Honestly, I had parenting absolutely nailed… until I actually had a baby.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think most of us have pretty clear ideas of what we’d do as a mummy or daddy. What we would allow. What our child will and won’t do.
Which is great, until you realise that your child totally didn’t get the memo.
Here are some of my pre-Sonny Jim parenting fallacies:
* The baby won’t be sleeping in our bed.
Yep. That worked really well until he was poorly. Until he started waking up at 4am. Until he started staying awake for hours in the middle of the night. Now, at least part of the night is often spent with a tiny, wriggly third wheel in our bed. It’s that or we just don’t sleep for nights on end. And, quite frankly, I need sleep.
* I won’t use food as a bribe.
Ha! It’s amazing the drama a couple of raisins can avert when you’re stuck in a queue in the supermarket. And it would be utter madness on my part to ever leave the house without a banana stashed in my handbag.
* My social life won’t change that much.
This was a much-repeated mantra while I was pregnant. And once you’re out of the proper newborn haze (if you have a supportive husband/family/friend network) it doesn’t HAVE to change. But I changed.
* I won’t talk to grown-ups like they’re toddlers.
This happens so much, I don’t even know I’m doing it any more. No I dooooon’ty don’ty don’t.
* I’ll only give my child Calpol if he’s really, really sick.
I had no idea – NO idea – just what hell on earth teething is. I have actually stockpiled Calpol. The thought of Sonny Jim cutting more teeth and having no Calpol in the middle of the night is enough to bring me out in an actual cold sweat…
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, July 14, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk