HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: Every parent has a list of "Never Will I Evers". This is mine.

The path through parenthood is littered with broken promises. Jagged pieces of shattered good intentions. Idealistic dreams pooling in puddles. The tyre-tracks of multiple backtracks, tripping you at every turn. 

The further you travel, the more you level up to ever-more complicated challenges and tests, the more you look back over your shoulder at the things you thought you knew.

They are the "Never will I evers" of the pre-child you, or the pregnant you, or the baby mum you, or the toddler-mum you... Of you, really, living through any moment other than this one.

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Never will I ever....

Feed my baby formula.

Breastfeed past one.

Have a baby who "won't take the bottle". Unless it's from grandma. Outside. On a full moon. 

Never will I ever... 

Let an iPad babysit my child. 

Or The Wiggles, Peppa or Bluey.

Or my phone, in a cafe, while I talk to a friend.

Never will I ever...

Let my baby cry.

Let my baby keep me up all night.

Rock my baby to sleep, because sleeping upright with dead arms is preferable to no sleep at all. 

Never will I ever....

Let my child eat chocolate. 

Or garishly-coloured lollies. 

Or Maccas chips at a drive-through to stop the nagging that's hurting my brain.

Never will I ever... 

Shout at my child. 

Ignore my child. 

Tell my child to shut up so I can have five. Sodding. Minutes. 

Never will I ever... 

Do pink for a girl and blue for a boy.

Dress my twins the same.

Let my child wear those polyester princess dresses. Out of the house. To daycare. To a wedding.

On this episode of Me After You, host Laura Byrne talks to Alex Nation about the part of parenthood she loves the most - and author Ashe Davenport shares how, for her, motherhood is all about letting go. Post continues below.


Never will I ever....

Let my child have nits. 

Or send my child to school with nits. 

Or be the mother whose child gives all the other children nits.

While we're at it, never will I ever... 

Send a sick kid to daycare. 

Put my hand on their forehead and say, 'you're fine,' off you go.

Dose them up so no-one knows they're sick until the Panadol wears off, buying me enough time for the first work call of the day. 

Never will I ever... 

Lie to my kids about Father Christmas. 

Or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

Or tell them that I know what happens after we die. 

Never will I ever... 

Use a cutesy fake name for my kids' 'downstairs area'. 


Be uncomfortable talking to them about sex. 

Or puberty, or pain. Even if that look on their face is breaking my heart.

Never will I ever... 

Dismiss their fears in the middle of the night so I can go back to bed.

Let them sleep in my bed. 

Sleep in their tiny, uncomfortable bed with them. For months. Maybe years.

Never will I ever... 

Let my kid play video games. 

Have a phone of their own before 13. 

Have a Playstation, a Nintendo, an iPad, my old phone and a Netflix log-in.

Never will I ever... 

Medicate my child. 

Allow others to label my child. 

Take advice that contradicts what I've read on the Internet from pretty people who believe food fixes everything. 

Never will I ever...

Let my child stop me from living my life.

Stop going on the holidays I've always dreamed about. 

Stop being cool.

Let your Nevers die, friends. Let them float away and land on the well-intentioned shoulders of another baby-blog reading, green-juice drinking, oily-fish eating dreamer.

It's a right of passage to sit in the humiliation of knowing that really, you'll do whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes to see your kid smile. To get yourself through another day. To have a home that isn't trembling with stress. 

Whatever gets you through the night, family. It's alright.

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