Before you have children, it's easy to cast your eye over parents in the street and point fingers at who is doing it wrong. As soon as that stork flies away, however, you'll realise that most of those parents were actually doing a pretty good job. By your baby's first birthday, you'll probably have done most of the things you swore you'd never do. Don't worry though, you won't remember doing them, you'll probably be half asleep at the time.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #1: Obsess Over Poo
Nobody wants to become that mother talking endlessly about poo, asking questions about other baby's poo, and googling “help, my baby's poo is green” at 3am on a Saturday morning. And yet, here you are. You will spend at least a few months of your life obsessing over poo, and probably talking about it too much, but don't worry, it will pass (pardon the pun). Eventually.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #2: Leave The House Looking Like That
Yuk, those women who just completely let themselves go when they have babies, they're just so… normal. Leaving the house with a newborn baby is like running (with your boobs out) through treacle whilst attempting to dodge all manner of bodily fluids with the intention of being somewhere at a certain time. It's not easy. Even if you have the energy to get all dolled up, chances are you'll be coated in vomit, snot and urine by the time you reach your destination. Oh, and, in case you don't know, “all dolled up” is mamma speak for “showered”.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #3: Give Your Child A Dummy / Pacifier
Tut tut. Dummies. Such lazy parenting. I mean, just look after your child alre…. Oh wait, my baby has been crying for hours at a time every evening for a week, give me a dummy NOW. It's easy to judge dummies until you're the parent stuck at home with the screaming baby. And then, it's hard to understand why anyone doesn't have dummies.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #4: Clean The Dummy / Pacifier With Your Mouth
Now that you've given in and bought a dummy, you can get extra points by cleaning that dummy with your mouth. In your pre-motherhood days (the days of bubble baths, listening to music on headphones and going to wine bars), you probably looked down your nose at the mothers you saw picking up dummies off the street, and popping them in their mouth to clean them. But this is your child, and his dummy, and you know for a fact that if he doesn't get it back immediately he's going to start crying. And you had a spare one, but he threw that one the floor of the bus. And yes, putting a dirty dummy in your mouth is probably a bit grim, but there was baby sick in your mouth just a couple of hours ago so it's hardly a paradise island in there.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #5: Become A Baby Bore
There are a few reasons that parents become baby bores. Firstly, parenting is more than a full time job, so it's hard to fit in ‘think of interesting conversational gems' and ‘immersing self in activities other than parenthood'. The second, and most important, reason is that your kids are amazing and wonderful and who wouldn't want to hear about them? Seriously, hands up. Who?
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #6: Text Friends During Night Feeds
Your child-free friends may be getting somewhat sick of the texts you are sending during night feeds. In your defence, however, it's hard to keep track of the time when you are existing on no sleep. And, sometimes it helps to give people the intimate details of any breastfeeding problems you may be experiencing. Since when do cracked, bleeding nipples count as too much information?!
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #7: Spam Facebook With Baby Photos
Isn't it annoying when one of your Facebook friends has a baby? All of a sudden your newsfeed is filled with hundreds of images of a baby in a variety of locations, outfits and visitor's arms – but on each photo, the baby looks exactly the same, asleep. There's only so many times you can like those posts out of politeness, and eventually, you will have to press hide. And you swore to yourself that you wouldn't be one of those parents. You would post only occasional and rare photographs of your offspring. But then you had offspring and, well, they were just so darn cute. How can you be expected to choose your favourite out of those photos? Just share them all, that way people don't miss out…
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #8: Let The Baby Sleep In Your Bed
If co-sleeping is your idea of hell, you'll probably be particularly annoyed with yourself the first time you invite the baby into your bed. Or, maybe, you'll be too tired to care. Either way, it's going to happen. That little bundle of joy is going to wriggle her way into your bed at some point. Safe co-sleeping guidelines here.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #9: Sniff Your Baby's Crotch In Public
This is, admittedly, quite grim. Both the baby and the parent are the loser in this scenario. Is it worse to be the offensive crotch sniffer, or to be lifted up in public and sniffed? Who knows, but just know that you will do it. For the first few weeks, perhaps, you'll toddle off to the restroom to check, because you care about your baby's dignity. But then, quite simply, you'll get sick of getting up all the time, and then you'll become a public crotch sniffer.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #10: Be Late
It's all too easy to judge tardiness when you've simply had to pick up your bank card and your keys before swanning out of the door. But when you have to pack a changing bag, change your outfit (sick), change your baby's outfit (poo), feed your baby, look for your keys (in the fridge – so tired), change another nappy (massive wee), change your outfit (snot bubble) and feed your baby again before leaving, you might be a bit more sympathetic. And late, obviously, you'll be very late.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #11: Call Your Partner Daddy In Public
The first few times you say it, you will probably feel a bit awkward and unnatural. But then the tiredness and the baby brain will kick in, and you'll have forgotten his name anyway and be thankful for a generic title to address him by. Pretty soon, you'll find yourself calling him ‘Daddy' when the baby isn't even there, then you've got a problem.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #12: Narrate Everything
Before kids, this is just a very annoying habit you have to endure on train journeys. “Oh look, a river. Look, some sheep, baaaaaaa. Wow, did you see that big truck?” Now, however, it's the best way to ensure your child grows to be a genius, and so you will narrate everything you pass all day long in the hope that one day, she will have amazing language skills.
Things You Swore You’d Never Do As A Parent #13: Make Mistakes
It's actually much easier than you'd think to accidentally knock your baby's head against a doorframe (oops), drop your iphone on his head (oops) or stand on his hand (…oops). All parents make mistakes, just don't tell any of those judgemental child-free friends of yours and you'll be fine.