sound like all the time! What about Andy hey? He’s defo the fittest cbeebies presenter! x

  7. May 25, 2015 / 7:27 pm

    haha, this is AMAZING Alison. YESSSS. The ice cream bribery has been in full shawing here: Bear has become a smarty pants to this. If i threaten no ice cream if he continues misbehaving, he now says ‘huh. well i don’t ice cream anymore mummy’ Grrrrrr. *Give me strength* is what i mutter under my breath- HOW cliche mama is that?! x

  8. May 25, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Ooh definitely with you on Mr Bloom, even my daughter now shouts out “mummy, here’s your favourite man” (aside from daddy obviously….)

  9. May 25, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    This made me smile a lot. I have done the newborn thing twice and my youngest is only 15 months yet I’ve STILL forgotten how to hold one of these!

  10. May 26, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Haha amazing! I always eat my lunch at 11am and always text people stupidly early forgetting they are probably still asleep! x

  11. May 26, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    Yes to every single point above! but no 30 especially made me laugh as I just did that yesterday! x

  12. May 26, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Oh Alison, this is brilliant! I can’t believe that all of these are relevant to me now, and the fact lunch is acceptable anytime after 11am now was unfathomable 5 years ago! xx

  13. May 26, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    Yes, yes yes! Except to the last one!! Does that really happen? Eeek, I don’t want Milin to grow up! X

  14. Lady Chappers
    May 26, 2015 / 11:04 pm

    I still don’t understand:
    A) what do babies wear? Is a vest the same as a short-sleeved body suit? Is a long-sleeved body suit the same as a sleep suit? What do they wear when? How can this feel so confusing?!?!?!
    B) why a large bump makes people think they can engage me in conversation. I’m still a Londoner dontcha know? I still continue to view your unsolicited niceties as highly suspicious!

  15. May 27, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    Love this post…can already related to some of the baby points and our baby hasn’t even arrived yet! I’m already miss old self and cannot believe I ever said I was tired before now! I’m completely knackered without the sleepless (minus four hundred pee breaks) nights! Eek…this baby lark is scary stuff! x

  16. May 28, 2015 / 11:19 am

    Ha ha! So much to look forward to then?! x

  17. May 29, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Ha ha brilliant! The amount of times I have text/called a friend only to realise it’s at crazy o’clock hour is unreal. I am now banned from calling friends without children before midday! x

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