11 Things You Never Imagined Doing Before Becoming A Parent

Becoming a parent is life changing – that is without doubt. But beyond the lack of sleep, numerous nappy changes and constant feeding, there are things that parents find themselves doing that, before children, they would probably never have imagined being part of their day.

We waited five years for our oldest son’s arrival into this world. Now, given the preparation time I had, you would think that I would be more than ready for anything parenting threw at me. How naive! Along the parenting journey, there have been quite a few things that have become second nature that I don’t recall being explained in any of the baby books.

So, here’s my rundown of 11 things that I never imagined doing before I became a parent.

1. Smelling butts

Anyone without a kid may well pull a face when a parent picks up a baby or toddler and jams their nostrils against the butt of that cute little outfit, but us parents know that it’s the quickest way to discover where the heck that stench is coming from. Thumbs up if your nostrils are left fresh as a daisy because then that odour is someone else’s problem. However, if the smell is your responsibility, choosing baby clothing that allows easy access for quick-as-a-flash nappy changes means that you can deal with the odour before your coffee goes cold … again.

2. Smelling … everything!

Don’t you for one second believe that once you have passed the nappy stage that your investigative powers are no longer required when it comes to hunting out foul odours. Did you never think that walking past the bathroom you cleaned an hour ago would make your eyes water? And any mum who says they haven’t done the armpit smell test to determine if their child really has had a shower is lying. And then there’s teenagers … most of the time it’s just a case of shutting the bedroom door and writing off that one room of the house as a lost cause.

3. Carrying a tiny human being

I know what you’re thinking – this is supposed to be about AFTER you become a parent, not the blessed nine months of pregnancy. Oh, but if only the “carrying” stopped when you popped them out, or even when they became self-mobile. Despite your most insistent pleas of “please walk nicely”, you will, over and over again, be lugging your tiny human around, with biceps screaming for a break, because you just really need to get where you are going safely and in this century.

4. Being a packhorse

You would not believe the amount of stuff I could fit into a nappy bag. Totally through necessity of being prepared, of course – the necessity of being prepared for a zombie apocalypse that will take over the world during the fifteen minutes I spend pushing the pushchair to the shops and back, that is. And then when they are no longer babies, we miss the convenience of the pushchair for loading up with shopping bags!

5. Using the term ‘poonami’

Poonami is the term for a diaper explosion that travels all the way up your baby’s back – lovely! Your first poonami will change you as a person. I once had to put my child, fully clothed, into the bath because I just could not deal with “all of that!” The regularity of diaper leakage and other messes means that your baby will be changing wardrobe more times than an Oscar host so be sure to put clothing top of your newborn gift wishlist.

6. Allowing your child to go out wearing “whatever”

Because “pick your battles” is a motto to parent by!

7. Watching Toy Story 38 times

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Toy Story. I would happily watch it three or four times during my lifetime. But when your child has their favourite movie on repeat, you know the script off by heart and the only song that is ever stuck in your head is “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, it’s time to step away from the DVD player. In this scenario, you can substitute Toy Story for The Little Mermaid, Frozen, The LEGO Movie, Moana …

8. Retrieving your child from the ballpit

Soft play areas, trampoline parks, and ballpits are built for kids. Kids who get stuck. Kids who need rescuing by their parent. Kids who will shriek louder than an air-raid siren until you squeeze your ass-cheeks through the rollers and lose your socks scaling a cargo net to retrieve them, only to return safely to the cafe area and find someone has eaten your raspberry and white chocolate muffin. I’m just saying.

9. Hiding in the pantry eating snacks

Next time you’re trying to eat a chocolate bar in three mouthfuls with the cupboard door wedged between you and any curious little eyes, just remember all of those times you reminded your child to share their toys … hypocrite! Anyway, sitting in the car for an extra ten minutes after you get home from running an “errand” while leaving your partner with the kids is so much more relaxing for consuming those secret snacks. Ssh, don’t tell!

10. Paying a fortune for teeth

The going rate for the tooth fairy is apparently equivalent to the gold spot price. I eventually reverted to just leaving my Eftpos card under their pillow. And then there’s the teeth that DON’T fall out – the ones that don’t grow straight and have to be lassoed back into position. When your orthodontist refers to your kid’s teeth as “interesting”, run for the hills.

11. Falling completely and utterly in love with your child

Cos seriously – no one is really able to prepare you for that.

What’s something you never imagined being part of your life prior to becoming a parent?

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her world julieWritten by Julie Scanlon

Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire. 

Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”


  1. dawnblyth 02/06/2019 at 9:10 pm

    Catching vomit in my hands! That is one thing I never thought I would have to do!

  2. SarahBlair 02/06/2019 at 5:19 pm

    Yep smelling someone else’s bum in a public place (or anywhere at all for that matter) is certainly something that I never thought that I would do, I also never thought that I would choose to stay at home and watch kids movies instead of going out to party with my friends, I had my first kid at 17, but I honestly preferred it!

  3. candyjanenz 02/06/2019 at 3:36 pm

    Definitely did not consider how long it would take to pack the car even when just going out for the day. We live a fair way from town so can’t just pop home if I forget something.

  4. kymmage 01/06/2019 at 12:54 pm

    I am definitely a pack horse but proudly have never lifted my kid’s butt up to smell it. I draw the line mate!! Haha. One thing that surprised me was how proud I could be of my daughter’s learning vomit goes in the toilet. Like clapping with joys as they puke in the toilet because its not in the carpet.

  5. Alezandra 29/05/2019 at 9:15 pm

    Never used the term poonami before…we didn’t do number 7 – Toy Story – ours is Cars 1, 2, 3 alternately. I think all the dialogue is ingrained in my brain. And yes, picking my battles is now a thing each and every day now.

  6. MuddledUpMolly 28/05/2019 at 5:49 pm

    Haha definitely guilty of hiding in the pantry eating snacks and unfortunately guilty of smelling butts! I love being a mama though and wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

  7. Micht 23/05/2019 at 4:14 pm

    Never thought i would be calling my husband daddy all the time…but i do… never thought i would know every kids program and every song from a kids program more than i know anything else…and most of all…never thought i could love 2 small humans more than i have ever loved anything in my life.

  8. Shorrty4life1 20/05/2019 at 1:18 pm

    I never thought I’d enjoy a swing at the park and a slide with my kids lol 😂. I could never get away with it not having kids now it’s like mum come have a swing and a slide and I’m like hell yessss!!! ❤️

  9. Mands1980 17/05/2019 at 11:59 am

    Ha ha these are all so true. You have no idea what is involved in bringing up a child until you have one and are dealing with all of the above. I never realised how hard it would be to get out of the house with everything you need to take for a baby/child to go somewhere it’s crazy. Even now I have to say to the kids have you got this or that and they reckon they have but you double check and they don’t. Busy busy times parenting.

  10. Bevik1971 15/05/2019 at 9:39 am

    Love all of these points! All true for me really. Until you have a child nothing can really prepare you physically or mentally for the challenge! I had my first at age 21 and my second at age 41 (yes big gap!) and can say that it was different the second time around, harder physically but I think a little easier mentally 🙂 The love for your child can be overwhelming at times

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