Sleepless nights? Bring it on - you now need less sleep than an 18-year old raver.
Nappy changing? Pah - you can do it one handed.
Leaving the house? Not a problem - you can be packed and out the door in 5.3 seconds flat.
But let's not be too smug about it. Because mark my words, there are a few things that you might not be ready for. Here are just three examples:
You don't quite remember when you conceived because you were actually having sex on a regular basis. And you were mildly surprised how quickly it happened. One minute you'd decided to think about trying, the next you were throwing up down the toilet and hoping that the three jaiger-bombs you threw down your throat the weekend before you knew you were pregnant won't have any long lasting impact on the baby.
You decide to start trying for a baby and plan a day to have sex. Then you forget. You eventually get around to it several weeks later, but have to fit it in between a post-work shower and an episode of Game of Thrones. Baby two takes longer than anticipated to conceive, much to your surprise. You had assumed you were as fertile as a rabbit.
Yes you were a bit unwell at the start, but it didn't take long to feel normal again. And then being pregnant was fun. You glowed. Your hair was glossy. You could almost feel your liver regenerating due to lack of alcohol. You bought expensive maternity clothes, napped every day after work, listened to classical music before going to bed and got your partner to rub your feet, even though it wasn't really necessary. You ate healthily, went to the gym, religiously did your pelvic floor exercises and rubbed your belly with three different anti-stretch mark creams. You even massaged a part of your anatomy you had never even heard of with olive oil, in the vain hope it would stop you tearing. At the end of your pregnancy, you bounced on a ball and did yoga cat stretches on your lounge rug. Not because you needed to, but because it passed the time. You had a birth plan, a list of baby names and a nursery that smelled of fresh paint.
You thought you were dying for the first few weeks and have never felt so tired. You go to a very dark place and blame your husband for all of your life regrets. You look 6 months pregnant at 8 weeks, are as spotty as a teenager and are certain that you're hairier in places you really don't want to be. As you change your toddler's nappy whilst simultaneously vomiting into a bucket one morning, you wonder if you've made the right decision. You improve as the weeks go by, but the relentless fatigue remains. You eat more biscuits than the Cookie Monster, do your first pelvic floor at 38 weeks and seriously consider buying shares in McDonald's given the number of cheeseburgers you've eaten over the last six weeks. You ask your partner for a foot rub, only to see him look at you as if you are completely insane. You forget your notes at every midwife appointment, your birth plan just says "hopefully quicker" and you haven't thought of a single baby name. Your toddler insists on joining in with your yoga stretches and your dog bursts your exercise ball.
3. Raising your baby - the first few months
Having read Gina Ford from cover to cover, you begin baby one's routine from the moment you get home. Only to discover little Freddie doesn't like your routine at all. So you read a few more books, do a bit more googling and eventually decide to make it up as you go along (or do whatever stops your baby crying). You change nappies after every wee and keep a diary of how long you breastfeed for. You massage your baby with organic oils, wash and iron every baby grow and look at any offers of hand-me-downs with barely concealed disgust. You worry about everything, panic at the first suggestion of a rash or a temperature and generally scold yourself for being a crap mother. You spend a small fortune on Amazon buying things you don't need and never use. Your baby seems to spend a lot of time in your bed.
You retrieve all your baby stuff from the loft and have a mental battle as to whether you really need to re-wash it, despite the fact everything smells of mildew. You are excited to find a box of baby gadgets that have never been used, only to realise they are all completely useless. You've lost your Gina Ford book but that doesn't really matter because the nearest thing you have to a routine is remembering to get baby 2 to nap "at some point". You only change nappies after a poo, put your new baby in his own room at four weeks because he is "too noisy" and accept offers of second hand clothes and toys with the desperation of a refugee. The nearest you get to a baby class is when you walk past the local church on the way to Waitrose. Your baby seems to spend a lot of time in his pram or on the floor.
It really makes one wonder why we bother. So why do we?
WELL, despite the fact that there may be times when you honestly wonder whether you've done the right thing, and suddenly think that only children are a great idea after all (think of how much money you would save, and how much earlier you could go back to that all-inclusive in St Lucia) we all know why we want a second. It's for that moment that you see your number two for the very first time. It's for the second that that little pink hand grasps your finger in their's. It's for the first time you see a smile that isn't wind. At that moment, you will think to yourself: "I was right to do it again".
Just someone please shoot me if I decide to have a third...