‘I’ll never do that!’
Who’s that woman in Crocs eating a pie in the supermarket? ‘Help, it’s me!’, confesses Andrea Botha.
When I first told people I was pregnant, I was warned to be prepared for the changes motherhood would bring. But nobody said how much just being pregnant alone would change me.

Eight months into my first pregnancy, I have found myself breaking five of my own cardinal rules – much to the amusement of friends and family.

Rule #1 - I will never wear Crocs
I'm no fashionista, but I've always thought Crocs are incredibly clunky and ugly – except for those cute pink ones for babies. But I was not prepared for the swollen, painful feet of the third trimester. On one particularly exhausting shopping trip I happened to remember people swearing to me in tones of religious conversion how Crocs were the most comfortable shoes ever. I tried on a pair…..now I'm a believer!

Rule #2 - I will never eat in a car/supermarket
That's just sad, I always thought. But that was before morning sickness and acute starvation hit me in an extremely unpleasant combo. I remember seeing myself in a supermarket mirror, pushing my trolley while eating a steak pie, flaky pastry sticking to my chin. Not my finest hour.

Rule #3 - I will never leave the house with unshaven legs/armpits/dirty clothes

What can I say? Nothing fits anymore. Getting dressed has morphed from a being a chore to daily torture. So when I find pants that actually make it over my hips, who cares that they're straight from the laundry basket? Same goes for the only top that doesn't make my skin itch and works with the only comfortable bra I have left. So I can't lift my arms all day because I haven't shaved in a week? Big deal.

Rule #4 - No man will ever tell me what to do
Experts agree that the occasional glass of wine after the first trimester is ok. But my partner is not convinced. I could lie to him and sneak a glass of wine now and then. But then I consider that I finally have a husband who is actually excited about having a baby. I realise I want to keep him involved in the pregnancy. So I give up the booze. Reluctantly. And only temporarily, of course.

Rule #5 - I will never become one of those boring women who only talk baby-baby-baby...
A friend calls to chat and makes the mistake of asking me how I am. I plunge into a 20min monologue about heartburn, sleeping discomfort, skin problems, a variety of ailments of the unmentionable nether regions. The line suddenly sounds very quiet. I ask rather embarrassingly, ‘Are you still there?’

I'm beginning to wonder how much actual motherhood will change me – and what kind of a mother I will be. Is there a suburban soccer mom lurking inside of me or (please say yes) will I be a yummy mummy like supermodel Heidi Klum? I suppose only time – and a 3kg bundle in a baby grow – will tell!

What are the ‘never’ rules you’ve broken since getting pregnant and having kids?

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