Remember when you were pregnant with your first child and told yourself there was no way you'd turn into one of THOSE mums?
Well, guess what, you did!
Here are our Top 10 'You Swore You'd Never...'
1. Abandon your birth plan
You had it all sorted out with your midwife. But the experience of going through labour turned out to be the first important lesson of parenthood - what you thought would happen and how you believed you'd react are completely and utterly the opposite of the reality. So if you wrote down "I want every drug going" you surprised yourself by going it alone and if you wished to go "au naturel", you ended up assaulting the midwife for more pethadine.
2. Use TV to babysit the kids
Those conversations you had with your pregnant harem about the disgraceful amount of time your niece/nephew spends in front of the TV? How naïve you all were. Now, after yet another painful game of hide and seek, in which your tot hides behind the door 27 times in a row, you can't wait to stick on Thomas the Tank Engine. Worse, you even end up suggesting a bit of 'quiet time' with CBeebies because frankly, you need a cup of coffee. Also applies to the computer, PlayStation, Wii, iPad and iPhone, particularly during the school holidays and weekends.
3. Allow sweets and Fruit Shoots
You once said: "There is absolutely no way on this earth a boiled sticky lollipop/sugary drink will ever pass my child's lips." Well, guess what, they'll do anything for one and if that means they will sit down at the table, tidy up their room or sit nicely while Mummy quickly does some work, then you're not going to turn down that kind of opportunity, are you?
4. Go to McDonald's
Before you had kids, you'd wonder what kind of neglectful idiots took their offspring for a Happy Meal? Then you had either a) a hangover, b) a bellyful of cooking and you'll scream if you see another saucepan, c) a fussy eater who hasn't touched a hot meal for weeks, or d) a sick child whose eyes light up at the mention of a trip to the Drive Thru. Besides, they get fruit with it and a really rather good quality toy which will amuse them for ages.
5. Give in at the supermarket
You remember being appalled at the sight of screaming kids standing inside the trolley being pacified with doughnuts by a harassed mum. You thought 'my child will only ever sit in the trolley and if hungry, eat organic crudites'. Now you entice your lot to go to Tesco with the promise of a comic, some stickers, a DVD – anything just as long as they don't make a scene.
6. Let children wee in the street/talk in the library/kick the seat of the passenger in front on a plane.
Ha! As if anyone has any control over their child's bladders, mouths or legs.
7. Let yourself go
Have you seen the state of some mums pushing prams round town? Oh my God, they have greasy hair, no make up, last season's clothes and a windcheater! That's what we used to think.
Now we know how hard it is to do everything and look good. But it's because we spend every spare minute making sure our kids are presentable and happy. Who cares if we forgo a hair wash and sprinkle talc on our roots? It's actually quite amusing to think how much we preened ourselves before we had kids.
8. Bore everyone with kiddy talk
Before wehad kids, we had those friends who had a baby and they came over and spent the whole night talking about poo and fussing over the pram to check the baby was still alive every five seconds. Then they had the cheek to start yawning at half 9 just as we started showing them our amazing exotic adventure holiday snaps. And then they left, looking really smug and happy.
Now, that's you, that is.
9. Call your other half 'Daddy' in public
Look, it's only because we can't remember his name, these days.
10. Rugby tackle a teacher, like your mum used to do
Oh, the embarrassment of your mother spying one of your teachers in the street, cornering them and asking leading questions to find out 'how well' we were doing at school. But on reflection, you can totally see why they did it.
Our kids tell us nothing about what they do all day in the classroom; we only get to find out their progress in a five-minute once-a-term slot at parents' evening; and if they aren't meeting their potential then they'll end up on drugs and nick money from our purses.