10 Things You Will Do As A Parent That You Will Not Like

Once you have children you will find yourself doing lots of things that you said you would never do.

If you do not have children or plan on having children please feel free to enjoy this list with a smug aloofness (imagine you’re a member of the Bullingdon Club) and when people tell you that you’ll be missing out when you’re older remember it basically comes down to this:

We’re all going to end up confused and needing help would you rather have your bum wiped by someone who hated you as a teenager or a complete stranger?

Here is my list of things I thought I would never do but ended up doing when I had them there children.

1. You will baby proof your home too soon then spend the next few months unable to get into your cupboards or up the stairs.

When babies are born they don’t even realise that their hands belong to them.

They are therefore unlikely to stick fingers which they don’t know they have into electrical wall sockets.

They are also highly unlikely to be opening the fridge or falling downstairs of their own accord whatever their older siblings may tell you.

This does not stop parents rushing to make their homes as safe as possible. What this really means is that your baby will grow up in an environment where there is a lot of swearing.

Those plastic plug socket protectors can only be removed with the blade of a knife and a liberal application of cursing.

The stair gates will become a dangerous trip hazard for sleep deprived parents and the fridge lock will leave you unable to access any chilled food. (Top tip: Put a child lock on the cleaning cupboard and never clean again.)

By the time your baby does start to move around and explore the safety measures will have been removed in a cloud of foul language and you will only remember to put the stair gates back when you watch your beloved child bounce down the stairs head first.

2. You will sniff your baby’s bum to check for poo.

I remember seeing parents do this and thinking: Yuk that’s disgusting. I am never doing that.

It is disgusting, and yes I have done it. Lots.

Even more disgusting is the reason why parents do this.

Let me spell this out as clearly as possible: Parents sniff baby’s bums because they no longer have the mental capacity to detect the smell of shit even when they are sat right next to it.

Children are disgusting.

I blame the parents.

3. You will go out to eat and sit colouring in a picture of a man with a moustache making a pizza.

Because when you go out to eat with small children you are given colouring in kits. (I know, amazing!)

There are 2 reasons you as an adult will get stuck in:

Firstly and it is good fun to colour in a picture and you are fantastic at not going over the edges.

Secondly you are too tired to have a conversation with the person sitting across the table from you. You have only left the house because neither of you has the energy to throw beans in a pan.

Think of this as me time. Who needs massages or spa days when you can spend 15 minutes in silence neatly filling in a cartoon of a pizza chef?

Even if it is quite challenging creating a realistic skin tone from 4 primary colours. Honestly how do they expect small children to manage?

( Top Tip: I carry my own skin tone crayon*)

4. You will refer to your partner as Mummy or Daddy.

Even though all the books say you ABSOLUTELY MUST NOT do this because you and your partner will immediately stop fancying each other and you will never have sex ever again.

I wouldn’t worry about it.  There are many, many other things that will stop you from having sex – number one being the baby (total cock blocker).

Unless of course you are one of those people who looks sexy colouring in (Ooh look I’ve gone over the lines, naughty mummy).

In which case having a baby is going to be a total game changer.

5. You will fantasize about the upstairs deck of a bus.

The top deck of a double decker bus will become like the VIP area of the nightclubs you used to frequent – a place of mystery and intrigue, reserved for people whose lives are infinitely more exciting than yours.

But this is not the VIP area of some hot new club.

It is the top deck of a bus.

And you have a pram and cannot get in.

You have officially the most depressing life on the bus.

No wait…. there’s a man getting on at the next stop who is arguing with a copy of yesterday’s Metro.

Phew, saved.

6. You will announce that you are a parent even when it is not relevant.

When you are not with your children you will feel the need to let people know that you have children stored somewhere else.

God forbid anyone should see you sitting there on the train and not realise that you have a baby at home.

‘Can I take that seat?’

‘Yes, I’ve got a 9 month old baby at home.’

‘Actually I’ll stand.’

7. You will shout “Look Cow! Horse! Dog!” every time you see an animal. 

You will do this even when there are no children with you.

