It’s true what they say – you cannot possibly prepare yourself for parenthood. Just over a month ago I was blissfully enjoying my first week of maternity leave. Back in those days, you could find me taking a long, relaxing morning shower, sitting around our air-conditioned house leisurely reading a paperback novel and getting a decadent five to six (albeit interrupted) hours of sleep a night. Even nine months pregnant, I could hop in the car and go shopping for at least an hour before I got tired. Ahh, the good life.

Fast forward four weeks. I still sit around the house for most of the day, except now I usually have a baby sleeping on my chest, preventing me from getting a lick of housework done. Quick shopping trips are a distant memory – I usually go four to five days without venturing past the outskirts of our little suburban neighbourhood. Morning showers have to be quick but at least they provide me with the only alone time I get in a single day. And the only books I read now involve lengthy discussions of baby bowel movements.

But despite all these life-altering changes, THIS is the good life. I love being a mom and holding this tiny life in my arms. I can’t remember a time without Kaylin and I never want to.

So to all you parents-yet-to-be, enjoy your “freedom” but know that parenting will be the most amazing and rewarding time in your life.

With this in mind, here are five things I have learned in the past month that you won’t find in baby books. You can thank me later:

1. Baby clothes sizes are usually wrong. Why else is my one-month old able to wear both “preemie” clothes and clothes for a six-month old? This leads me to assume that all women’s sizes are also wrong and that I am, in fact, a size 4.

2. Baby poop is not as scary as one would think. I’ve even found myself doing a dance of joy at 4 am once when my daughter presented me with a full diaper. You had to be there I guess.

3. Babies know how to behave for company, even at a very young age. My brother and his fiancée still don’t believe us that Kaylin cries. Every time they are over, she is sound asleep and cute as a bug. I’m convinced she’s trying to make us look like liars.

4. Oprah is on, like, five times a day! (OK, that’s not really about babies, but who knew?)

5. And finally, and most importantly, there is nothing better in the whole wide world than seeing your baby smile. Nothing.