I didn't know best. I bought a frickin' awful pram, terrible car seat and could have done with listening to my mother-in-law about routine and discipline. You see, I have those children.
I always thought I would have obedient, pliable children who would sit and converse with adults in cafes in a charming way, who would use please and thank you and basically do as they were told but still be spunky and plucky. Hmm...
My sister is pregnant and any cautious pieces of advice are met with a polite stonewalling. I feel like shaking her by the lapels and screaming "I've been through the fire, damn it. It's a war out there with children and you need to know your enemy. I'm like a veteran of that war, hear me out!!!" Instead, I just chuckle and think 'Just you wait. Heh, heh, heh.'
Here are my top 5 things I wish I had known as a newbie parent.
- If you are even contemplating having more than one child, immediately buy a Phil & Ted's or similar. Otherwise you end up with just having to buy another pram after no.2 arrives. And a McClaren. Most of my friends and I have fine, expensive collections of prams. The worst thing that happens is that you can shove extra groceries or a friends toddler in the seating area of a stacked pram.
- Don't get too wedded to your birthing plan. The goddess of birth has a hilarious way of farting in your face if you assume all will proceed as planned. Whale music, schmale music.
- If someone offers to babysit - take up the offer! Short of the wicked witch from Hansel & Gretel babysitting I wish I had hurled my babies at more bystanders. An exhausted parent is not a joy to behold.
- Sometimes you should just give in. I did not want to co-sleep with my babies. My son wanted to sleep with his tiny face pressed against mine. We always started out with good intentions but ended up doing the dance of the seven beds where we would ricochet randomly into various bedrooms at night in search of sleep. I wish I had just given in at the beginning.
- Don't buy a 'diaper genie' (nappy bin). The room will just end up smelling of stale poo.
What are your top 5 hindsights?