Snakes, snails and puppy dog’s tails, my parenthood expectations!

As a non parent, I always found a couple of things very irksome when it comes to kids. Children who are constantly shrieking at an ear piercing volume in public places drive me nuts. I also hate it when you see a kid with a mucky snotty nose – yuck. Just a year ago I genuinely believed that no offspring of mine would be so off putting.

In my pre-parenthood musings I had a lot of visions for my child-to-be. I would never let him squeal in a way that would rouse the dead. He would always have a clean face. I couldn’t picture myself with a baby that did anything but behave impeccably and sleep according to a schedule from three months onwards. I had a very strong hunch that it was my destiny to be one of those mothers who proclaims that she could never imagine what all the negativity surrounding parenting was about. There would be no such thing as mealtime dramas – everything I serve will be freshly made and delicious so there will be no reason for fuss.

Fast forward six months from giving birth and here I am grimly sitting in the lounge room at 2am nursing a little boy who was awake at midnight, and who I know will be awake again at four. I’ve tried a million different techniques to get him to regularly sleep for more than two hours at a time, but I find the sooner I just suck it up and feed him the quicker we are all back in bed. I keep telling myself that next week we will finally turn the corner and I can go back to feeling like a mildly normal person.

Sadly, I’ve also had to accept that I’ve brought another shrieker into the world. Raff screams when he’s angry, he screams when he’s tired, he expresses glee with a glass shattering trill … and there’s nothing I can do about it. You can’t exactly shush an infant. As for kids with snotty noses – well it would be a lot easier to keep Raff’s clean if he didn’t ABSOLUTELY HATE anything coming near his face. If you so much as approach the kid with a wet wipe you get treated to a lovely round of that deafening yelp. It’s barely worth the effort.

And my incredulity that mealtimes could ever be an issue? How is it that an obviously hungry baby who has eaten the exact same thing you’re serving several times before can suddenly decide to spit, blow raspberries and generally throw himself about instead of happily opening his mouth for every delicious spoonful? Raff rewards my efforts in homemade baby food by mashing most of it into his hair and clothes. And of course, all over his face.

The reality is that I’ve got a son, a completely normal, typical, wriggling little baby boy. Now, instead of visualizing him growing up to be the perfect child, I can picture a future filled with ripped jeans, scabby elbows and permanently sticky fingers. I get that once he’s walking and talking I’m going to have to kiss a civilized cup of coffee in a café goodbye, and I can already see the regular supermarket meltdowns. I know that I’m going to get calls from his school on a regular basis because he’s been up to no good and that the life span of each and every plate and drinking glass in our house is severely limited.

What I’m finally coming to realise is that being a good parent doesn’t mean having a perfectly behaved or presented kid – it’s just about having a happy and healthy one.

What typical things does your little one do?

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  • Eating messily is definitely my pet peeve! Hopefully, they will both learn to eat properly in the next 5 years or so, and I’ll finally be free of crumbs!!


  • i have a boy and two girls. i didn’t know what to expect when i had a boy. my boy is the loudest of the lot!

    • i think that we should just enjoy it though


  • Exactly! I had all of these expectations and more about my children (obviously before I had them) but they are crazy little things that turned my world upside down – but I wouldnt have it any other way! Love my girls!


  • It’s so hard to realistically picture parent hood until you’ve met your child and started discovering their personality.


  • hehe…its so funny really how judgemental people are BEFORE they have children.
    I learnt never to say “thank god my kids dont act like that”…I could think it but if i dare said it allowed the odds were high that within 2 weeks my kids would the exact same thing.

    But I must say that I was always very insistant that my kids would not run or shout in resturants and that included places such as McDonalds. They never did and would sit eating their happy meals while looking in horror at other children that would run around the resturant. They still remember this.


  • Love your articles, they hit the spot :). Odd how a tiny tyke can turn a sane person into parent :D


  • Good news – I have a 15 month old son exactly the same as that, but he loves our twice weekly coffee and raisin toast date at the coffee shop and is nearly always reasonably behaved. Everything is always dirty, his food is everywhere but in his mouth, and I always go to work with toothpaste and boogers on my shirt, but he loves our coffee date :)


  • Yes I think we were all a little blinded before babies.


  • Clea I really like your pieces — you’re always spot on in my experience! I’m not really one to follow blogs but if you had one I’d subscribe for sure. xx


  • I think we all have unrealistic expectations before having kids. We learn very quickly though


  • I am glad we didn’t really have any expectations


  • Thanks for sharing your experiences!


  • Good read thanks for the information


  • from the moment she was born everything was topsy turvy and now I would not have it any other way


  • I think we all have expectations with our first and then learn from this and accept our children as children who are learning


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