Getting ready for what lies ahead

Pregnancy: the pre-parenting bootcamp to whip new recruits into shape.

Pregnancy: the pre-parenting bootcamp to whip new recruits into shape, giving you a taste of what's to come so it's not such a shock when you get there.

Except it still will be.

Take the sleepless nights. All that running up and down to the bathroom is just nature's way of preparing you for responding to a waking baby.

Mother nature clearly has a sense of humour, depleting your sleep reserves at the time you need them most.

Then, there are the amazing highs: like feeling your baby move for the first time, or witnessing their on-screen debut at your first scan.

There's nothing sweeter than the happiness your child will bring. Like telling you they love you for the first time. Right back at ya, Tibbons!

But, of course, there are also the lows: from having a scratch you just can't itch, to facing your third night with no sleep. You’re being gently prepared for some of the more challenging emotions parenting brings your way, like guilt and frustration, when you can’t make it all better.

The sense pregnancy conveys that your body is not quite your own is also paving the way for what’s to come, preparing you for those moments when your toddler will approach and interact with you as their very own ragdoll.

And it wouldn't be true parenting preparation, if it didn't have frequent moments of feeling absolutely clueless.

You know the sort of thing..."It's the first Sunday after the full moon, so can I eat brie or not?"

It's easy to see how this morphs into "Is it okay to let my precious little one wee in her daddy's shoes, if it makes her giggle with pure delight?"

One suggestion, though: no need for mums to be singled out for this intense 40-week experience. Let's share the load with the dads; 20 weeks apiece sounds good to me.