The Things We Wish We'd Known About Parenthood (May Cause Snotty Sobbing...)

Oh, how this made me laugh. Ok, and weep a little bit, too. In fact I'm already in trouble with the Playpennies team for making them cry on a Monday morning...

Anyway, the source of all our snivelling is a piece in today's Metro about the 10 things parents wish they had known before having kids. It's based on a commercial for a storage company (the tenuous link being that you don't need to clutter up your home with baby books if you just watch the video), which instantly makes it less lovable but never mind. The sentiment will strike a chord with parents everywhere and it's seriously worth a watch.

It's a tear-jerking video montage of parents talking about the stuff they wish they'd known before they had kids. We love the list - especially ‘Do whatever works for you and don’t Google anything' and 'There is a chance that your baby could go flying down a hill and then roll out of her car seat onto the road. Which may have happened'.

I also love the Dad's perspective on how much stuff one baby truly needs. Yup.

But what this vid really got us wondering about was what YOU would add to a list of things parents which they had known before having a baby? One of the Playpennies team said this:

"Don't take part in the "Mummy Olympics" All kids walk and talk eventually, so does it matter if they walk at nine months or eighteen? No. They do it when they're ready, and worrying about it doesn't make it happen any quicker."

She added the proviso that your Health Visitor should be your first port of call if you real concerns about development delay, obviously, but beyond that I'm with her on trying not to sweat the small stuff.

As for my list? Here's my top three things I wish I'd known:

1. Kids are way messier than you can ever comprehend until you have one of your own. BUT it pays to try and appreciate that one day, when they've flown the nest, we'll miss that mess and long for just one more day of stepping on Lego bricks in bare feet. So instead of ranting about the mess or letting it drive you demented, try cherishing it with that longer-term perspective in mind. Even if you have to mutter "One day I'll miss this," through gritted teeth.

2. They really DO grow up too fast. When your kids are little, you think people who urge you to 'relish every minute because it goes by so fast' are off their rockers. And then suddenly one day your kids aren't really kids anymore, and the speed with which their childhood seems to have raced past takes your breath away and makes your tummy feel weird. Once you realise this, you'll wish you could go back and do it all again, only this time cherishing every moment like everyone told you to the first time. Trust me on this.

3. In the words of Elizabeth Stone, "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Oh man, this. It is both agonising and exquisite in equal measure.

Now, what's on your list?

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