Stuff I have learnt since becoming a parent. This is not a definitive list. But only because they are not teenagers yet.
You won’t remember anything in the early years.
Your own name, your child’s name, which day of the week it is, the last time you had a full night’s sleep or the last time sat down to eat without a child on your lap. You definitely won’t remember the last time you visited the bathroom alone. Make a list. Make lots of lists. You will need them.
They just do. Usually it is For Your Own Good. They tell you it won’t hurt when it is going to hurt like hell. This will come into its own during the Heartbreak Years aka the teenage ones. They tell you it’s gorgeous when you suffer a disastrous haircut and end up looking like a brillo pad. They will swear blind to their vegetarian daughter it’s vegetable and not chicken soup.
On the outside they seem like strong, go-to people who always have the answer to everything and know the right thing to say at all times. But they’re not and they don’t. They’re only human with feelings of their very own who close the door and bawl after you’ve gone, despite waving you off cheerfully and telling you it’ll be alright.
They feel pain just like everyone else. Maybe more so. Sometimes people don’t realise this because mothers are so good at hiding it and putting on a brave face. And also maybe because they know what’s ahead, what is unavoidable and that sometimes you can run but you can’t hide.
About everything. They worry that their kids will be too warm, that they will be too cold. They worry about them going hungry or being left out. They worry that their kids might be worried about something because recent studies show worrying Is Not Good For You.
They fear the fear. There is no getting away from it. If pushed they will be hard pressed to tell you what that Fear actually is. But it usually revolves somewhere around the vicinity of their children.
Mothers have a sixth sense.
They are finely tuned experts at calling your bluff. This mostly always works because mothers are amazing like that. They have the knowledge. Knowing their offspring inside out is alwaysa given.
Mothers are always right.
This is a universal fact. Even when they might be slightly wrong. It saves a lot of hassle in the end if this is accepted from the get go.
The minute you make that cup of tea the one who is asleep will wake up. Guaranteed.
It might look exactly like the dinner they get in crèche but it will get pushed away because it “tastes funny”. Equally you can call it Nana’s dinner if you like but they won’t buy it.
Kids have an innate compulsion to keep your arse away from a seat, any seat, and if you do manage to park it, they will have you hopping off it before you can say “cat on a hot tin roof.”
Lastly but definitely not least, it does and will pass. Takes a few years though. Especially if you have a couple of kids in quick succession.