It is a conditioned response, especially when you are in a car because this is when you are most desperate to entertain your children.

Travelling in a car with small children is like shaking a can full of soda, one small flick and it will all kick off and everyone nearby is getting a sticky face.

8. You will laugh at Michael McIntyre’s jokes.

Just the stuff he does about being a parent.

You will either laugh because you find his parenting material funny (improbable) or because you are tired and grumpy and glad bad things are happening to Michael McIntyre (more likely).

9. You will re assess what constitutes soiled clothing.

You’ve been wearing that jumper all week but is it actually dirty?

Yes, yes it is. It is a dirty jumper.

Once you have a baby the washing basket becomes less of a place to put washing in and more of a storage receptacle for clothes that are not quite dirty enough.

Vomit and poo stained clothes will forever be jumping the washing queue leaving clothes that are just plain old dirty in laundry basket limbo. Until you decide you need to change and then you will sort through your dirty clothes and refresh them with a baby wipe. **

10. You will drop your baby.

Or, even better smack it’s head on the door frame in the middle of the night after spending hours rocking the little bugger to sleep.

Peaches Geldof was photographed talking on the phone whilst dropping her baby out of her pram.

It happens.

This or something like this will happen to you but the good news is there is unlikely to be any paparazzi on hand to catch your moment of shame.

Dropping your baby is not bad parenting it is just parenting.


If you have children and find things on this list you haven’t done please leave a comment and let the rest of us know how you managed it.

If you do not have children yet why not make your own list of things you do not intend on doing, pin it to the fridge and cross them off one by one as you watch all your principles vanish when the baby arrives.

If you want to you can follow me on Twitter but I refuse to ask you to like my page on Facebook as it’s too degrading.

*I absolutely do not do this but I have definitely thought about it.

** This may just be me.

84 thoughts on “10 Things You Will Do As A Parent That You Will Not Like

  1. Further to number 2 is the finger test, which you will absolutely vow never to do again when it actually returns the uhh ‘expected’ results (only to go and do it again anyway)

    • Poo Finger! That was totally in an earlier draft but was taken out as other half said people didn’t need to know the actual depths we’d sunk to!

      • My OH does this… Having seen the nappy contents more often than him though I will never willingly risk my finger in there!

        • That actually made me spit my coffee out! I vowed never to put my finger in my babies nappy, I used to have beautiful nails, now I cut the lot off!

          • I’m a nappy finger advocate -as DS’ poo not always stinky enough for accurate sniff test disclosure. I developed the name of ‘Russian Poolette’ to describe the game/test. When perceived in this way it adds to the satisfaction when the finger comes out clean -and conversely the implicit woe when it does not.

  2. I haven’t done the baby-proofing or Michael McIntyre ones but score full marks for the rest! I once announced excitedly on the car “Ooh look, a fire engine!” only to belatedly realise that the children weren’t with me but my child-free friend was. She was laughing for ages.

  3. As an extension to number 7, I had one really, really, EPIC moment a few months ago when (whilst completely on my own) stood at a pelican crossing, a fire engine went past and I said OUT LOUD to my child who wasn’t there “Oh look, a Nee Naw!”. The other 780 people stood at the crossing looked at me like I was uttlerly off my rocker and I nearly got run over crossing the road to get away from them and die of shame on my own.

  4. Really funny and 100% accurate! I am physically unable to stop shouting ‘look a dog’ and I have even looked round to make sure my son has seen it when I know he isn’t there. I also refer to myself as ‘Daddy’ far too much and have come close to doing it at work, ‘Daddy can put that in a spreadsheet’.

  5. LOL. What about the wiping of wee/poo off your duvet cover with just a baby wipe after an accident during the bath time madness. Wipes make everything clean right?! Fresh Jo Malone-style bedding is for losers!

    I normally write about my little boy with special needs but you inspired me to try and write something funny about being a parent instead (try being operative word). Have a look if you get chance (shameless self promotion I know!) http://complicatedgorgeousness.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/rolling-with-punches.html

  6. Laughed so loudly at number 5 I nearly woke up baby who was sleeping next to me. I always look longingly at the bus stairs now!!

