Being pregnant for the first time feels surprisingly liberating. Sure, you feel tired most of the time and can't eat a meal without getting heartburn, but watching your body grow and change week by week is exciting. Plus strangers suddenly smile at you for no reason and, bingo, getting a seat on the bus just got so much easier.
There are some things no-one tells you while you're expecting though. Like, once you become a mum, you can never leave the house with just your phone, purse and keys again. Or rummage through your handbag without finding a soggy, half-eaten rusk stick, or plastic farmyard animal, seeking salvation inside.
It's time to get honest about parenting. Here's our tongue-in-cheek guide to the things no-one mentions when you're expecting...
1. Alarm clocks are a thing of the past
For at least the next decade you won't need that smartphone jingle to wake you from your peaceful slumber. By 6am, you'll either be on your fifth Wiggles repeat or frantically searching for your kids' sports kit.
Long, lazy Saturday morning lie-ins are out too. You've got a new job to get up for: social secretary/unpaid Uber driver. The hours are unpredictable and the boss is a tough customer. Better make that latte a large.
2. You'll need a bigger car
Babies might arrive into the world in just their birthday suit, but within two weeks they've seemingly accumulated a bigger wardrobe than Beyoncé. And that's without counting the pram, nappy bag, snacks, toys and endless supply of muslin cloths that accompany you on every outing. Suddenly packing your tiny boot is akin to a never-ending game of Jenga.
Thankfully there are some car brands that are getting it, designing models with the crazy family-life juggle in mind. Subaru's Mother & Baby Award-winning Subaru Outback is perfect for parents. With plenty of space for you and bub, and a maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP, it's one thing you don't need to think about. Plus, smart features like Vision Assist technology mean you've got a little help when it comes to blind spots and parking. Win.
3. You'll start introducing yourself as the mum of your daughter/son
Forget your hard-learned formalities — from now on you'll introduce yourself in terms of who you are mother to. Whether it's at mother's group, preschool or on the school playground, you're nobody without the context of your child.
4. Nothing is as comfortable as a nursing bra
Forget that designer bag you've been paying off for the last five years, that trusty (beige, always beige) nursing bra is your most coveted wardrobe item now.
You'll wonder how you ever wore a lacy, underwired push-up every day when this one is so comfy you never want to take it off and often don't, waking up with it still attached most mornings. If you're anything like us, you'll try to pass it off as the latest in athleisurewear long after you've stopped nursing too.
5. You'll become a naptime ninja
Practice these four words: 'Don't. Wake. The. Baby.' because they're about to become your most uttered phrase.
Naptime is now golden in your house – and you'll do anything to ensure it's observed, including mastering some seriously stealth moves to exit the nursery without waking bub. There's the 'hug and roll', a maneouvre that places them back in their crib once they finally drop off so you can finally go to the bathroom, or the 'commando crawl' which sees you shuffling across the floor very slowly to check they're still asleep. Then you hit your head on the bookshelf in the dark and your swearing wakes them up. Back to step one...
6. Plastic toys are inescapable
The bath, the backyard, the fridge, your handbag – nowhere is off-limits.
At first you'll be so grateful to friends and family for buying bub a gift, then you realise their present comes complete with the most irritating noise you've ever heard and consign it to the bottom of the toy box. All of a sudden your little one is walking and your once minimalist living room resembles a soft play centre during school holidays complete with said toys scattered all over the floor. The batteries are still going strong. Time to accept defeat.
7. Baby fancy dress never gets old
Just ask Chrissy Teigen. Her daughter Luna transformed in to a banana, a hot dog, a peacock and Minnie Mouse over a four day period in 2016. Respect.
8. You'll catch yourself humming the tune to Peppa Pig on the regular
The lack of sleep will render you unable to remember your own name, but you'll still be able to remember all the words to the Wiggles songs (with actions) or hum the entire Peppa Pig song. Be warned: The latter will probably catch you unawares in a really important meeting back at work.
As baby grows, you'll realise that time you spend together watching their favourite shows is more and more special – and will bond you for years to come.
9. What was scary at first quickly becomes the norm
Feeling nervous about becoming a mum is completely normal. You'll have days where you can't believe how lucky you are, and others where you'll question whether you're cut out for motherhood. Be assured that you are.
Then you'll probably find yourself doing it all over again, only this time you'll really know you've got this.