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12 Forgotten truths about parenting

How parenting is like a house fire, and other things only parents will understand

I’m not perfect. I lose it a lot less than I used to, but I still find myself wondering what life would have been like without kids.

I wondered yesterday, actually, when I was trying to get my two girls to school and my tween was picking a fight with anyone who stood still for half a second. Actually, she was picking a fight with anyone in the room.

She was loathsome. Then she told me it was because, "It's obvious everyone loves my sister more than they love me!"

Of course they do. Your sister is behaving reasonably. You're being horrible.

That’s the truth. Of course, I can't say that. Nor can I tell her a bunch of other truths about parenting. I can tell you, because I know you'll understand.

1. Parenting is like a dog with its head out the window

You don't need to know where you're going to enjoy the ride — and there's often drool to clean up.

2. Parenting is like a box of LEGO

You can create your own reality, like the reality that the house might stay tidy for five minutes. OK, maybe it’s more a case of building your own fantasy.

3. Parenting is like a box of chocolates

Too much parenting at once isn't good for you. As Forrest Gump famously said, "You never know what you're gonna get."

4. Parenting is like the weather

You never know when rain's about to pour. Then again, you never know when the clouds will part and the sun will shine through.

5. Parenting is like magic

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand, and there are days you just don’t know what's happening.

6. Parenting is like religion

You just have to believe. Believe your kids will turn out OK in the end, you're not really losing your grip on reality and you’ll emerge from Mommyland… one day.

7. Parenting is like a relationship

It's complex, multilayered and emotive. Some days, you wonder if it's worth the effort, and other days you wonder what all the fuss was about.

8. Parenting is like water

It helps us grow, keeps us alive and we can't live without our kids. Although some days, we fantasize about them leaving home.

9. Parenting is like a mobile phone

Some days, your kids receive you loud and clear, but other days it seems the reception is terrible. They clearly only get every second word.

10. Parenting is like a house fire

It might be scary as all hell, but no one thinks you're brave for surviving. Just like house fires, some people think there must be something wrong with you if you have too many.

11. Parenting is like tightrope walking

It pays to keep your arms out and your eyes up. Just keep moving.

12. Parenting is like a puppy

Kids are adorable, cute and cuddly — but occasionally, they leave poop on the carpet.

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