Since quitting swimming I have been on a learning curve that has, on many occasions, been vertical. No curve about it. Steep would be an understatement. And as my 11th anniversary of the beginning of Life 2 approaches, I have taken stock of some of the more profound wisdoms I have gathered.
Number 10 – Unless you are going for the cement render look in your kitchen, mop the Weet-Bix up immediately. I’m not kidding. And you thought the builders were really using cement, didn’t you?!
Number 9 – Marrying an electrician in no way guarantees that you will have functional fans, lights, power points,… in fact, it almost guarantees that you will be searching for the Kid’s Panadol by candlelight while those light-switch wires tease you from the hole in the wall forevermore, amen.
Number 8 – It doesn’t matter how often you wash your hands, your children will make you sick. Often.
Number 7 – Your children will make you sick in the metaphoric sense exactly five times more often than they make you sick in the physical sense (unless you are particularly squeamish around poo and vomit, in which case you will be sick from 1 to 100 times a day depending on the number of children you have and how often they like to purge their insides).
Number 6 – Physical activity is only enjoyable if you call it “Me Time”, “Time Away” or “Outahere”. If you refer to it as “Exercise”, “Getting Fit” or (God Forbid) “Training”, it immediately hurts four hundred times more than it should and you instantly find innumerable reasons why you just don’t have the time.
Number 5 – On average, it takes three weeks from the time you notice your finger nails are getting skanky to the time you actually hack them off, give the rough bits a quick file and swear to your poor cuticles that you will give them some love ‘tonight’. It then takes a further five nights before the cuticles get a little slop of cream that you assure them is love a-plenty.
Number 4 – No matter how much sleep you think you need, it is possible to function on less than half that for a period of up to… well… three years and counting.
Number 3 – Anybody who says that their children “don’t cry”, that they “have always slept through without any trouble”, “have always just eaten everything” or “have never hurt their little brother/sister” are either lying or are not actually raising their children.
Number 2 – No matter how hard you try, you will never be the “perfect parent”.
Number 1 – The only people who are normal are the ones you don’t know very well (these, alas, are not my words), and the only normal life is the one you are living right now.
What have you learned in the last 10 years?