  7. Sniffing baby’s bottom? Yes, I do it all the time. In fact, I’m so far gone that I didn’t even realise non-parents would find it disgusting.

    Michael McIntyre? Nooooooooo! Even if I pop out six more, I will NEVER stoop that low.

  8. Too good and too true. Hubby just loves getting stuck into colouring when we eat out and actually takes over the masterpiece for himself forgetting who it was for in the first place!

    • My hubby posted his recent colouring at Nandos to Facebook and tweeted it as he was so proud of himself. I have done all of these except baby proofing – though I am physically incapable of opening any stair gate. My kids open mine for me.

  9. particularly loving 6, 7 and 8 although for us it’s vehicles (due to being boys) that i find i shout out when alone. I actually get disappointed when I’ve spotted something and have no audience. Michael McIntyre is funny in a new way as a parent 😉 and when just with one child now i find the need to confirm this isnt my only one….why????!

  10. All tpo true and once you make the mistake of thinking that’s chocolate under your fingernail, you never make it again.

  11. Laughed ALOT at these! I swore I’d never sniff my baby’s bum, but, yep, it is the only way to tell (and even then I get it wrong sometimes). The top deck of the bus, I sit up there on my way to work (one day a week) because I can! Like another poster ^ I too feel the need to let everyone know that the toddler with me is one of 3, he’s 16mths, his sisters are 7 and 5 and I always get asked if they are twins (see!)

  12. Hilarious. Particularly cow! horse! dog! thing. I still do that even when I’m on my own and my kids are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past that stage. Glad I found your blog. I am a southerner (from SA) and recently move to York. So another who has travelled northwards. Like a duck. Or a goose or something that travels north

  13. Haha! All so true. Re: No.7, In Sainsbury’s once, sans children, my trolley accidentally connected with someone else’s, and I found myself saying cheerily “Oops! CRASH!!” to the other rather bemused shopper.

  14. Love this, mine are 9 & 5 now but this brought back soo many memories. What about the whole “here comes a train going into the tunnel” with a spoon loaded with mush at meal times…I swore I would never do that but did!!

  15. I SWORE I would never, ever, ever wipe my childrens faces with a dishcloth. And of course I never have. Ever. Honestly. I’ve also NEVER done the whole spitting on a totally unsuitable dry bit of cloth to remove the worst excesses of filth. No, never……

  16. How have I never read your blog? HOW? Pure brilliance (you get extra points for brilliance under the influence of children). I laughed and will be sharing this piece of genius writing with my followers, friends and random strangers more liberally than a kindergarten class shares a gastro strain. Consider yourself liked, followed and adored.

  17. Kids do all those things but they also enrich your life so maybe weighing it all up its not so bad we could just be an anonymous somebody there are too many of them already so count the blessings along with the pitfalls I am sure it evens out well that’s what I am telling myself anyway

  18. I always swore never to say “You are not going out in that!” My daughter is 11 and I’ve said it already!

  19. I dropped my beautiful 8 week old baby boy into the swimming pool after our Mother and Baby swimming session infront of all my friends. He was only in for a split second but I felt terrible, in the coffee shop later I was given the worst Mother of the week award. (Only awarded among ourselves and we competed fiercely for the honour)

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    • Just read your blog as well, very funny, especially the not puking in the car… The ” no licking…” struck a chord: my mother was forever pulling my brother off of the litter bins he was licking while straddling in his vest and nappies (it was hot in the summer!!)

  21. Embarrassingly, whilst at a friends house for dinner, Ive had to say to my 2 year old ” Myah, we dont play with our vaginas at the table”. Enough Said!

    • I never expected to put these words together in a sentence either “Stop wrapping your penis around that fork!” I did a great job with the washing up THAT night.

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  23. Brilliant! And every one of them is so true – although we spared ourselves from the pain of baby proofing!

