When you become a new parent, you sometimes can’t move for the advice that will bombard you from all directions. But oddly there are some truths that you might never be told but which are mighty useful to hear. Here you have some of the realities about becoming a parent gathered from the mums and dads at Galt HQ.

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  1. The amount of stuff you’ll need. There is no end to the amount of stuff or time saving contraptions you could buy to help you ‘be a better parent’. You’ll fall for way more of it than you ever imagined. It makes going out for a day to the park akin to packing for a three-week holiday. You’ll have cupboards stuffed with Tupperware (mostly lids with no matching bottom), a hundred odd socks and only single gloves
  2. Your camera phone might as well be glued to your hand. You’ll develop an obsession for taking pictures of your baby that will be so bad you’ll spend all day with them, taking a hundred photos, then spend the evening looking through them all again in a gooey heap on the sofa. Upgrade your phone’s memory now.
  3. Personal hygiene becomes less important. It’s amazing how things get re-prioritised in early parenthood. Forget about clean hair and shaven legs. Now it’s all about a decent anti-perspirant and dry shampoo. Pretend you’re on a camping holiday and don’t worry about it.
  4. Leaving on time. This doesn’t happen now, unless you’ve had military training or gave birth to robots. Just accept it and factor an extra 20 minutes for everything.
  5. You’ll be a slave to routines. No matter how free-spirited you think you’ll be as a parent, the thought of having a toddler who has missed their nap will bring you out in a cold sweat.  ‘Over tired’ is something to be feared and you’ll go to great lengths to avoid it.
  6. You’ll become a multitasking ninja – If you can’t multitask when you’re a parent, you’re doomed. Frankly what did you do with your time before you had children? You felt busy right? Ha, you never knew you had so much time! Some things that used to be important just won’t be anymore
  7. Me time. A distant memory. You have to go to the toilet to be alone and have ‘me time’ these days – see the point above about things that are ‘no longer important’. Take heart, when they’re teenagers they won’t want to be around you and back comes that ‘me time’!
  8. Tiger Mum/Dad – the insane feelings of love and protectiveness that wash over you are almost primeval and will take you by surprise. Like a grizzly bear with her cubs you’re not to be messed with when it comes to your children.
  9. Shopping and the ability to ‘browse’ – happy leisurely shopping or the even more indulgent browsing is replaced by panic buying. Or you might bottle it altogether and stick to the safety of online shopping so you don’t have to take small children to public shops at all. To paint a picture, shopping with a toddler is like taking a full grown goat into a supermarket
  10. Judgement and guilt – these will be your constant companions. You’ll judge and be judged in equal measure, however tolerant you might have been before. Guilt kicks in very early into parenthood, day one in fact when you struggle to change your first nappy or freak out at trimming new-born baby nails. Get used to these feelings, they take new forms but never really leave
  11. Everyone’s child is a ‘genius’ – competitive parenting is a grim reality. It’s all well and good being told to ignore it, but let’s be honest, it’ll be so much easier when you find that thing your child is better at than its peers! (This starts right at the beginning with whether your baby is putting on weight the quickest or getting teeth first).
  12. You’ll cry at everything. Where once you held it together, now you can’t get through 10 minutes of Children In Need and you’ll never watch Bambi again.
  13. It’s so much fun. The people who tell you this shouldn’t be dismissed as smug fantasists. Having a family is the most fun ever – sometimes it feels like only fleeting moments but they’re priceless life-time-memory sort of moments. Treasure them all


Posted in Childhood Development