1. You are replaceable. No matter what you do as a Mommy, someone will always come in with a lolly pop and they will be more amazing. (This is after being recently told that it was ok if I didn’t hold her hand, and got knocked down, Nana would mind her.) Do not take offence to this, it’s just how it is.
2. Your bed is no longer your safe place. It will be taken over by the tiny ones, who need at least ¾ of it to be in any way comfortable. You will sleep uncomfortably on what’s left. It’s just not worth waking them. You will get over this, and eventually get used to it.
3. You no longer need sleep, in fact, the night you do get some, you will feel so horrifically hungover the next day and will regret ‘being sensible’ and not drinking that bottle of wine the previous night. You feel the same as if you had.
4. The tears of the tiny ones are the most powerful tool they have. No matter what they are crying over, you instantly feel like your heart is aching and you will do whatever it takes to make the wet things streaming down their face, stop.
5. Stop worrying about how much they are eating. A wise friend has drilled this into me. She is eating, be grateful for that. You will however continue to try and peel a grape if it means they will at least try it. (This is virtually impossible to do.)
6. They will get you when you are at your most vulnerable. It’s like they have an inbuilt intuition to manipulate you when you are at your weakest. This is a trait you may not appreciate now, but hope they carry with them in later life.
7. Elsa will become a part of your family. All dolls/action figures shall be named after her, and if you have any future children, male or female, the tiny ones will try to persuade you to call them after her. I would like to say this is just a phase, but chances are, 2 years later, it’s going to stick.
8. No one warns you during your decision to have a baby, or during pregnancy, just how incredible these tiny dictators are. They have the ability to turn any situation around, either by saying something hilarious after colouring on the walls “Batman did it!!” or when you are feeling a little bit sad “I love you because you made me in your tummy” (cue heart melt.)
9. You will no longer shop for yourself, but your tiny one will have the very best of what you can afford, as you look down at your trainers you bought on a wonderful, child free visit to New York back in 2002.
10. Learn to roll with the rollercoaster that is parenthood. No two days will ever be the same, and know that their personalities change like the Irish weather. They will make a liar out of you EVERY single day. “Oh she loves carrots, it’s the only veg she will eat” – as you turn around to see her retching as if they have just swallowed rat poison – on a carrot.
But honestly, parenthood is the most rewarding job I have ever done, and I wouldn’t change a single second of it (apart from the vomiting bugs, I would definitely question all parenting abilities during these tough times.)