    I’ll also add another. Always swore I would never eat a soggy, half chewed biscuit. But then it is handed to you with imploring eyes and a stuttering “mummy have” and you really need to teach them to share…….

  24. Anyone ever found themselves singing along with their child’s musical toys then getting the song stuck in your head for days after? Twinkle twinkle…old McDonald you know the rest!

  25. Crying with laughter at this one and the comments! I’ve had a free hour this morning while my 2-year-old daughter is at nursery and rather than whirl round the house hoovering, tidying, doing the washing-up, hanging up washing etc., I have sat at my desk in the spare room and read my way through your blog posts, giggling.

    • I’m very pleased to have stopped housework from being done. It’s one of my missions in life to make everyone else’s houses look as bad as mine. xx

      • Yeah, you are stopping me from getting ready for work on Monday after the Christmas holidays and I don’t even HAVE children!!

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  27. We didn’t childproof the house, mainly because we couldn’t be bothered and, well, they have to learn sometime right? I did properly drop one of mine once but I managed to catch him by one leg, using my ninja-like reflexes, it was a good time for those to kick in as I’ve never displayed any evidence of them at any other time.

  28. I’ve made a habit of telling first time pregnant Mums-to-be (you know, at that stage when they still know it all) to write down all those things that they will Never Do With Their Children, put it away until their child is at least a year old, then pull it out and laugh at themselves.

    Mine were:
    To never use tv as a distraction or babysitter – but sometimes it’s the only way to get dinner on.
    Never to use “Because I’m your mother and I said so” as a response to being asked “why?”
    My child will not wear gumboots to the supermarket.

  29. I love this, I also relate to most of them. My other ‘things I thought I’d never do’ are puke hands and snot hands – firstly snot hands: where you use your hands to wipe the snot off your child’s face and then onto your own clothes because you, obviously, have come out without a tissue (despite buying those handy little packs every time you go shopping – which then live at the bottom of your bags for evermore). Then my favorite thing, that I never in a million years envisaged doing – puke hands: where your lovely child, decides to offload the contents of his/her stomach no where near any worthy receptacle, most likely in a very public place (restaurants are the best but public transport is good too) so the only thing you can do is cup your hands together and hope that this is enough to stem some of the vomit flying everywhere else (just so you know, in my experience, it’s not – said child’s stomach contents apparently multiply and grow when they leave the body). Oh and finally – eating chocolate in the loo for fear that some hungry eyes and chubby fingers will steal this golden sweetness off you.

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  32. I know this post was last year, but you forgot the real reason we colour in public–it’s really a desperate attempt to keep our kids doing something other than running off, grabbing other people’s food or pouring all the salt out onto the table. If I colour with them, then maybe, just maybe, they won’t give up on it after a couple minutes! (oh yeah, and as you said, we’re too tired to complete an adult conversation with anyone else at the table.)

  33. Yes, snot hands are common in my house, and I’d like to add one: bogie mining. Wrestling child to hold their head still while using little finger to desperately try to hook offending bogie out of nostril. Gross. I don;t know why I am so compelled to do this.

  34. Some of these posts have had me chuckling & yes I’ve done some of these things. I’ve also some of my own funny stories to add
    My son was sick on me once in the dark all over my entire head & face & it was tuna & pasta. I haven’t eaten tuna since.
    half chewed food handed to you to eat! This is something before I had a child that used to make me physically gag now I share lots of tasty tit bits with my son usually unidentifiable.
    Being a parent is hard work but amusing & enjoyable too.

