Becoming a mother, whether it's for the first, second, third or fourth time, is a learning curve. As the years go by, each milestone your baby achieves brings a whole heap of new experiences.
Here are just 20 of the million and one things I've learnt since becoming a mum.
1. Going to the toilet alone is a luxury, not a right.
2. It's okay to have a down day and fret that you're making every wrong decision in the book when it comes to parenting. At times, you're going to feel as though you're the worst mother in the world, but hey, we're all right there with you!
3. Gut instinct is an important aspect of parenting; go with what feels right.
4. It really is possible for a full sentence to be formed using only the words "poo", "wee" and "farts" (this may apply only to mums of boys!).
5. Literally any common household object can be turned into an instrument... or a weapon.
6. You're most likely going to be judged on how you feed your children, how you dress your children, how you discipline your children and how you generally take care of your children over all. Morale of the story? Do whatever you feel is best and works for you at the time, because either way someone is going to have an opinion.
7. It's possible to function on little to no sleep and coffee alone. (I said function, I didn't say function well.)
8. That cliche old saying – time travels too fast? It really does.
9. Parental pride is one of the most overwhelming feelings in the world and it will occur over the smallest things! It's hard to believe that you'll ever gush over someone successfully taking a poo in the toilet, but trust me, that day will come.
10. Kids TV shows are actually quite entertaining. Whether it's because lack of sleep is slowly killing our brain cells or because it's a guaranteed 10 minutes of peace, Kids TV Shows become quite relaxing to watch. I've even caught myself at one point discussing Ben and Holly plot lines with a fellow mum before... a sad but true tale.
11. It's quite possible to feel absolute hatred towards a child under the age of 6 when you are told that this child has in someway hurt or upset your baby. Obviously common sense will soon kick in, but at first you will want to march straight up to said child and give them a piece of your mind.
12. Hangovers and children are possibly one of the worst combinations known to man.
13. The world is not going to end if you leave the house without a scrap of makeup and anything less than perfectly groomed.
14. Walking into a mother's group or class honestly feels the same as turning up to your first day of high school. Awkward as arse.
15. You will never sleep when they sleep. In fact, you start to feel like hitting anyone who attempts to give you that advice as they clearly have no sense of what actually goes on when you have just had a child. Hello? Do they not think you have other things to do? Housework, washing, bathing?! The list goes on.
16. It's okay to ask for help. Being a mum is no easy task and comes with so many challenges that it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Especially with your first, you tend to feel like you have to do everything by yourself otherwise you have somehow failed as parent. This isn't the case. We all need a little help sometimes and you will never be looked upon badly for asking for it.
17. I always go overboard on birthdays and Christmas whether I mean to or not, however I'll then spend hour upon hour moaning about grandparents and other family members doing the same thing. It's such a hard thing to balance, wanting your kids to have everything, yet not wanting them to be spoilt.
18. There is no situation, no matter how terrible you feel, that can't be made better with a cuddle from your kids.
19. My home will never be pristine nor constantly neat and tidy now that I have kids... and neither should it be. Let go of that pressure. What could be better than having a house that feels homely, comfortable and full of character... and toys, don't forget the toys.
20. I will never feel the same love for anyone or anything as I have for my children. It's so overwhelming that at first it can be hard to take. How can you possibly feel such love for this tiny little thing who you've never even laid eyes on before? The experience is definitely the closest any of us will get to love at first sight and that love only continues to grow, day in, day out for what I can imagine, the rest of your life.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.
I have a 6yr old son, and an almost 2yr old daughter and the most amazing thing since being a mum is having more patience. Staying calm when your child is driving u crazy inside, smiling at ur tantrum toddler, staying cool in public when ur son needs to go pee... AGAIN... the smallest of things really teach u to be patient more and more. And brings calmness and ease with even the most difficult situations with your children.