Parents! Hands up who forgot to check the fine print?

Dear fellow parents,

I’m sure you’ll agree that having kids is a privilege, a pleasure and for the most part, an absolute joy! For most of us, it’s the realisation of a lifelong dream, a big tick in a box on life’s ‘to do’ list and now they’re here, a life without them is difficult to comprehend.

We spend years finding a mate, saving up, nesting and waiting for the perfect time. Months of trying, then the long wait before the day finally arrives and following the unforgettable experience of childbirth we finally get to drive home at 5mph with our precious bundles of joy in the back.

It doesn’t take long though before you realise that in your quest for genetic continuity and a true meaning to life, you didn’t pay proper attention to the fine print…

Highly underrated! As the debate rages on about whether sleep deprivation constitutes torture, nobody seems to have informed our kids that it’s even an issue. “IT IS!”… Side effects include: grey hairs, irritability, inability to dress or function correctly as a member of the human race.

Luckily, we can get payback when they’re teenagers. *evil cackle*

For the foreseeable future, the house, the car, your phone, tablet, other possessions and your person will be coated in unidentifiable stickiness. Attempts to remove will result in immediate reapplication.

Used to clean the house once a week?…. I’ve had to mop the kitchen floor twice during breakfast!

I’m tempted to install CCTV to figure out how it is possible for ones so small to create so much mess in so little time!

Think again. Time to start it all over again (multiply by number of children). Be there in the morning, the afternoon, helping out and you’ve got homework every night!

Hangovers are now on a whole new level. You drastically underestimated the healing power of a Sunday on the sofa with tea, crisps, movies and a duvet. This is now a fading memory of an alternate reality.

Get ready to plough on through swimming club followed by a birthday party well in excess of the safe recommended noise limit of 95 decibels. Throw in a dash of screaming tantrum and a pooey bum just to tip things over the edge. Gip.

“Don’t touch that” – “Please don’t lick that” – “Don’t eat that, it’s been on the floor”.

“Why are these blue bricks in the toilet Dad?”

Gone! Your own trips to the bathroom are now a spectator sport and, as it turns out, a great time to ask for help or to play a game… Anything you used to do in the privacy of your own home is now shared with teachers, key workers, the in-laws and the cashier at TESCO… BEWARE!

These require a new definition as they no longer resemble what you understood to be a holiday. Packed a book? Forget it!

Allow an extra hour, just to leave the house!

Remember the fun you had when you were trying to make the kids? Good! You may need that memory to keep you going for a while.

And, when you start getting intimate again you’ve got a new little housemate, one who likes to wake up and come for a visit at highly inconvenient moments!

There’s no doubt about it. Kids are hard work! But the best things in life usually are.

The shift of focus to someone else’s needs over your own is truly life changing and one for the better in my opinion.

There can be no better feeling in the world than a big hug and “I love you Dad” and there are times when I feel so much love for my little monkeys that it feels like I’m going to burst! Surely that feeling is what life’s all about.

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