Pre Parenting Theories vs Reality

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'Before I got married I had six theories about raising children - now I have 6 children and no theories' - John Wilmot
Oh we were all so naive. I love this quote, because it’s so true! We’re all a little guilty of having some rather unrealistic views on how life would be post babies. Now, let me say this, we’re still in control of our lives so the ‘impact’ on us is still in our hands - to a certain extent. However, life sure does change when they arrive!

What is the biggest impact that you’ve noticed? What were your theories?

I think for most people the biggest adjustment is the sleep disruption. That was certainly the case for us. You think that the first few months will be rough but actually, the reality is that sleep will never truly be yours again for years….. Gone are the days of a lazy Sunday morning lay-in. Now its play time literally from the moment you open your eyes.

TV / iPads is probably another theory which probably goes the wayside when they arrive. Beforehand the plan was for only 30 minutes a day, at very specific times and only if very specific conditions are met. The reality – it’s a welcome tool to give you 5 minutes to enjoy your coffee.

Play dates with friends no longer involve bars and ‘adult drink’. They literally mean being surrounded by several young children and often in some sort of soft play area. The highlight being when said soft play area has an area for coffee and cake. Turns out cake is actually a quite important part of staying alert.

The main thing is that you’re no longer the priority and that can take some adjusting and getting used to. Your time and priorities are now on the new arrival. Whilst I think it’s important to stick to your values and principles, don’t worry if what you thought would happen, didn’t. Those early days in particular are tough so just do what you need to do. Being a parent isn’t about being perfect, it’s about creating a positive, safe, enjoyable and caring environment for your little one.

Despite all of the challenges, let’s be honest, we wouldn’t change it for the world. Yes, life isn’t what we may have thought it would be pre-children but those challenging parts are a fraction of the overall joy that the little tinkers bring to our lives. So screw the theories - just carry on doing the best that you can, you’re doing a great job!

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