Exhausted Parent

8 Things No One Tells You About Being a Parent

Becoming a parent is an amazing thing in and of itself. Suddenly, what seems like out of nowhere, you have this precious being that is relying on you for their every need. When you first find out you’re going to be a parent, you envision all of the amazing times ahead of you; cuddling a tiny newborn, pushing them on the swings, waving them off for their first day at school, the list goes on. But, there are lots of things people don’t tell you about becoming a parent. Things like how many nappies they will actually go through, or how much it really will break your heart when they get sick or hurt themselves. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the things that people fail to mention about becoming a parent – some heartwarming, some not so much.

You can wave goodbye to a social life

It’s so easy to judge parenting before you’ve had kids. It’s easy to think that you’ll be able to make time to go and see your friends or have a date night because you know you’ve got people around you that could babysit. But, the truth is, you simply won’t have time to have the social life you think you’re going to have. That’s not to say you’ll never go out or have an evening off, but you won’t be able to do everything you want to either. And, for the most part, it will be because you simply don’t want to. 

To start, having children is expensive, and their needs will always have to come first. And, with the cost of living in this day and age, all of the money you do have will need to be kept just in case your children need something. Secondly, as much as you might crave a social life, your children will become quite literally your whole world, and you simply won’t want to leave them, even if it is just for a few hours. Lastly, while the people around you might say they’d be happy to babysit, when it actually comes down to it, you might find that there aren’t as many willing people as you might have thought.

So, if you’ve got a baby on the way, make the most of your social life while you can!

You will worry about EVERYTHING

On some level you probably already know that you’re going to worry about your baby, but there’s a difference between knowing you will and actually worrying. Your baby will do something as simple as cough and a million different things will run through your head. You’ll find yourself googling so many things to try and calm your nerves like the difference between cradle cap and eczema or whether they’re hitting the milestones they should.

It never ends either. While a baby is fragile and you want to do everything you can to keep them safe and healthy, you still worry throughout their childhood too. Waving them off to school you’ll worry that they won’t make friends or might find it difficult to learn. Even when they’re a teenager you’ll find yourself worrying about where they are, if they’re making the right decisions, how they’ll do in their exams and why they haven’t texted back yet. Trust me when I say, you haven’t experienced worry like you will as a parent.

Your needs are a thing of the past

This one is also pretty much a given but again, I don’t think people realize how much until they actually become a parent. We’ve all heard and read posts from parents saying they haven’t had time to even brush their teeth that day and quickly made a snap judgment, but it’s completely true! Your entire focus will be around making sure your child is fed, clean, entertained, taught, dressed properly, and a million other things at the same time.

In fact, you’ll be so focused that you’ll realize one day how much you’ve been neglecting yourself, to the point where you may find yourself wondering when the last time you showered actually was. I wish I could give you a solution to this problem and all I can say is take any offers for help when you can get it, and make sure you’re going to bed at a decent time because when you wake up, it all needs to happen again.

They will make you smile every single day

Okay so the last three points have been more on the negative side of things, so let’s talk about the good things. It doesn’t matter if your children have misbehaved during the day, you will find yourself at some point or another, smiling at something they’ve said or done. Children are wonderful. They’re discovering the world more and more everyday and will ask some absolutely ridiculous questions from time to time. And, I promise you it will make you smile.

Even if you’re having the worst day ever. Things aren’t going right, your children haven’t listened to a word you said, and you’re just about ready to call it quits and go to bed, they’ll look at you and smile and again, you’ll find yourself smiling right back at them.

You’ll experience a whole new kind of love

They say that the love you have for your child is like no other, and there’s never been a more true statement. You know you’re going to love your kids, that’s a given, but the pure love you feel for your children almost hurts, but in a good way. Going back to the social life side of things, even when you do find a free moment to catch up with friends away from your children, you’ll find yourself thinking about them constantly, wondering if they are happy and okay. And, you’ll find yourself talking about them too and before you know it, you’ll have your phone out to show everyone your beautiful child, and so you should too.

All I can say is be ready if you’ve got a baby on the way because honestly, there’s absolutely no love like the love you have for your own children.

You’ve never actually felt pride like it before

Your child will astonish you in ways you can’t even imagine. One day, they’re a tiny newborn and then in the blink of an eye they’re walking, and then they’re talking, and then they’re going off for their first day at school. It all goes by so fast but there’s one thing that remains a constant, and that’s the pride you’ll feel when you witness them hitting all of these milestones. The first time they take a step, for example, you’ll find yourself welling up because they’ve achieved something so massive and at the same time, your baby is growing up.

Then comes the first time you see them accomplish something like playing a part in a school play or singing a solo with their choir. Nobody can prepare you for the joy, love and absolute pride you’ll feel watching your precious child take on the world. It really is an amazing feeling.

It’s going to be really, really hard

While having a child is a wonderful feeling and experience, there are going to be days that really do challenge you. Days where you don’t know how you’re going to cope any longer. There will be days where you feel like the worst parent on earth. There will be times where you feel like all you’ve done is tell your children off. Basically, it’s going to be difficult.

If there is one thing I can say is that those feelings will pass. You’re only human, and so is your child. You’re going to have bad days, but it’s not always going to be like that. In fact, just feeling those feelings shows that you’re a loving and caring parent that would do anything for their children, which should tell you that you’re doing an amazing job.

You will feel complete

Not everyone wants to be a parent, and that’s absolutely fine. But, for those of us that want to be parents, the one thing that we all have in common is that once your child (or children) have entered your life, you’ll truly feel complete. Sure, having a career, lots of money and a big house is great, but it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things. Your child will make you laugh, cry, and all of the emotions in between but when all is said and done, you’ll stand at their bedroom door at bedtime and you’ll know that if there’s something in your life you’ve done right, it’s your children.

So there we have it. Being a parent is far from easy, but it’s perhaps the most rewarding and joy filled thing you’ll ever do. And remember, if you ever find yourself doubting yourself as a parent, it simply means that you’re doing something right. I guess all I can say now is strap in and enjoy the ride!