Iíll give it to you straight. Being a mum is hard work. For me, it requires a lot of caffeine and a lot of swearing under my breath to get through the day.
Hey, relax. I told you I was going to give it to you straight. This isnít one of those articles that make you feel like youíre competing against wonder woman. This one will probably make you feel like you ARE Wonder Woman.
With all the information out there, it's easy to get confused. So I'm here to blow this operation wide open, and give you some practical tips.
Let's do it!
DO Listen politely to unsolicited advice from family members. Smile and nod. My personal favourite verbal response is: "That's a good idea..."
DON'T Mistake that advice for gospel, or feel like you have to accept it as such.
DO Tell that random old lady at the supermarket to mind her own business.
DON'T Forget to flip the bird.
DO Require anyone who visits you to bring food and let you sob on their shoulder for the first two years.
DON'T Let judgement impact your confidence. Itís everywhere, so keep your armour on.
DO Your own extensive research on important topics and decisions, so you can decipher the golden advice from the dodgy.
DON'T Feel guilty for things beyond your control, or past mistakes. Thereís plenty of real stuff to feel guilty about. Eating that bowl of raw cake mix when nobody was looking, for example.
DO Eat raw cake mix whenever you like.
DON'T Let the kids see you doing it or youíll never lick the bowl again.
DO Have a secret chocolate stash
DON'T Give up the location of abovementioned stash no matter what.
DO Take time out for yourself regularly.
DON'T Lose yourself to the daily grind. Keep your former self alive with cake mix and chocolate. Or whatever blows your skirt up.
DO Vent often to supportive friends.
DON'T Let anyone tell you what to do. You should practise this on your maternity care provider. Best to have those muscles pre-flexed before bubs is on the outside.
DO TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Always. End of.
DON'T Forget that wine is technically fruit.
DO Be proud of your achievements, and the struggles youíve overcome. Like painting your nails with a toddler swinging off your breast.
DON'T Try to please everyone. Or anyone for that matter. Except yourself and others inside that inner circle. Babies, husband, they all make the cut. But the checkout chick who thinks itís appropriate to comment on your childís behaviour? Not so much. Flip her the bird, Mama.
So there you have it, in black and white. The most comprehensive and brutally honest guide to parenthood Iíve written to date. Use it wisely, my friends.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm pretty sure there's a box of cake mix in the pantry.......