1. Getting a baby to sleep through the night is only half the story. Actually, make that a tenth. What follows is harder, less predictable and more challenging than even Gina Ford can tell you. Nope, apparently it’s not over when the fat baby sleeps. Sorry folks.
2. You will become an instant graduate in Advanced Multi-tasking. Overnight, you will be able to wash, blow-dry and straighten your hair in 12 minutes. Whilst pouring a bowl of Rice Krispies, dressing a two year old and mediating a sibling clash. You do not need one hour to do your hair as a relaxing, solitary activity. And you won’t miss this you-time at all. Not one little bit. Who am I kidding? The truth…? You’ll probably never straighten your hair again and buy a crate of Batiste instead.
3. Patience can be learned and practiced. As long as the following environmental factors are in place: 8 hours sleep, wine and a full time nanny.
4. Motherhood can bring on a mild form of Tourette’s. Mainly aimed at your kids. But can also be directed at complete strangers if they are doing any of the following things: chewing gum loudly, getting in your personal space and wasting your time (this list is not exhaustive).
5. You will never again be able to control everything. Most days you will struggle to control anything. Eventually, you’ll admit defeat and give up trying. This is called ‘The End.’
6. You will suddenly be able to explain your way out of any situation. A skill born out of having to explain everything to a small, very intrusive person who has absolutely no regard for your privacy. This can be particularly useful when you’re a) late for work b) late for a deadline c) late for anything. Just beware of any excuses, which involve fairies or trolls. Adults usually see through these ones.
7. You will not really do anything differently to your own parents. You will try. You will think that you are. Then you’ll hear your mother’s voice and that really irritating phrase, ‘I’m not telling you again.’ And realise that the irritating voice is, in fact, yours.
8. You will feel your child’s sadness and pain as if it were your own. It can make you want to harm the perpetrator, even if this is your other half. Whilst this is completely natural, it is very dangerous if combined with a) lack of sleep b) hormones c) Tourette’s.
9. You will sometimes do the washing at 4.00 AM. This is called ‘Using Your Time Effectively.’ Or, ‘Finding The Only Slot In The Day When You are On Your Own And Able To Do Anything Remotely Productive’.
10. No one needs to go the toilet alone. You will learn that this is a fun team sport to be shared and enjoyed. Get used to it now. Poo in front of your partner. Leave the cubicle door open at work. And when you’re comfortable with that, you’re ready.
Welcome to Motherhood.
It’s every bit as fabulous as it sounds.