Come on – we’re all guilty of it aren’t we? We can all hark back to “better times” and thought we knew it all about having kids. Face it – we said some stupid things before we became parents . It was a rose-tinted world where babies went to sleep when you thought they would and you got your body back to your pre-baby shape really quickly after giving birth and where you didn’t even know that heartburn would be your biggest enemy during pregnancy or CBeebies would be on all the bloody time. You made grand claims whilst sat around the pub (out past 7pm no doubt) or sloshing your wine drunkenly around in one of the novelty ‘one bottle’ wine glasses. Claims about how you would have kids someday and when you did this is what it will be like. I’d like to go back to the younger me in these situations and give her a hug because the poor, poor fool has no idea what’s to come. So to make you smile, here are the grand claims I might have made pre-children:
“Oh I won’t get pregnant for ages”
I was so sure that it would take ages to become pregnant. I had friends who had taken years sometimes to get there and I was under no illusion that at 34 I would get pregnant straight away. I thought it would be another year and I’d get loads of time to save money and prepare but no, 6 weeks after stopping birth control it happened like BAM! It felt very much like a surprise when we found out because even though we’d been trying I was still out at the pub the night before I found out I was pregnant. I’d spent years putting it off, choosing to prolong my youth just another year and then another and then when the pregnancy hormones hit you realise you have no time and it’s all happening way too quickly and you need to nest dammit. NEST NOW.
“I want a water birth!”
Ah the good old birth plan. A work of fiction in many respects. There’s lots of nice things that we all wanted in our birth plans isn’t there? I wanted David Bowie playing Life on Mars in the background whilst I meditated and breathed baby into the world and then maybe would have had a quick dip in the birthing pool and push her out whilst my husband gently mopped my brow with essential oils. Didn’t bloody happen did it? Nooooo…I learned that you can’t sit down when you’re in labour and all you want to do is SIT DOWN, especially if it’s 4am and you’ve not had any sleep because you’ve been in labour all day and night and you’re so tired by this point you start throwing up because of the adrenaline and then they can’t keep the IV drip in you so you have to abandon the birth suite and go and have the baby on the ward anyway and you scream “EPIDURAL NOW”. That.
“I will never let my kids watch Peppa Pig”
OH MY GOD! WHAT WAS I THINKING?? Without Peppa Pig how would I get anything done? The show has tamed a tantruming beast many times and provided hours of distraction that I’m not sure I could have coped with alone. My pre-kids me thought it was puerile and too commercial: “Peppa Pig World sounds horrible!” said pre-kids me with an air of arrogance, “It’s just a consumer-driven way to get money out of parents.” YES! TAKE MY MONEY AND DISTRACT MY KIDS PEPPA YOU BLOODY GODDESS. Also in this section should be my aversion to ‘In the Night Garden’, ‘Mr Tumble’ and ‘Lazy Town’. These days I’m all like “what’evs”. Is it fun to look at and does it make her smile? She can watch it AND I’ll buy the merchandise because of that smile.
P.S. Sometimes I find myself watching Justin’s House when she’s not even in the room because I can’t even be bothered to turn it over and I like it. Shhhhhhhhhhhh!
“We’ll still go out clubbing after the baby is here”
Clinging onto our youth with the tips of our fingernails, we really did believe that we could go out again after the baby arrives. I even had a night out planned at 6 weeks to go to a gig with my brother so that I could get used to being away from her for a couple of hours and practice expressing milk. I spent the whole time talking about being a mother to my bored bro and almost threw up after having a drag of his cigarette outside in the smoking area. It’s not go much better a couple of years later. We queued to get into a club in Brighton with some friends mindful that we had the babysitter until 12am so we started queuing at 11pm thinking we’d have a quick cheeky dance and then one of us would head back. We queued for 50 minutes and then I had to go and get a cab just as hubby and friends went in. WAAAAHHHHH. He tried not to show how much of good time he’d had when he got back later but he did. The lucky bastard.
Oh you poor baby. You poor thing. Awww yooo slweepy weepy? Hard day at the office? Bit tired after waking up at 9am on a Sunday? It’s OK, pre-baby me hadn’t had what has been effectively 22 months of sleep training by the this point. She couldn’t have a nap on the floor next to the cot for 15 minutes and find it refreshing or think closing her eyes whilst trying to deal with a mild wine hangover after wiping splattered Weetbix off of the patio windows is like being in spa. People helpfully tell you to “catch up on your sleep while you can” whilst pregnant and I always remembered looking at them thinking “Oh course I know I’m going to lose some sleep…I’m having a baby silly.” However I didn’t really know did I? If I did I would have prepared better for the journey ahead and maybe invested in one of these:
It’s fun to laugh but you can’t even tell a parent-to-be what’s to come because they’ll think you’re being a dick. You thought people telling you how it would be with kids was a dick move before you had kids, so you can’t break the cycle. Instead we have to let them spout their fancy ideals with the other consolation prize being able to wryly smile when a child-free friend tells you that they are pregnant but it won’t change who they are. Oh no – with them it will be different.