So we asked The Huffington Post UK Parents Facebook followers to tell us exactly what they wished someone had told them before they started their own family.
1. You will know what is best for your family.
“I wish I had trusted that I knew what was right approach for my family. We did shared parental leave and we got some criticism when planning before baby - but we were right and it was spot on for our family. Wish I’d just believed in myself and not allowed other people’s views to bother me.”
2. You will need a clothes budget (for yourself).
“My whole body shape has changed and continues to do so as I am breastfeeding. I’m going to need a lot of new clothes but feel like I’m looking very frumpy while I wait for those changes to stop happening - droopy boobs, flat bum, squidgy tummy, wider hips.”
3. You will have a new appreciation of your body.
“I wish I’d known that it would help me to love my body. After spending my teenage years full of self-confidence issues, it didn’t matter how my body looked after giving birth, I was so proud of it for carrying and giving birth to my daughter.”
4. You didn’t appreciate your pelvic floor enough before you had children.
“Pelvic floor is never the same again and you need to go [to the toilet] more often because of it. Oh, and you can’t bounce on trampolines for as long as before.”
5. You will question your worth as a woman, but you shouldn’t.
“Having a caesarean, failing to breastfeed or not feeling that instant rush of love, doesn’t make you any less of a woman. And lying awake at night worrying about it is a waste of precious sleep time.”
6. You have more money and time now than you’ll ever know.
“Time and money before a baby. I wish I had realised how scarce both would become. Instead, now I perpetually feel a day late and a dollar short.”
7. You will be able to tolerate poo going everywhere.
“I wish I’d known that I could get baby poo in my hair without being sick as a result. That really is a valuable skill to have.”
8. You will be more confident than ever before.
“I wish I had known how much more confident I would become as a mum. Mama Bear grrrr!”
9. Life is not about you anymore.
“It will never be about you again. It’s all about them forever more. You don’t miss it until it is gone (sigh).”