A good friend of mine is about to have a baby. Her first baby. She is wide eyed with joy at her imminent arrival and happily picking out colour schemes and baby clothes whilst flicking through a large pile of books that all claim to prepare her for motherhood. Now those books are great. I read my fair share of them with the first and glanced through them with my second. The third and fourth .. well I didn’t exactly have the time or inclination. Like most things in life, you can read all the books on a subject you like, but nothing prepares you better than being hands on and living the moment. And we have survived. So far. The teen is about to enter his last week in school, so I have successfully raised one child and the others are all ambling along quite happily. So when she asked me to tell her what it is really like to be a parent, I thought long and hard about it.