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7 lies people tell you when you are expecting a child

Dadventurer with Isla learning guitar

1. You won't have time for dates, dinner and all that when the baby comes

I lost count of how many times people told me to fit in dinner dates, movies and camping trips before baby arrived. The truth is I was ready to have a child and couldn't see which of mine and Laura's hobbies a baby wouldn't fit right in to. She comes out to dinner with us (maybe a half hour earlier than we used to), she comes camping with us, hell, our local cinema even has a crying room. That's a pretty negative name to give it, but we can go to the baby friendly room to watch a movie any time we like. The truth is, if you're ready to have a baby, you probably have an OK lifestyle that you should introduce the baby to... The little monster definitely won't have any cool ideas of her own yet.

2. You'll never get any sleep after the baby's born

Let's face facts, your new baby is going to dictate some of your sleep routines. But I can't remember a time when my sleep wasn't affected by an external factor. Leaving for work before I was fully awake, being stuck at a house party longer than I'd have liked, noisy neighbours making a racket, the bloody dog behaving strangely. There are times I feel like a zombie walking round the house barely succeeding to make a coffee and there are times I feel I live with a zombie. We are managing though, between us, to develop habits and routines that allow us all to be rested enough to really enjoy our beautiful monster Isla. And we really are enjoying it all.

3. Babies are boring

This generally comes from the guys who are still waiting to settle down and haven't got into the headspace yet. Since meeting my amazing daughter, who I wish I had been introduced to in a more boring way, my life has been anything but boring. I find myself walking around the local zoo, getting out the electric guitar for a play, buying all kinds of cool toys and gadgets at times when I used to sit and watch TV. Everywhere I go is more fun with Isla than without her, and she just happens to be a great conversation starter, in fact, a couple of single mates have "borrowed" her on occasion. The camaraderie from everyone when you are walking around with your little monster is amazing.

4. Babies are shitting machines

Actually this is kind of true, but changing nappies is surprisingly fun! Imaging trying to complete a basic Rubik's puzzle while it kicks, screams and squirms all over the place. And all with the added risk factor of having your hands, clothes and furniture covered in shit. Actually, this has been one of the best early bonding experiences with Isla, I really enjoy the one on one time and so does she. It is nowhere near as terrible as I thought it would be and I have proved to myself how creative I can be coming up with yet another game to make it fresh and fun for us both each morning. Don't tell Laura I'm enjoying it though, it's a good way to impress and earn a few brownie points along the way.

5. You and your wife won't have time for each other anymore

It's a weird feeling coming out of the room where your wife recreated the classic scene from alien as the little monster tears her way out of there. But it is hard not to admire and be impressed at what she was capable of. Then, when the doctor says goodbye without so much as an instruction booklet you learn a lot about your relationship. For us, we were definitely brought closer together through it all and our little family is rarely apart from each other now.

6. You will have to cancel your travel plans now

I think my wife and I fought hard against this one. Since Isla's birth we have been to Bali three times, back to the UK to introduce her to her family when she was 4 months old and we have booked a second UK trip when she is 1 and a half. We have found that people are very supportive of travelling children especially the flight attendants (even on budget airlines) who have been amazing, even offering to take Isla for a walk round the plane for us. People are generally impressed to see a 4 month old on an overseas holiday and that felt great for us. Isla is more chilled when on holiday, must be feeling the relaxed vibes we are putting out. We've always picked hotels with pools, restaurants and easy access to the sights just to make sure we are getting as much out of it as possible.

7. The dad isn't much use until the baby is 3

This dad is, I love getting involved. There is so much for us to learn together and my influence on Isla is clear to see. I love music and Isla is just the same, she loves listening to me play the guitar and then joining in! There's heaps of instruments from drums and tambourines to ukeleles and guitars and a couple of obligatory baby keyboards and the like littering my lounge floor. We play them together, and use them to communicate and bond and it is clear how much Isla gets from this. She is learning fast and loving it, we both are.

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