10 parenting truths

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Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age in her mummy blog. This week Amy talks about the top 10 things she's learnt since becoming a mum...

'Parenting is full of surprises, isn't it? You learn so much. About yourself. About your kids. About, well, everything.

Yes, I mean the big things - like discovering a love beyond anything you ever thought was possible - and the obvious things - like babies nappies are really, really unpleasant. But over the past 3-and-a-half years or so, I've learned some surprising things, too.

I'm sure every parent has their own unique experience, and learns their own special collection of truths. But just in case they might help some other poor suffering mother out there, I thought I'd share 10 of my most unexpected lessons...

1) You'll clean more in your children's first few years than you have in the whole rest of your life. Your house will never be clean. The sooner you accept this truth, the happier you will be.

2) Your child will fall over, or bump its head, or roll off the sofa, but they'll be OK. And so will you. Kisses are a cure-all.

3) Don't attempt to wear necklaces until your children are at least 5. Or make-up. Or heels.

4) You can try to have a playroom, or make the kids' bedroom an oasis of fun and learning, but you can't stop it. Their toys will spread. Everywhere.

5) Don't swear to yourself you'll never turn on cartoons to keep them quiet, or crack open the inappropriate snacks to avoid a fight. You will. Give yourself a break.

6) You might think you've put your precious belongings high enough out of reach. You haven't. Kids can climb. Fast.

7) You know to pack spare clothes for the little ones when you head out and about, but if you're potty training, remember to pack some for yourself too. Unless you want to end up trying to dry a pair of pee-soaked jeans with a hand-dryer.

8) Cover the floor under the highchairs with newspaper or a wipe-clean mat. Or feed them in the bath.

9) Shoes will only ever appear in odd numbers. Start ‘leaving' the house at least 20 minutes before you actually need to.

10) Never throw out the instructions for a pop-up tent. There will come a day when you become so frustrated by your inability to fold it, you will crush it into a ball, frantically wrap sticky tape round it, and ram it in a cupboard.

So, that's it. Hopefully these little insights will save someone some stress somewhere along the line. But if not, remember this. No matter how hard things seem, you will get through it, and the great times will make the bad ones vanish in an instant.

If you only remember 1 thing, make sure to laugh. Children are hilarious. Uninhibited, honest, innocent, cheeky, charming, loving and hilarious. Enjoy them.

Oh, and keep your guard up. Being headbutted hurts.'

What truths have you learnt since becoming a parent? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below.

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Amy's other blog posts...

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