If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about parenting and that is that the advice you receive is guaranteed to be wrong for you. But you will still receive it by the bucket loads. All well meant and thoughtfully given – some of it is even useful as a test of your own thought processes.
But, and here’s the thing, there’s a parental conspiracy out there who hide stuff from you. It starts with the pain bit at birth (I’m not talking about the mother – that’s a given – but ever since the delivery room and not the snug bar has become the venue du jour for the father to be, he has been involved in pain-shared – mine was to have my hand squeezed so hard it resembled a hypodermic needle).
And from that point on the absences of truths that would actually give you a proper heads up on parenting simply keep on rolling in.
I’m sure it’s different for every parent but here are my
Ten things they failed to mention to me when I was about to become a parent
(or maybe that I missed because I was terrified)
1. The first labour doesn’t necessarily go on for hours so be prepared to become a dad in the cab/car/bus shelter (yes, I am that cheap).
2. As father to a daughter, it is not wrong that the first thought after delivery is ‘Oh crap, boyfriends’.
3. Do not place tea/coffee/other beverage near the changing mat and expect any jet of pee to miss it (only applies to boys).
4. You will eat your own body weight in second hand, already chewed food.
5. Small children cannot count so the terrible twos do not stop immediately they turn three.
6. Negotiating skills are in-built and they have yet to isolate and control that gene.
7. It will be a child psychologist who gives your child their first toy gun.
8. Parenting becomes progressively harder as children gain first freedom of movement, then freedom of expression. What starts out as power and responsibility gradually morphs into responsibility and no power. At an indeterminate point in the future the roles will be reversed and they become your parents; take advantage of the opportunities for payback.
9. Everything else in life can be ended; they have yet to do sale-or-return children.
10. There is no greater pleasure than being able to embarrass your children simply by entering a room.
But, and it is a biggie, the adjective that best describes the sheer bloody loveliness of being a dad (or mum) has yet to be devised.