Lay in bed last night with my 19 month old daughter doing the star fish in the middle of us I started to think of what I thought about parenthood before having children. I had so many preconceived ideas about parenthood that I was actually put off having any children. My teens were spent baby sitting for my nieces and nephews, each time their parents left I would clock watch, watching the time tick by till they come home so I could get on with doing what ever a teenager would do. I swore I would never have children so I never had that responsibility, then age 17 I found myself pregnant, my life changed forever, my opinions were never the same, my children became my life.
Before having children I would giggle at the parent in the supermarket who's child went all rigid, fighting, using every muscle in their tiny bodies to keep their body as stiff as a wooden board, stopping the parent from fastening them into the trolley. This fight could go on for a while and I would mutter to myself, never my child.
I then became a mum, only my child worked out the rigid baby trick only really works if they are being put into a pushchair, in a shopping trolley the stiff legs can easily be manoeuvred into the 2 square holes. My child has fine tuned her skill, so what has my child learn't? one leg in, one leg out! She knows that I can't hold her and get both feet into the holes at the same time, I get one leg in and she allows you to think you have the upper hand, just as you have the 2nd leg through the bars the 1st leg comes out again, making victory disappear from your grasp. This can go on for as long as my child has the energy(at 19 months she has lots of energy), I am fully aware people are looking, the same look I would give pre parenthood. I admit defeat, the only way around it is to never go shopping alone.
From the moment you become pregnant your life changes.
That pregnant lady that you see stroking her bump whilst out shopping is really trying to hold the weight off her bladder whilst she seeks out a clean public toilet.
That make up bag that you have spent way too much money on its contents lies untouched for months on end when your baby arrives, you know that it will take you one hour just to get the baby ready to go out and by then you are just too exhausted to care about make up.
That expensive perfume that you would douse yourself in before parenthood is replaced by the aroma of eau de baby, now eau de baby can vary in smell from baby talc to vomit depending on what kind of day you had.
Those fabulous full perky boobs that come a few days after delivery will disappear leaving lovely deflated, south facing boobs much to your husband disappointment, he never even got to play with them, because lets be honest just moving your arm against them damn well hurts when they are full of milk.
Then comes the co-sleeping, you will hear it over and over, "never share your bed with your baby or toddler" "you will make a rod for your own back". Now I know many mums who did co-sleep, it worked for them and their baby sleeps well without them now. I managed to go from baby no1-4 without sharing my bed, then along came little lady who had other ideas. It started out when she was a little under the weather one night, I brought her into bed for a cuddle, we both fell asleep. From that night her lovely cot bed has remained empty & my husband and I sleep with a star fish in bed with us, a star fish who has perfected the skill of waking us in the morning by either A. giving us a firm slap across the face or B sitting on our heads.
So before you snigger at that struggling mum in the supermarket, just think that could be you one day.