Here I am, reporting back from “the other side” of first time parenthood.
What a journey this last 15 months has been.
If I was asked to summarise it in a few words, I’d probably say Pfffffffffffff. Or WTF!

Before I had my beautiful, funny and clever little girl, I thought I would be able to become a Mother and not change as a person.
Oh how I now laugh, at my funny little naïve ways!
I am still the same in terms of personality and temperament (still crackers) but oh how my life had a little bomb thrown on it which detonated pretty much all of the old foundations that resembled my routine.

Who knew I would have to become a Housewife and Labourer?
It’s not up for negotiation. You have to create 3 wholesome meals a day, enter a supermarket daily, do washing daily and find yourself constantly tidying up as those little nippers love pulling things out of cupboards and decorating your floors with them.
Oh and I’m an inadvertent weight lifter. Running up and downstairs, cooking, trying to fit an arching back/screaming child into a pair of trousers, all whilst carrying a 2+ stone weight on my side.
And you know that Man I married 2 and a half years ago? Well I never really have any quality time with him. There have been 4 occasions where I’ve had my Husband all to myself in the last 15 months.

Anyways, I digress. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, without a doubt.
It’s also brought about situations that I would never have dreamed possible in the pre-baby world.
I thought I’d share them here.

1. I went out in public with a camel toe.
Pre-baby I thought leggings were vile things and was really upset when they made a “come back”.
Now on my Mummy day’s (when not working), I am 90% likely to be found wearing them. Usually they are decorated in food or snot.
T’uther week I was on out early to a singing and dancing class and realised on route the sports leggings I was sporting, were paired with a short jumper and therefore the lady area was on show. They bunched up in a way that causes a camel toe. I laughed out loud and thought “I don’t give a shit”.
NEVER EVER did I think this would happen to me.

2. Trying to get a hyper toddler to wee into a plastic pot.
A few choice words here to tell the story without me having to tell a long story.
Temperature. Rigors. Vomiting. A&E on a Friday Night. Hot and naked baby to try and get a urine sample.
So as the three of us are sat in a cubicle, with those weird hospital lights and an active baby getting more active, as the hours past her 7PM bedtime stack up; we are tasked with getting a wee sample.
Had we been at home on my fancy carpet, you could bet £1M if my daughter was naked without nappy, she’d wee or poo on the carpet.
Almost 3 hours on from being tasked and given a plastic pot the size of a margarine tub and not one teeny trickle of pee.
As she got more and more overtired/hyper, my Husband had her sat on his knee with legs wide open, watching Twirlywoo videos on his mobile.
I was lying on the floor below holding said plastic tub, looking up at my Daughters foo foo, willing and praying for a wee to come out.
I’ve never spent a Friday night doing that before.

3. I sing out-loud and sometimes with strangers, every single day.
I also clap and say “Yey” every day.
I rock sleeping bunnies and wind the bobbin up – FACT.
I’ve started trying to harmonise with others at classes. Or perfect certain notes or the animal noises.
Not because I’ve become a massive bell-end but because the only way to stay sane (ish) when you are singing the same songs 80 billion times a day, is to change something about it or find differences in the mundane.

The clapping is unstoppable. Like when you try and eat a donut without licking your lips. Or not smile at the end of Dirty Dancing. I’m guessing I will be doing these daily tasks for the next 4 years?
What happens if I’ve become so accustomed to it I can’t stop? What if I end business meetings by clapping and saying “Oh Yeyyyyy”?
What if I am heard singing Justin’s House when I’m alone on route to daily supermarket visit?

4. I’ve stayed in a hotel in Cheadle twice.
Cheadle is a 5 minute drive from my own home.
It’s like Bethnal Green and Mile End. Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road.
Was my house burning down or having structural work, you may ask?
No. It was a holiday for me. Once alone and once with my Husband.

When I was off on maternity leave, I used to have some Friday nights and Saturday mornings ‘off’. Time to try and have more than 5 hours consecutive sleep and an opportunity to do tasks or hobbies that are largely un-baby related.
However, if I was doing this in our spare room, as our little terrace appears to have been made from cardboard in places, I could hear every single word, song and gurgle. Tis not a true day off is it?
It’s like checking your emails on your day off.
If I could hear my Husband giving the wrong food, doing the pre-swimming routine incorrectly, then it was virtually impossible to not stick my beak in.
So on one occasion, I packed my bags and off to Cheadle I went.

Like the female Alan Partridge I am becoming, I enjoyed the Travellodge style hotel so much, I took my Husband there for a date night whilst my Mother and Daughter stayed at home, routine not disturbed.
Getting excited over low quality hotels, is the ultimate in Staycation.

5. I think I pushed a child that didn’t belong to me.
So tired and deranged I am these days, I don’t know if this is 100% true but I have a vague memory of pushing a child in some sort of soft play.
I think a child was being cocky / annoying / boisterous with Violet and I didn’t intend to react but I did instinctively.
If anyone hurts or attempts to hurt my child I will hurt them.
Pre baby and in my less deranged days, I’d argue until the cows come home, that violence never, ever pays.
But catch me on a sleep deprived/ early morning tantrum day, and I’d say that a firm push to land on a soft play surface was getting off very lightly.
Mummy = don’t mess.

So for anyone pregnant for the first time or on the road to parenthood, just remember you are about to enter a whole new world.
You know when you go abroad and you get off the plane to be hit with a big warm waft of exotic air and it takes your breath away?
Well the first year of parenthood can be like that. Smacks you in the face with the sheer enormity of how much you have to change and the new situations you will find yourself in.

Even in the craziest of situations – like being in a Walk-in Centre in Burnage (like Dagenham) with a 4 week old baby because they have a cold and you are in a waiting room for 3 hours that has the most pungent smell of BO known to man, just remember; this is all helping lay your new foundations. Your life is not your own anymore and these little scenarios are a gift from the baby God to help you accept your new world.

Breath, accept and find humour in the madness.
Remember when they go off to school you’ll get your life back, as a batty and more grey haired version of those Mother’s you used to laugh at.