I think one of the biggest shocks about having kids is how different you thought it would be, right? Yes sure, they’re cute and lovely (sometimes), but it’s far harder work than any of my parent friends or I had anticipated. Ooh it must be like having a dog. Ooh we are soooo prepared! Ooh how stupid we were?!

Here are the Top 7 Parenting Vents that were sent into secret-vent from parents all around the world, and I think most will resonate with you.

Law of Baby Space

How can a baby be so small and yet take up an entire double bed? Hubby and I are literally hanging on for dear life whilst our little ‘angel’ lays horizontally across the bed. Every time we gently try to move him, he looks like he might stir, so for fear that we wake him we try and accommodate his every position by creating U shapes either side of him.  And then there's the constant movement during the night, literally doing 360 cart-wheel shaped turns every 20 mins.  How the hell do people co sleep for months with their children, I'm wiped out after one night!

I have slept with my three children in my bed on many a night, as one by one they sneak in and I’m too tired to take them back.  One generally lays across my pillow area, one in a normal position, albeit spaced out as wide as they can, and the other at the foot of the bed, leaving me a weany box like spot that not even a teddybear would sleep well in.

Sleep Bank Depleted

Why does no one tell you how bloody knackering Motherhood is? Is it because it would scare the Bejesus out of you?? To be honest it would. I seem to have stumbled through the last 5 years, half asleep, bumbling along and losing any life I had! Don’t get me wrong, love the wee ones to pieces but NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, prepares you for it.  You can’t even train for it.  And don’t say things like ‘I don’t need much sleep anyhow’, or ‘sleep doesn’t really bother me’, because believe you me, it may not bother you now, but my god it will!!  Imagine a form of torture such as this, laying on the beach with your beautiful baby asleep in the pushchair beside you.  You are knackered because you’ve been up since the sun opened an eye.  You are laying in the horizontal position perfect for an afternoon nap but you mustn’t, I repeat mustn’t, fall asleep because you are on duty!!  It’s a form of torture!  Or this, rocking your baby back to sleep in the wee hours, half asleep yourself and they are all warm and cuddly and falling asleep, but don’t you dare fall asleep, as you may roll on him or her or push them out of bed!!!

Nothing prepares you for it, just make sure you enjoy sleep now and hope it returns one day!

I actually find it hard remembering what it was like pre-kids and the luxury of sleeping in on a permanent basis?  I want to run back and tell old me to enjoy it!  As this venter stated, nothing can prepare you for it.  All I can say is, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I now leave out brioche and croissants on a Friday night and ensure fully charged iPads for a Saturday morning and, fingers crossed, I manage a Saturday lie in.  Note, never, ever book your children in for clubs that involves a Saturday morning. Parenting tip 242…

Crazy Names

Where have all the normal baby names gone?  Why is it so important these days to ruin your child’s life in the first few seconds with the most ridiculous, crazy name? Do you think it’s going to make people think you are some kind of (crazy) celebrity??  All I can guess is that the labour was so painful they now want to inflict some kind of ‘pain’ on their child? 

The best ones I’ve heard to date, and I mean I’ve heard in my everyday life, I jest not, for girls, Couture, Ace, Inny and for boys Donathan, Jedi (Luke?) and Rogue. These poor little people have enough to contend with in this life, don’t start it bad for them!

My (ex) husband and I were at least in agreement on children’s names and picked traditional ones.  I understand people wanting to pick slightly novel choices, but I’ve never understood people trying to compete with Prince’s symbol etc.  They have to have these names for the rest of their lives, and most importantly through childhood, pick wisely is all I would say.

Baby Talk

Why is it all mums feel the need to compete about their kids?  It starts so ridiculously young and the thing is we all do it to each other.  In the grand scheme of things does it matter when your child cut his first tooth, or took his first step?  Do you get asked that in an interview, So Brian, when did you start walking, were you an early starter or not because this could seriously affect your future.  Best one is when babies start to hold their heads up.  Oh, is he not holding his head up yet?  Are you not worried? Yes, yes I am because one day when he’s in a meeting talking and his head is drooped on the desk and everyone is feeling sorry for him he’ll blame me for not giving him enough tummy time to support his head. 

Grow up ladies, they all do!!

