9 things that didn't come in the parenting brochure.

I was ready to become a mum. Nobody was more prepared than me.

As any pregnant woman will tell you, those nine months go sooooo slooooowly. What else is there left to do than read every single pregnancy and parenting book on the market, so you know what to expect as a new parent?

So I read them, all of them, and felt pretty smug about my preparedness for motherhood.

My husband was even ready, for our yet-to-be-born child. We had conversations about imaginary issues and dilemmas, such as who would teach the baby to drive once it came of age and what we would do if we had a girl and she wanted to dye her hair purple.

Then, our son was born, and quite a few things happened that we just weren’t prepared for. Where were these in the parenting brochure?

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Combantrin®, But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

1. Baby snot

Yep, I was so prepared to be a mummy, until the first time I had to use that nose thing that sucks the snot out of their little nostrils. I read the instructions very carefully and I did my very best. How was I to know that by pumping that little plastic thing I was forcing it up further, not sucking it out? It took a couple of goes and I became quite the expert.

A few years later I was in a hospital emergency room with my now older son who had survived the aforementioned nostril abuse (he had severe stomach flu), and a frantic couple raced in with their newborn saying their baby’s nose was all clogged up and they were worried he couldn’t breathe. Yep, I feel you.

2. Other nose related issues

Yes, kids do stick things up their noses. Why didn’t I know this? I’d watched all the movies that used this as a funny bit about parenting. Did I think my children would be different? Was I really that smug? Yes, it seems I was, because the first time it happened I went into such a panic I called an ambulance.

While waiting for the ambulance to come, my husband arrived home, surveyed the situation, blocked one of my son’s nostrils with his finger and instructed him to blow out really hard. Out shot a Monopoly house. Lesson, learned.

Oh, and if your baby/toddler has a nose bleed during nap time, don’t panic. You will come to get them and for a moment think they aren’t actually sleeping, but have bled to death due to some random wound, only to realise when they wake up that they have simply had a field day spreading the blood all over themselves and their cot. Look Mum, I painted myself!

3. Hey Mum, look at this.

If your child ever says this to you, consider getting in your car and going for a long drive first.

I still have nightmares about the time my 5 year old son said this to me. He called me in. He was looking into the toilet bowl. I expected to see another toy floating in there. Instead, around a million worms were feasting on you know what. I screamed and jumped back. “How long have you had worms,” I demanded. “What do you mean,” he said. “Worms,” I said, how long have you been doing that,” I said, pointing to the toilet. “I thought they lived in the toilet,” my son said. He seriously did. Apparently he’d had them for weeks but didn’t realise they were coming from him. So, so, so, so yuck. Although worming treatment in the form of chocolate makes any situation better.

4. I love you but you’re driving me up the wall! 

How can you love your child so much and become so furious with them as well. I wasn’t prepared for this emotional dichotomy at all. I love all my children so much and they are so adorable but seriously, if they cry one more time, draw on the wall one more time or throw something one more time, steam will come out of my ears or I’ll collapse or throw my own tantrum.


I was not at all prepared for the range of emotions that come with parenting. Now I know it’s completely natural to feel completely frustrated, at the same time as loving them so much and knowing you’d give your life for them without hesitation. But can they please stop screaming first?

5. Anything revolting quickly becomes the norm. 

There is so much that is completely revolting about raising children, but you just learn to deal with it. I am the queen of tidy vomiting and if it happens in the car, just give me ten minutes. Car, good as new.

Children can get pretty icky, due to lack of control over bodily functions. Every orifice is a potential source of oozing and weeping and infections and regurgitations. Wet wipes, water and wine, is my motto. Lots of wet wipes, water and wine, the latter being for me of course.

Your face used to do this. But not any more.

6. Children will ignore the toy and play with the box. 

Children love playing with boxes and packaging. If I had known this I would have simply wrapped up a variety of boxes and packaging items and saved myself hundreds if not thousands of dollars and all that mental energy thinking of the PERFECT gift that was fun AND educational, that was completely safe and that showed me to be the amazing mother I was trying to be.

Seriously, until they are at least six, just wrap up boxes, toilet rolls and washable markers. You won’t hear a peep for hours.

7. Kids tell the truth, so try not to cry in front of them. 

Children have no filter. They will tell you the truth, devastating you, and then simply go about their day. I knew this about kids but when it came from my own children, it left me feeling a little lost. Laugh or cry? You be the judge. My son is four and my nephew is five.

They are setting up our Nintendo Wii characters and are making the entire family. They look over at me. Hair: brown, eyes: green, height: short. Then they had to choose body type. “Is your mum fat,” my nephew asked? “No,” my son said, “except her butt is big.” They then turned around and continued creating ‘me’, not noticing my rapidly wobbling lip.

8. Children don’t take no for an answer.

Children don’t take no for an answer. This is a fact you will soon discover when your cherubs turn two, sometimes it starts even younger.

They will ask for things, you’ll say no, they’ll make a variety of further attempts, you’ll still say no, so they’ll ask their dad, and he’ll say yes. Then you’ll yell out no, so they’ll do it behind your back, and so on, and so forth. Better brush up on your negotiating skills. I recommend a psychology degree becomes a pre-requisite for all parents.

9. Children don’t stay clean, especially if you are on your way out the door.

Yep, I used to do it myself. I’d save the best onesies, the best little skirts and pants, the best baby beanies, for all the special occasions. You know two seconds before you walk out the door they’ll do one of those poops that goes up their backs and soils all their clothes, don’t you? Oh, not in the brochure either.

Well, let me tell you, don’t bother saving cute special outfits because they are the ones that will be stained and destroyed, just as you head out the door. It is heartbreaking and not worth the stress. Just dress them in anything or if you’re really attached to a particular outfit, buy two of them.

Here’s a funny look in to the life of a parent…

What else would you add to this list, of the unexpected things about parenting? 


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