Until you become a parent, you really have no idea what to expect.
People will throw around lots of words to describe the experience, from “amazing” to “exhausting” to “rewarding unlike anything else.”
But that still won’t convey what it means to go from being a person who can do what you want, when you want, to suddenly having a child to look after, feed, clean and raise 24/7.
Or describe the process you will need to go through in order to go out to a restaurant again, which suddenly becomes complicated ten-fold. Think two hours of prep time, a babysitter and at least a week’s planning. It’s a different world.
Which isn’t to say parenting isn’t fantastic. Or that you’re not doing an incredible job, even when you least feel like it (like when you’re covered in sick, breast milk and the contents of your baby’s nappy, aka most weekday mornings).
Worry not - help is at hand. We’ve created series of videos asking parents for their top hacks and tricks for newbies and getting parents to give other parents their best parenting advice
This video asks parents how life has changed since becoming a parent, with answers that may surprise you.
“You don’t really realise how all-consuming it is,” says a mum-of-two, while another mum explains that she isn’t bowing to any pressure to be anything other than what she is:
“I’m not trying to reach any standard. I’m just doing my best,” she says.
While one mum said that having a baby initially made her feel isolated socially, another remarked on how the new arrival brought her family closer together than ever before.
Parenting is made up of lots of tiny moments, and when you’re a parent, you start to love all of them. Even the ones that are pretty disgusting.
If you think you won’t turn into one of those parents that wants to talk about how your baby feeds and poos all day, be prepared for everything to change.
“My focus now is much more around, you know, I get excited when he does a poo,” says one mum.
Because when you have a baby, things you never thought mattered suddenly do. And everything else doesn’t anymore. Which is why it is the most amazing, unexpected, exhausting and exhilarating experience in the world.