Everyone knows about sleepless nights and how having a baby propels you into growing up, the financial changes and the sacrifices we make for our children. We are told and told again so we can prepare ourselves but in becoming a parent I learned there are in fact many things people do not tell you so I thought I would list some here.
When you become a parent you enter a new exclusive group. You will meet new people through play groups and suddenly finding yourself wanting to speak to people who you felt you had nothing in common with before simply because you both have babies. Your hobbies will change, your opinions will change and therefore your friend groups will change too so not all your new friends will even be parents. You will find yourself reconnecting with old friends too. Look forward to the hurdles of new amazing you friends you will make along your parenting journey.
But It will shock you who you will loose.
We all know that when becoming a parent you find out who your real friends are. I knew I would loose some people but what I wasn't prepared for was discovering who I would actually lose because its never quite who you think it might be and the discoveries might be painful but worthwhile in the long run.
Getting out the door is never simple
Leaving your house is no longer as simple as getting shoes, coat, phone, keys and leaving. Oh no. You have to make sure you have enough feeds, nappies and stuff for baby, set up the pushchair, get it out the front door without forgetting all your own stuff too. Then ofcourse get it all in the car. All whilst the child kicks up a huge fuss...probably. give yourself at least 10 minutes AFTER you think you have it all figured out because yess,you have forgotten something.
Spending money on yourself can sometimes come with a pang of guilt.
How very dare you buy yourself a new handbag, shoes or haircut when your child absolutely needs that really unnecessary ted baker outfit, the latest toy and a new pair of kickers. Its almost like some sort of imaginary judge is looming over you banging the hammer and yelling GUILTY everytime you treat yourself and not your little one, but don't worry you ARE allowed to pamper yourself...not that my reassurance will make Judge Baby go away. Sorry.
Becoming a parent will make or break your relationship no matter who you are.
You will forever be discovering new sides of each other for the rest of your lives and you will both change as people. You may find yourselves becoming almost unrecognizable. You will see the absolute best in each other but no matter how strong you are as a couple you will also see the absolute worst so I hope you are strong. Know when the bad times come you are no different to any other parents and these times that test us only make us stronger and more connected.
You will learn to count wealth in love and people and not money and belongings.
I'm not saying you will stop thinking about a big house and the latest gadgets and fashion, im just saying you will find something more important. Your top aims will no longer be success and being the best in terms of materialistic things but instead focusing on the love and health of your family and you will understand the true meaning of what it really means to have it all.
You will become more tolerant and understanding of other people.
As you begin to teach your child how to be a good person and life values you might find yourself learning a few things yourself. Your mind and body will change in ways you can't imagine when you become mum and therefore you judge less harshly on those around you as you learn your own struggles.
You will become opinionated
There will be a topic that just gets you heated whether its baby feeding, car seat safety, ear piercing, parenting styles or vaccinations and medical things. just remember everyone has different views and sometimes its just not worth falling out with a fellow parent over these things.
Time with your partner will be more enjoyable than it was before.
Going on dates and doing activities with your partner alone will become less now you have children but somehow that makes these moments all the more precious and all the things you enjoyed doing before now will mean so much more to you both and you will have much more fun. It is really important that you keep going on dates and dedicating time to each other. Remember you are not just parents but people with your own needs too.
You will find yourself doing things you didn't do before.
Picnics in pretty parks, walking around castles and museums, flying kites and visiting water parks and petting zoo's. Your never to young to enjoy the silly things in life and you will discover new fun things to do and new ways to keep your children entertained and you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy yourself.
Last of all, and the most hardest thing to write and the biggest change to happen is that whilst you will heal from the physical wounds of childbirth you will never health from the emotional wounds as long as you live.
When you have a child its like allowing your very own heart to walk around outside of your body. Over time the scars and pains will fade from the physical event but you will forever feel the emotions. Every anxiety and upset will somehow always find its way to being about your child. Every abduction, fire and car crash you read about in the paper will effect you in ways you never knew as you put yourself in those situations again and again in your head.
When your child fails, you fail, when your child loves you love but when your child hurts...you hurt a million times more. As your baby grows up you will miss the child they once were as you meet and love the person they become and you will wonder to yourself if it is really possible to miss a person who is with you right now. You will find yourself crying over the loss of your tiny baby yet greeting the toddler you are about to love even more than you did before.
Anything I've missed? feel free to add your own experiences into the comments :)