Junior will be washing cars as soon as he can stand up

Zella had a fantastic day at Titchfield Haven and wonders what other local gems she's overlooked      Picture: Gary Taw

ZELLA COMPTON: Looking afresh at our beautiful spot in the world

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Enjoy your lie-ins whilst you can’. ‘It was harder than I thought it would be’. ‘I’ve never felt so tired’. ‘It turns your world upside down’.

Just some of the pearls of wisdom that we’ve received over recent weeks from friends who already have children and are now giving us words of advice!

So why do we have kids if it really is hell on earth?

The rewards far outweigh the tiredness, they say.

Have you seen how much it costs to raise a child nowadays?

My wife has already been told to get back to work after the birth and junior will be out sweeping chimneys and washing cars just as soon as he can stand up.

My lovely sporty car is going to have to be replaced by a bus and I’m having to throw out loads of clothes as I need to get down to just one small wardrobe to make room.

Still, I cannot wait.

I can now feel him kicking inside mummy’s tummy and I’m counting down the days until I finally meet him.

Did I tell you it’s a boy by the way?

I’m useless at keeping secrets. Anyway, there was no escaping that fact at the 20-week scan.

That’s my boy!

My worries about fatherhood, sleepless nights, nappy-changing and driving a car that responds like a blancmange are all soothed by thoughts of football in the park, piggyback rides and going on trips to Disney.

Then again, another friend advised us me to enjoy every minute. He really wishes that he’d enjoyed the early stages more.

All he remembers is wanting more sleep, not the giggles of delight at changing time or bathtime.

I just hope I don’t turn into ‘Grumpy Rick’ through lack of sleep.

I’ve been ready for 2am feeds and 5am wake-up calls for years now. So bring it on.

Funny though, all you hear from parents when recalling the early days is the hardship.

I personally cannot wait. Hmm, wonder if I’ll be singing the same tune come June?