Being a dad for the first time is daunting, no matter how much you say or think you're ready for a child. I have two children, needless to say having children changes your life for the better. Yes, definitely for the better.
Do I wish I'd known more things before having kids? Of course! It would have never changed my decision to have children, but knowledge is power as they say.
I would have loved to have had a heads up on:
Oh, the poo! So. Much. Poo! It's also not just the normal colours you expect from your number twos. I don't think you're a true parent until you've said the words, "Its luminous green!". Once you've said these words, you then stare at the poo thinking "how can this be right?". Why didn't someone warn me about this?
I've spent more time staring at turds then I'd like to.
What social life? I used to be a social butterfly, now I'm more of a social woodlouse. You won't go out as much as you used to, that includes out drinking with mates, out to restaurants etc. You'll simply be too tired to want to do most of these things, at least for the first few years.
I think every parent does need to find time to do this though, even if it is just once a month. Spend time alone with your partner, go out with friends. Just do something without the kids so that you feel normal again. This is one thing that my wife and I need to do more of. We never go out together, our kids have never stayed out overnight. Actually, I lie. Sometimes we go to Asda together without the kids. That's not really the same though.
By the time your child is about two and a half, be prepared to have watched Peppa Pig 1,786,653 times. You'll end up knowing most of the words to each episode. If you're lucky, you'll get to break it up with episodes of Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom and Paw Patrol, both of which are watchable. Miss Rabbit will also make you feel bad for complaining about how much you have to do. I won't tell you why, because you'll be watching it soon enough anyway.
Everything is a fight between my two kids. You'll find yourself saying "stop arguing" about 86 times a day. Who'd have thought you could argue over grass, or a wooden spoon or even a dust cloth?
Being a busy parent leaves little time for yourself and any fashion sense you might have had before the little bundles of joy came along. You'll swap branded clothing for Primani specials, Jeans will be replaced by jogging pants and spending money on hair, facial products and shaving apparatus will be the last thing you think about.
Having children shouldn't mean that you let everything go, it is hard at first, but you soon get used to it. The Mrs and I spend about an hour in the bath most nights (not together, obvs). This is our "Me time". We can relax on our own for a bit. We obviously wait until the kids are asleep otherwise you can hear them arguing about dusting the grass or whatever ridiculous thing has popped into their heads at the time.
Rich Sayers is a blogger who writes over at One Hull of a Dad. He lives in Hull, England with his wife Kerry and two children, Joseph and Alice.