  35. Rocking the shopping trolley when there are no sodding babies with you… I still do it now (even after joking about it with friends) and my youngest is 2 1/2… must get a life, must get a life…

  36. When our daughter was forst born I womdered why I would get strange looks off strangers in the street and realised I was saying ‘big sneeze’ ‘big yawn’ at them! In a high pitched squeeky wierd voice. I hate myself for licking my finger and cleaning that bit of toothpaste off her face when weve left the house for two minutes and found the wipe hasnt quite done the job. I ask where the toilets are in resteraunts etc becausr she needs a weewee and then often because I need a weewee. (Or poopoo!!) And then finding strange things to amuse her; when ahe was younger wed spend ages wiggling our bums at her cos shed juat learnt to laugh and her laugh was so cute. Going down a ramp with her in the pushcahir shouting weeeeeeee, now going down the same ramp shouting weeeeeeee and she doesnt use a pushcahir! And finally saying when she was young…. shell be three in october. Shes not exactly old is she (!)
    This blog was absolutely brilliant. Made me laugh so much as I can relate a lot and to ohers posts. Well done everyone. I may have to now go check out some micheal mcintyre as I want to see what all this fuss is about !!!! 😉

  37. I always hated being in a toilet cubicle and hearing a parent with a child in the one next to me.

    “Have you done a poo yet?”

    “Show daddy your poo”

    It made my skin crawl.

    Now I’m the parent of a child moving from nappies to no nappies. It’s only a matter of time until I become what I always feared.

  38. There are definitely a ton of things I have done on your list, including last night sitting and colouring in at a restaurant! The one thing I always said I wouldnt do and found disgusting was to eat a soggy piece of food a child handed to their parents determined for them to try some, I now try that food! It used to make me vomit a little in my mouth when I saw other people doing it.

  39. Ha ha ha the comments are hilarious I’ve just hit ‘doggeee’ stage and not often without my 1 year old so a warning of the inevitable! I actually like Michael McIntyre though!

  40. My husband and I recently spent 4 wonderful child free days in Barcelona, one night we were in a drum and bass club reliving our youth, when we got chatting to some hip young things, it was going well, I was feeling good that even at nearly 40 I could relate to these 20somethings.
    Then some irrepressible urge led to me blurt out that I had 3 kids at home, I’m not sure what I hoped would happen, perhaps they would gasp, astonished that such a young looking hip woman could have 3 children.
    Instead they glazed over, muttered something that I’m sure included the words sad and cow and wandered off.
    I was left feeling bereft and slightly like aforementioned sad cow.
    We left the club.

  41. My own personal “I can’t believe I did that” is when DDs spit out half masticated food which I then promptly scoop up and pop in my own mouth. Kinda baby/mama bird, in reverse. :/

  42. I always vowed that I would not be a disorganised mother after seeing many harassed mothers searching through changing bags for something they so desperately needed but had not remembered to put in there. Then I had kid’s!
    We took our two children to see the Ben 10 tour bus and on the journey there my little girl decided to be sick everywhere in the back of the car. My husband dutifully cleaned her and the car up and then we realised we had not packed any spare clothes for her….duh!
    We got to our destination and as my husband and son went to get in line I desperately ran with a half naked 2 year old to the NEXT store right near the queue. I was helped by a lovely member of staff and we got her redressed and as I sat her on the counter to rummage for my debit card, her nappy leaked and it went all over the counter. I was horrified! I didn’t have the changing bag with me as it was with my husband and the pushchair and so all I could do was apologise sincerely as wee ran all the counter and onto the floor. I then went back around the store to pick her up yet another set of clothes as in my harassed state I hadn’t remembered to pick up yet another spare set of clothes.
    I went to the counter again with the clothes on my daughters back, another spare set (finally) and the carrier bag of wet clothes she had wee’d in and that I had not yet paid for. I hung my head in shame as I paid continuously apologising whilst silently praying she wouldn’t do anything again as I hadn’t got a nappy on her (changing bag still with daddy and son). I all but ran out of the store with tears of embarrassment threatening to spill and couldn’t reach my husband quick enough.
    I all but threw our daughter at him and quickly told him the events that had happened and begged him to take her to the toys r us toilets to get a nappy on her. He walked off laughing but I have never gone to that particular NEXT store again in fear of being recognised.

