'Parenthood is like looking both ways before crossing the road.... and getting hit by an Aeroplane'
I think this has to be the best description of parenthood I have come across so far.
It doesn't matter how many times you look both ways, or anticipate what's coming, you can never prepare yourself for the shitstorm that is about to hit you full on, and bulldoze you to the ground.
There is only one rule when it comes to preparing for parenthood... and that is.... you CAN'T prepare for parenthood.
Doesn't matter how many times you watch One Born Every Minute, nothing can prepare you for childbirth. The pain... the mess... the indignity!! Every time I watch that program there is someone laying in a bed, texting on their phone saying they are bored! This is FAR from the experience I had!
Doesn't matter how many times you tell yourself 'it can't be that hard or people wouldn't do it'. Well..newsflash..... 250 000 people run the London Marathon every year.... doesn't mean its easy!! In fact I have seen it bring grown men to tears!
Doesn't matter how many night shifts,early mornings, long haul flights or all night raves you have been to.... you will NEVER be prepared for the sleep deprivation caused by having a new born baby.
(Unless maybe you set an alarm to go off.. at random intervals...all day... and all night...for periods of up to an hour...with the sound of a baby crying..)
But even then...you know in the back of your mind that if it gets too tough....you switch off the alarm.
Parenthood is not like that... there is no off button for the screaming baby (sorry) although boobs seem to work quite well... or dummies.
Doesn't matter how many books you read.... in fact don't bother... you will only fill your head with endless crap about 'routines' and 'self soothing' and 'swaddling' which serve no real purpose other than making you an anxious wreck because you are worrying about what 'the book' says.
You have nothing to relate it to until the baby arrives so I would save reading till then.
I recommend Google.... and mumsnet (which normally comes up on Google)
Doesn't matter how many times you think 'well if so and so can do it, cant be that hard'
...Its. still. hard.
You probably weren't there when 'so and so' was sat crying in her sick stained dressing gown because the baby just wouldn't sleep, or when the baby had (again) been crying all day and the cat did a shit on the floor, OR when she had to go for a wee with her baby strapped to her chest because it was the first bit of peace and quiet she'd had for days.
I'm not meaning to sound negative, becoming a parent is an amazing thing, but my advice to anyone about to embark on this journey (haha 'journey' makes it sound like its the yellow brick road... more like Lord of the rings and the journey to that volcano thing....)
...anyway... my advice is this... once you have prepared by buying all the mountains of equipment you need. Sit back and just enjoy your life as a solo person.
Don't try and 'prepare'.. you can't. Just accept that when the baby comes, it will be like your life is a snow globe, the baby is the one shaking it... and you have no idea which way is up.
Don't worry though... you WILL get through it, you WILL survive, and you WILL love it..... after all.... 'so and so did' !