I so remember this with babies.  It can be just a chat about babies development but turns into a bragging contest.  Oh yes mine was walking by 9 months is yours not?  No words yet, are you concerned?  My child was speaking Latin by his age.  We need to learn that, generally, all kids at some point reach the same level and stop stressing one another out.

Best Toys Ever

Why do kids always want to play with the stuff you have decided to sort out to give away or throw away? They haven’t played with them for years, which is the reason you decided to have the clear out in the first place.  Then, because you are about to dispose of it to make room for all the new stuff they got for Xmas, the kids decide that the broken, old car is the best thing ever!  That half rattling rattle is fabulous.  The doll with one eye is beautiful.  You end up throwing out nothing! 

Note to self, dispose when the wee ones are not around…

Every. Single.  Blimmin’. Time.  I have learnt, as suggested, to do clear outs when the children are not around, but on the odd time they have caught me, they plead with me that it’s their most favourite toy they’ve ever had!  It’s actually quite a good idea to box up some of their toys and interchange them at monthly intervals so they feel like they have new toys.  Just don’t do what I did and forget about them so that they are no longer age appropriate #parentingfail

Less Bubble Wrap

Is it just me, but do you get called by the school for every little detail that has occurred?  It seems to me that we have become so overprotected that this has extended into our schools.  Playgrounds are where children, I assume, play. I had a call to say my son, aged 6, had kicked a boy whilst playing football, and that I must have a talk to him. Entirely out of character for him to do this, I asked him what had happened?  He said he had accidently kicked his friend Thomas whilst playing football. Funny that he and Thomas walked out arms round each other after school that day. I even spoke to Thomas’ mum to make sure all was ok, and she didn’t even know anything about it. In fact, her reply was, isn’t football supposed to be a contact sport?

I then got a call about same child because his new bobble hat and scarf set, he’d had for Xmas which had a skull on it, might insight gang warfare, I jest not! This is the same school that said my daughter needed me to come in for a cuddle because she’d had a tough morning with maths.  When I got there, I wish I’d never answered the damn phone to be honest, she was fine!

The more we pander like this, the worse it will get!  Let kids have the occasional playground scuffle!  Let them resolve it!  Obviously, I’m not talking anything to do with bullying here. I’m simply saying, that if adults jump in at the first hint of an emotion, how will a child ever learn for themselves?  School isn’t just about the lessons in the classroom but the life lessons too.  Let our children thrive and stop wrapping them up in too much bubble wrap!  Vent over!

I get this vent, so much.  I do think society as a whole has ‘bubble-wrapped’ children these days, preventing them from having the childhoods we all grew up with.  I do understand the reasoning for some of it.  Obviously, we are all aware of the dangers out there, not a day goes by without reading about a child that has gone missing or heartbreaking stories were young children have committed suicide due to bullying.  There is a fine line between letting a child live and protecting your child and unfortunately it is getting finer and finer. 

Go on, Have kids!

Oh, I can’t wait for my friends without kids, to have kids so that I can laugh at them!  Sorry is that cruel?  I just love it when they make comments about parenting like:

Friend:  Why do you let her interrupt you?
Me:  She’s 2 and half that’s why and if I don’t, she will continue to say Mama until I do so it’s easier to solve her question quick and carry on my chat with you!

Friend:  I’d definitely potty train as early as possible, THAT’S disgusting
Me: Cooool

Friend:  Why is she crying like that?  Does she need to see a Dr??
Me: Because she’s two and a half and she is frustrated, it’s the terrible twos

Friend:  I’m gonna make sure that life doesn’t change when I have kids.
Me: Good luck with that one

Scary thing is, I can remember saying similar things when I was single and without kids, eek!!

This final vent did make me laugh. Parenting is a bit like a secret club at times, where we all ‘get it’ and those without kids don’t! Thing is, we can all probably just about remember what it was like before kids and some of the things friends with no kids say, just remind us of our own ignorance. Pretend as you might, before kids you had no clue! Therefore, when you hear some of the comments like the ones above, you can’t help but smile and think to yourself, just you wait… Oh parenting, it really is the epitome of a rollercoaster ride. Thing is, even when I think I’ve had enough, I actually don’t really want to get off.

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