The everyday

Year one of parenting: expectation versus reality

If this isn’t your first time here then you are more than likely already aware that I have a one year old daughter. She is my first child, and like most (if not all) parents I had plenty of assumptions for how the first year of parenting would play out. Well, pretty much all of my expectations did not end up being my reality so I thought it would be fun to share them with you, and yes, this is a bit of a tongue in cheek post designed to give you a smile. I hope that you enjoy!

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Expectation: bye bye sleep.

I was adamant that I was waving goodbye to any form of sleep once the little one arrived. After reading and hearing from other parents I was convinced that my little one would be up multiple times throughout the night, every night for years (or at least what felt like years)!

Reality: I got lucky.

It makes me a little nervous to write this because I’m fearful of jinxing myself but I have to admit that my daughter has been fantastic with her sleeping, pretty much from day one. The first time she slept through the night was at 8 weeks, and besides the odd night here and there she’s managed it since that point. She obviously takes after her father with this because he loves his sleep as well!

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Expectation: feeding will be a walk in the park.

I figured it would be straightforward and I would simply breastfeed with no issues and then when it came to weaning I’d be able to introduce all sorts of different foods and she would lap them all up.

Reality: what was I thinking?!

Feeding has probably been the most difficult part of parenting for me. She really struggled to feed from me so I expressed instead which is so time consuming! It was a challenge (to say the least!) to find the time to fit that into the day alongside everything else, but I managed…just about. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to solid foods, I thought that would ease the pressure somewhat, but it didn’t because she really wasn’t interested. She enjoyed her milk so much that she didn’t really want to try anything else…except yoghurts, she was obsessed with them! After a few months she got into the swing of it but it wasn’t the easy transition that I had expected.

Expectation: I’m going to dress her in the cutest outfits everyday.

I couldn’t wait to dress her in all the beautiful mini outfits that we had picked up and been gifted for her. With so many options I expected to try her in something new each day, maybe a couple of times a day even.

Reality: again…what was I thinking?!

I had neither the time or the inclination to faff around with multiple items of clothing day in day out. There’s a reason that baby grows are so popular, for me that was the outfit of choice for my daughter pretty much everyday for the first 6 months. Straightforward, easy, comfy for the baby, a no brainer really. I kept her actual outfits for special occasions and that worked perfectly. It’s so much easier to pop a baby down for a sleep when they are already dressed for it.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Expectation: I’ll still do my hair and makeup everyday.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve only ever worn minimal makeup and I’ve never been one for elaborate hairstyles, however I would still follow my own little routines each day and I expected that to continue.

Reality: if my face is washed and my hair is out of my face then that will do.

Another aspect that I had neither the time or inclination for was spending time getting myself ready. If I had half an hour to myself then it was coffee and a few chapters of a book…things like this made me much happier than a mascara wand and a can of hairspray! As long as I was clean that became good enough. I still do my hair and makeup, just not everyday anymore.

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Expectation: life is going to change but I won’t.

Obviously I was under no illusions that my life was going to completely change once there was a baby in the house, but I figured that I would still be the same me, just a more tired version.

Reality: sometimes I don’t even recognise myself.

This isn’t a bad thing, not at all. But things have definitely changed. I catch myself singing kids songs even when I’m not around my daughter, I find I get less stressed out by the small things, I’m more likely to sit down with a book rather than feel obliged to run the hoover around and I cherish a soak in the bath or an uninterrupted meal that I can actually take my time eating. I used to be a pretty slow eater…not anymore!

Expectation: I would be the strict parent.

Both myself and my boyfriend are pretty laid back but he is definitely the more laid back out of the two of us so I was convinced that when it came to being a soft touch, that would absolutely be him over me.

Reality: I need to toughen up!

I’m the biggest pushover when it comes to my daughter, there has definitely been times where I’ve let her get away with something that I probably shouldn’t have. I never thought that my partner would be the stricter one but it’s certainly shaping up to be that way. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t a strict father but out of the two of us she definitely gets away with less with him. Of course with her only being one she doesn’t need telling off as such but it’ll be interesting to see how things play out through the toddler years.

Photo by Moose Photos on

Expectation: baby brain is a myth.

Whilst pregnant I was looking forward to being able to use the excuse of baby brain for everything. I called it an excuse because that is what I believed it to be. Surely it couldn’t be a real thing.

Reality: what did I come upstairs for?

For me baby brain is far from being a myth, I find myself feeling affected pretty much everyday! I’m sure there are other reasons to explain things but I definitely find myself walking into a room only to forget what I went in for…of course as soon as I leave I’m sure to remember. Maybe baby brain is just a convenient excuse but either way I’m going to keep using it as an explanation for as long as I can get away with it, and by that I mean yes at least until she is 18!

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So, these were the expectations that came to mind for me, can you think of any that I missed? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!

Find me on: Instagram and Pinterest

Until the next time…Jess x

19 thoughts on “Year one of parenting: expectation versus reality

    1. Thank you 😊 congratulations on your baby (although are they still babies at 1 🤔 everyone starts saying toddler from here on out but for me they’re still babies 😂) It really is a roller coaster for sure, rewarding and definitely worth it but certainly different from what is anticipated 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I feel even more blessed that my daughter sleeps through after hearing this, you poor thing! I would ask if you get used to it but after many years working shifts in a hotel I know that lack of sleep is impossible to get used to 😣


      1. I hear you in the hotel work ! only I did mornings, EARLY mornings… I’ve got one if each myself and my daughter only started to sleeo properly when her brother came along I think once she realised he was here to stay she was like narrrrrrrr I’m out 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. absolutely I think we should have been given anti social pay 😂 specially when your having to mix with the morning after the night before people. I’m sure I’ve saw the odd cript keeper in my time oh and not forgetting the few walkers of shame 😂 to be fair though some days I’d take that over my Archie’s wrath 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. When my brother arrived, after an almost twelve year wait, my mum
    wanted to dress him like a real boy.
    Real shirts even, the kind that need ironing..
    That didn’t last long… and I learned a bit about baby care… ..


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find with a lot of things that the reality is very different to the expectation and yes dressing a baby is certainly one of them! At the end of the day the most important thing is comfort 😊 how lovely that you could pick up some tips and tricks, I was a little too young to do that with my brother because he’s only 5 years younger than me 😊


  2. Baby brain is real! Funny thing is, pretty much all of your points, have been my experience too! As for the outfits, sure you will be gifted some lovely ones but I find tiny shirts (which are going to be vomited on anyway), jeans etc to be pointless for babies. Oh and imagine life before poppers for babygrows were invented?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I’m glad I’m in good company then 😂 so true, the outfits are lovely to look at but far from practical and I felt so bad that she grew out of a lot of it before she had even worn it once! I wouldn’t want to imagine life before poppers, it’d be horrible 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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