Enjoy the silence while you still can

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LESLEY KEATING: A white-knuckle pursuit ending with a lesson in trust

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Among my family and friends there have been a few announcements recently that a baby will be arriving soon.

While everyone around them is sending them good wishes, I want to tell them to really enjoy the last few months of being without child.

You see, there are moments in your life you won’t fully appreciate until you have children, but by then those moments are well and truly gone.

So here I give you what no parenting manual, midwife, man or woman will tell you.

Well they didn’t tell me. So to any pregnant ladies out there or any fathers-to-be, my first bit of advice is to enjoy eating.

I’m not insinuating that you won’t get to eat, but those nice calm moments when you sit down with a plate of food in front of you ready to enjoy your favourite meal and take in every mouthful will be very different.

Soon you will be like a waiter or waitress but with very annoying and dissatisfied customers who will spill things, break things and won’t want to eat what you give them.

By the time you get to eat your food it will probably be cold, so you will be using the microwave more than you do now.

Secondly, enjoy talking on the phone.

Don’t worry, you still get to use the phone and talk to your friends and family. But like the eating thing, the experience will be quite different to how it is now.

Right now, you have nobody screaming in the background, no-one requesting you wipe their bottom and no-one spilling a cup of milk on your new jeans.

Soon this will all happen in the space of one phone call.

Then there is the big one – enjoy your sleep.

When you have a few hours extra in bed on Sunday, don’t even begin to feel guilty.

Soon you’ll be woken up by crying and you’ll have the smell of a pooey nappy wafting up your nose.

So this Sunday enjoy that silence in bed, enjoy having nothing to get up for and enjoy taking as long as you like 
to drink that tea and eat that breakfast.

There is lots more advice I could give you but I don’t want to overload you, and I predict in a year’s time you may be passing on this advice to another parent-to-be.

Of course at the same time as dishing out this advice, I’d also tell them that they are about to be an employee of the best and most rewarding job in the world.

You’ll once again get to see the world through a child’s eyes, you’ll feel needed and have a purpose every single day and you’ll have a bond with your child like no other.

Welcome to the club and good luck.