I feel like many parents portray an image of having their shit together all the time but being a parent is fucking hard, you don’t always know what to do, it’s not always fun, some things will drive you crazy or piss you off or break your heart or start world war three between you and your significant other.
We didn’t exactly plan on becoming parents at 22 but we spent every second from the moment we found out I was pregnant until Oscar was born trying to prepare, oh how naive we were! If we could go back in time we wouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to be ready. It’s hard, it tests your strength as individuals and as a couple. It’s tough to work as a team when the baby wakes up screaming for no apparent reason at 4am, it’s hard not to say “You haven’t done (whatever baby related task) in ages” just because you’re exhausted. Seeing the person you love be a great parent to the person you adore is amazing though!
- You can’t prepare to be a parent read all the books you want you’ll still be like what the fuck is going on at some stage!
- Patience, patience, patience (with each other especially) still haven’t mastered this part completely, especially when one of us is noisy when Oscars sleeping…
- You will argue in a baby voice – “Did mammy put your nappy on too loose?” “Is daddy so slow?”
- It doesn’t all come naturally it’s all a learning experience, but trust yourself!
- Cutting a baby’s fingernails is fucking terrifying, there is no room for error.
- Date night is important – refresh and return a better parent, take a break from the screaming and take time to be more than parents
- Never run out of baby wipes seriously, always have at least 10 packs around the house
- You will ask a screaming baby why they are screaming they won’t answer you but you’ll feel less crazy than internally screaming
- Babies are not just babies they are mini people they have huge personalities from the get go
- Even when the baby sleeps through the night you still don’t get sleep you’ll wake just to check they’re still breathing or to see them
Bonus thing we’ve learned – single parents are superheroes
If you have a baby you know these things too and even if you haven’t had a baby and are planning/expecting I promise there will be things you had no idea about too. It’s the most challenging job in the world but the small things feel like the biggest rewards.