  43. Have just been linked this article by the missus (Sarahsbimp of Next shame above lol all true 4 hours waiting for the ben 10 bus grrrr)

    Our darling daughter who has given both of us (mine not dyed I might add) more grey hair each than our son did combined has also managed to scare and entertain in equal measure ever since she was a baby.
    Reacted more to the nickname Princess Snotface before answering to her own name for about 5 months (much to mommys annoyance), but from an early age I had figured out that she was either going to be a stunt woman or a stripper when (if she makes it) gets older. She will quite happily to this day run around the house naked with a grin on her face, regardless of who is in the house, friends, family you get the idea.

    However when she was 9 months old she woke up one morning and dutiful daddy here took her downstairs for morning feed, I did what I did every morning put Kerrang tv on, put snotface on her bean bag (she likes Greenday!) and went into kitchen to get me coffee and her a jug of hot water with a bottle in it.
    When I make it back into the living room there is no baby on her bean bag, there is a baby stood on the corner of the dining room table (in a baby sleeping bag) with her arms out crucifix style just looking at me as if to say “now what are you going to do?”
    By the time I had put the jug of hot water and my coffee down, she had casually climbed down and was now just grinning at me. From that day on I new that this little demon disguised as an angel would cause me hell

  44. Am literally crying and laughing at the same time! Having the bag of baby-proofing kit ontop of the microwave for over 3 months, it seems a bit pointless to start attaching them now…apart from half the fridge lock, which in a late (8.30pm) night attempt to attach it,totally flummoxed me (I blame lack of sleep). I’d rather not know what is on my fingers most of the time, and just tell myself that my son’s immune system will be rock solid. I thought I would be the perfect parent. Shouting at my son across the supermarket as he is running round the corner into the next aisle carrying salt today, laughing, would seem I’m not! Ah well, maybe he’ll be an athlete…? But when he kissed me and told me he loved me I totally forgot about it – until he unravelled the loo roll whilst I ran the bath and I completely lost my temper….Ah well tomorrow is another day.

  45. I’m childfree, but I actually say “Look! a cow / goat/ donkey/ giraffe/ whatever” when I’m in a car, but that’s just because I’m weird and I like animals.

  46. My biggest change is not caring what other people think. I did the lying on the floor in the mall faking a tantrum thing, my child stood on a chair (despite the horror on the faces of the teacher and parents) because, well, if he falls off he will figure out that Mummy says dont climb on chairs for a good reason. I walk home from school / kindie with a child with one shoe on and one shoe off because he lost one but still wanted to wear the remaining one. We laugh at bum and fart gags because this stuff is funnier than Michael Mcintyre, we sing loudly and out of tune as we drive and we will stop and smell the roses, despite the keep off the grass signs, because that’s the point. We do however still recoil in horror at the poo finger moments 🙂

  47. Bit late to the party here, but I swore I would never let my child eat in the supermarket before we’d got to the checkout and paid for it. Yeah, that lasted one trip after he learnt to ask for “[ba]nana’. Nana, nana, nana, nana. We should put our little shits into the interrogation unit at MI5, I swear people wouldn’t last ten minutes under when faced with a small but very mobile army of 2 year olds.

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  49. I once caught a full sized number 2 falling from my son’s bum as he’d stood up too soon to look at what he’d done on the potty. 8 hand washes later I could still feel it. My other half laughed a lot, but still wouldn’t hold hands with me.

    I also managed to anticipate the fact that my daughter was laughing so much on a train once that she was going to throw up, caught the vomit in my hands and transfer to the bin all within about 5 micro seconds. I don’t think anyone else on the train even noticed (this is what I tell myself anyway). And I wiped my hands on the inside of my bag – so much less noticeable that on my jeans. Though if you are going to take the jeans option I recommend the bum – then you don’t have to see it and you’re good for another couple of months before you have to wash them.

    Oh, and one final one. Daughter was a bit of a vomiter in the car. This happened once and as we were literally 5 mins away from home we elected just to carry on. The vomit was of some recently eaten, and really not very digested pasta. She calmed down after a couple of mins and started to look around, and then was like ‘oh look, some pasta in my lap, I wonder what that tastes like….’ I’m saving that one for my speech at her wedding…

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