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Because sometimes parenthood doesn’t turn out quite the way you planned…

Have you ever seen a toddler throwing a tantrum and thought – when I  have children they’ll never behave like that? Everyone has an idea of the sort of parent they’re going to be, and it’s only once they’re knee-deep in nappies they realise just how misguided their expectations were. Ah, the power of hindsight.

1. Expectation…

After birth, I’ll be straight back in my skinny jeans. No baby equals no bump, right?

Reality

I still look pregnant and live in a capsule wardrobe of maternity leggings and baggy nursing tops decorated with a trail of drool.

2. Expectation…

You’ll never catch me plonking my child in front of the TV for an easy life.

Reality

Anything for an easy life. How else will I find time to do any housework? The iPad feels like the third parent in this relationship and sometimes I worry it’s doing a better job than me.

3. Expectation…

When I start weaning, I’m going to save money by making my own organic baby food for every meal.

Reality

I barely have time to make toast, let alone purée vegetables regularly. Besides, there never seems to be a good time to get the blender out with a sleeping baby in the house. Luckily there are some super-simple recipes out there.

4. Expectation…

I’ve watched a YouTube tutorial on how to change a nappy. I’m going to be a pro!

Reality

I was in no way prepared for seeing, smelling or scraping that. How many times a day does this happen?

5. Expectation…

I know it’ll be tiring but I’ll get used to the sleepless nights – I used to party till 4am! I’ll just catch up on sleep when my baby naps.

Reality

This is a whole new world of sleep deprivation. Even so, when my little one sleeps during the day (and I know I should too), I’m sticking on the washing, expressing and posting cute baby pictures on Facebook… I think I’m too tired to even nap.

6. Expectation…

Having a baby will bring my partner and I closer together.

Reality

In the long run, it’s amazing to have created a beautiful new life with another person. But in the short-term, we’re irritable, sleep-deprived zombies whose grumpy conversations revolve around our baby’s bodily functions and debating who had the worst night.

7. Expectation…

I’ll always look put-together – I don’t care how busy I’ll be, I’m never leaving the house in a sick-stained top and with unwashed hair.

Reality

Oddly, that’s exactly the look I’m modelling right now after an emergency trip to the shops. Thank goodness for dry shampoo, my new best friend.

8. Expectation…

I can’t wait for everyone I know to come round and meet our new little one!

Reality

Can I ask guests to do a bit of washing-up while they’re here? I appreciate their gifts, well wishes and frozen lasagnes, but honestly, I’m absolutely knackered.

9. Expectation…

I need to buy lots of cute clothes for my bundle of joy – they get through so many!

Reality

I’ve been gifted so many adorable outfits that the nursery is filled with a mountain of baby clothes, but half of them are already too small – even if we had three clothing changes a day we’d never wear them all.

10. Expectation…

I’m going to be so bored and lonely on maternity leave – I’m really going to miss my job.

Reality

There’s no time to be bored what with all the nappy changes, feeding and playing with my tiny boss. I’m even putting in some serious unpaid overtime compared to my old 9-5 hours… It’s lucky the perks are worth it!

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