We all know that becoming a parent is a life-changing event, but until you are living it first-hand you will not be fully aware of just how big a change it is. It is a roller-coaster, the extreme highs and crushing lows leave your stomach in knots but your heart so full of love that it actually may combust. You will wonder how you ever lived without this little person in your life, but also look forward to a moment alone where you don't have the responsibility of being a caregiver.
You will count down the hours until bed time, and then hover around the cot hoping that they will wake up for one more cuddle.
You won't be able to live as spontaneously as before, but will find comfort in routine. Your routine may be working perfectly, but illness, teething or simply life in general will stir up a hornets nest that cannot be contained. You will smile so wide that your cheeks ache and cry so hard that the tears burn your cheeks.
You will be put in uncomfortable situations and have people question your actions or ability, but you will also be complimented in the nicest possible ways. You will worry and have irrational fears, but sometimes you just have to go with your insticts. You will question yourself and those around you, and even be jealous of those without structure or restraint. You will hurt for your child and pray that you can take away all their pain. You will wonder if you have made the right choices and wipe away tears. You will know a tiredness that you have never felt before, but a fulfillment that nothing else can come close to. You will feel anger and frustration and feel sorry for yourself, but the trick is to realise that despite all the challenges - you have been given the irreplacable gift of being a parent.