1. There are no sick days. There are no mental health days. You are on duty 24/7.
2. Kids go to school/playgroup/playdate and come home with a plethora of lovely germs, which they kindly pass on to you! I refer you back, however, to point #1: there are no sick days. While they get over it in 2 days because they are resilient young little things, you slog around the house for a week. And if you’re a Dad, you slog around for a week, bemoaning your fate… Sorry Dads but it’s true.
3. You have to be prepared to do battle. We were once at a family restaurant (any restaurant with high chairs, colouring books and crayons for the wee ones is a family restaurant. Don’t like it? Go somewhere else. We don’t need you to give us the stinkeye just because a child hiccuped) when some twit in the next booth, eating by himself and yakking loudly on his cell phone, demanded that we keep our child quiet. The irony was that she had laughed. Out loud. For SHAME! I didn’t do battle because I was so utterly shocked – to that point, people in FAMILY RESTAURANTS had proven to be very friendly towards our dear one. I regretted not doing battle and to this day, ruminate over what I might have said had I had my battle hat on. Watch out the next twit who says anything to me: Mama bear is ready.
4. You have to carry so much crap around ‘in case’ that you might as well pack a suitcase before leaving the house! I have yet to whittle down the diaper bag to a manageable size and whenever I try, I invariably forget the one thing that I end up needing.
5. You will be tempted to give advice to other mothers / mothers-to-be. Don’t. It will come back to haunt you. And never flaunt when your child does something so well because it is almost guaranteed that they will do the opposite the next time you meet the people to whom you bragged so boldly.
6. Here’s the really important one though: no one told me how much I would love this little person. No one told me that I would walk through fire for her without a second thought. No one told me that my life would be so altered by her arrival that I would not, 2 years on, be able to recognize my former self, even if I met her. Love it….