5 Things no-one told you about being a parent

When I was little, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It wasn’t a teacher or a doctor or a vet. I wanted to be a Mom. It took me a long time to grow up having had my first, and so far only, child at the age of 35.

I made a conscious decision not to read a lot of parenting books while I was pregnant. I did a lot of surfing instead. The internet type. And at one stage I was heavily addicted to Pintrest. I chose to write about my experiences of pregnancy and kept a blog throughout. But in that short time, nothing prepared me for what was about to happen.

1. It’s not hard work…it’s the toughest job you’ll EVER have.

“No one ever told me that its not always moon shine and roses, they did tell me that its hard work with lots of tears and laughter and definitely worth the adventure!” Melissa van Rensburg

Agreed. It’s an adventure all right. It’s like navigating the seven seas without a compass. Or a map!ID-10067132

Being a parent is the toughest job in the world. Your ‘boss’ or ‘slave driver’ as we call him in our house, has the communication skills of a nit. It would be easier communicating with plankton. After you’ve covered the three-basis (nappy, food, sleep) at 3am and your boss is still crying, you basically wing it. It’s really tough communicating with someone who has no idea what a syllable is, never mind a coherent sentence.

2. Your energy supply is boundless.

“I have 5 kids. No one told me it would be sooo hectic, yet loving, caring, forgiving and eternal. I love them all.” Kathuar Cassiem

Hectic doesn’t even begin to describe being a parent. I’m in awe of anyone who has more than one.

And to anyone doing it alone, I salute you!

Whether you have one child or half-a-dozen, you will call upon your reserve energy supply countless times during the day. Who needs breakfast when you know you can survive on three raisins and a half chewed biscuit until noon. As long as your child eats you really couldn’t give a sausage about anything else. You will find the energy to get through the day and find a little extra when they’re tucked up in bed to mend a stuffed toy, bake a cake or make sure they have clean clothes for the next day. If you’re really lucky you might get to do all three!

3. Crying is a good thing.

“No one told me my little boy wouldn’t experience separation anxiety. He’s 9 months old now but he still doesn’t cry when I leave him. And I want him to! LOL” Zan Lee Kan

While I’d never advocate making a child cry on purpose, I will admit that when my child cries just because I’ve left the room, my heart kindda melts.

What I’m really trying to say is that it’s okay for us, as parents, to cry a little too. I once cried as my little one cried because I was at the end of my rope. I had no idea why he was crying! And while I sobbed my heart out for what must’ve been 10 full minutes, my little one not only stopped but had fallen asleep to the sound of my wailing. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do it right. You don’t even need to get dressed if you don’t feel like it. But you do need to show up. Everyday. You have to be present to be a parent.

4. The little things always surprise you.

“No-one told me watching my baby sing for the first time, in baby language, would bring me to tears” Tiffany White (Mom to 8mth old Zaya)

Agreed. You will constantly be amazed at the miracle that is your child.LS021253

Even if it’s with something as trivial as knowing what the remote control for the garage door does. Or that dog food isn’t the same as human food. You will bore your friends and family with Facebook updates about the little milestones reached. We spent 20 minutes yesterday looking at our sons feet because we’re pretty sure he grew overnight, my husband took great delight in the fact that my son has inherited his feet but my “freakishly large big toe.” You will look at your child in wonderment and be in awe of how lucky you really are.

 5. You inherit animal instincts.

“No-one told me that it can be hard and heart wrenching at times but so full of rewards with the littlest things.” Kyara Bergstrom

So true! The instinctive need to protect those closest to you increases the minute you become a parent. And not only to protect yours but any child within a 1,000mile radius!

Ask a parent how they’d deal with a threat towards their child and I can almost guarantee that most would be willing to do jail time if it meant keeping said child out of harms way. The same can be said for you local primary school bully or nursery school ‘biter’. We become Mamma Bears on honey-crack! I’m almost 37yrs old and I know that my own parents would stick up for me, protect me and keep me from harms way.

When you become a parent you become one for life. There is no going back. You will forget about your own needs and focus on the needs of your child ten times over. I used to love (I mean LOVE) shopping before our son was born. Even browsing brought me joy. Now? Well lets’ just say that the only person in our house that eats Woolies food, has a social calendar and a wardrobe that Kanye West would be jealous of is our son!

Authors Note:

Thank-you to all those parents who contributed to this article via our Facebook page.

Images courtesy  of cloudfront.net and freedigitalimages.net.

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