50 things motherhood teaches youAlamy


1. Your child will deny it for hours only to admit loudly "you're right, Mummy, I do need a poo" in a public place where there are no toilets.

2. Do not put their special toy/comforter with super-smelly chewed ears in the washing machine unless you want to feel like a murderer.

3. You may present each meal as "absolutely delicious" but kids always love chips the most.

4. You'll never need an alarm clock again until the teenage lie-in era begins.

5. Even though you may be upstairs and your child is sat in the same room as Daddy, you will still be first port of call and he won't.

6. Changing a nappy when your child is two has the potential to become an Olympic sport, such is the level of skill required.

7. Lunch is no longer sometime around 2-ish. It's on-the-dot noon.

8. Toddlers can name every single one of the 50-plus Thomas the Tank Engine characters without prompting but need a biscuit to count to 10.

9. The family cat only appears from the cupboard under the stairs at five past bedtime.

10. A bump on the knee only hurts when there's an audience.

11. An uninterrupted cup of tea which is still hot to the final gulp is now considered an achievement.

12. Holidays are more trouble than they're worth - at least you've got stair gates at home.

50 things motherhood teaches youGetty

13. The more toys you buy kids, the smaller their concentration span.

14. Three-year-olds get to grips with your new mobile before you do.

15. Pushing your child to learn to count only means you are doing yourself out of their Easter eggs.

16. Super mums who say 'play with your child – the housework can wait' do not understand that sometimes vacuuming is preferable to hide and seek (particularly when said child keeps choosing the same place to take cover).

17. A sandpit may turn your home into the Sahara but it keeps a child amused for at least the time it takes to make tea.

18. There is no point rubbing off finger marks on the TV screen. They'll be back tomorrow.

19. A toddler is not ready to be potty trained if he thinks it's funny to wee on the floor.

20. The promise of a piece of cake and a juice will speed up the most stubborn child.

21. The best day of your life is not when your baby is born but when they sleep through for the first time.

22. A day in front of the telly when your child is a bit poorly makes a nice change. At first.

23. A toddler who legs it every time they are told "come here" can somehow detect you mean it when you tell them to hold your hand in a car park.

24. Your opinion of people who don't clear up after their dogs in the park is on a par with Hitler.

25. A kiss from your little one is still the highlight of the day even if they leave a snail trail of dribble on your cheek.

26. If you're trying to sell your house, a toddler will fill his nappy five minutes before the viewing.

27. When they're old enough to understand, your children will laugh when you tell them you never ate avocado, olives or pesto until your 20s.

28. After a while, you won't bat an eyelid at the sight of your child drinking the bath water and eating mud.

29. An exhausted mum will confront anyone if they dare wake up their sleeping baby.

30. Your mother is right - kids will eat when they're hungry. Force-feeding while making yummy noises will get you nowhere.

31. Work is the place you go for a rest.

32. You may swear you'll never take your child to McDonald's but on a hungover rainy Saturday, you will.

33. If your child likes ham sandwiches, no amount of research slagging off processed meat will stop you.

34. People who don't let their young ones watch telly are either lying or are professional children's entertainers.

35. You can function on four hours' sleep. OK, you'll be mainlining caffeine but whereas once, you felt like you were dying at work if you'd been up half the night, now you just get on with it.

36. Six hours sleep a night is normal and eight makes you feel like you're 25 again.

37. A proportion of your birthday and Christmas vouchers will get spent on your child.

38. You greet a surprise visit from a grandparent on a rainy day with desperate hysterical delight.

39. Squirrels are in fact squirries, a drink is a dink and breakfast is foof-foofs.

40. You finally appreciate what a job your mother had bringing up a family with a husband who wasn't expected to change a nappy.

41. Despite what he says, your husband secretly wishes he had been a dad in the olden days.

42. You realise it'll be another decade before you can ever have a relaxing beach holiday again.

43. You learn big respect for single parents - how on earth do they run a home, go out to work and get up three times in the night when their toddler's teething?

44. A meal cooked by someone else is the most scrumptious thing you've ever tasted.

45. Wine bottles appear to be getting smaller.

46. When it goes quiet, they're up to something.

47. Your day is considered a success if your child cleans his plate.

48. The proximity of your home to town is no longer the be-all and end-all. A leafy suburb with good schools is infinitely more attractive.

49. Beware the handful of cat litter - it always means they've got a mouthful too.

50. Toothpaste does not come out of sofa covers with wet wipes.

What would you add to this list?