Let me say first of all, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I am absolutely not an expert in motherhood. This post started a few weeks ago, after a quick poll round my office on the things we do now as parents that we would never have considered ok to do BK, or Before Kids. I could go on and on with this, but thought I’d put my first thoughts out there to see how many of you agreed with them.
Feel free to add your own in the comments! X Julia
So here are the things I didn’t do… Before kids!
Let my children play on the iPad so early in the morning. This applies more to first born, as baby gal is still a bit young to really get much out of it. I don’t think I can explain it better than Michael McIntyre did in his stand up show that always makes me laugh out loud. I’ve just been searching for it and can’t find it, but basically he’s saying before you have kids, it’s so easy to be idealistic about how you want to raise them. For example, they won’t be allowed to play computer games, watch too much TV, etc, then when they come into your bedroom in the early hours of a weekend morning, you’re like, “Here, take the iPad! It’s on the side. Just watch what you like!” Anything to get that extra hour of precious sleep.
Buy fruit shoots. Or even know what they were, probably. It’s not that I mind the odd one, it’s just that I think they have a tendency to look a little bit on the chav side when guzzled by the under twos. This is something which can be avoided with child number one, but with any subsequent cubs, you can forget it. They see what their sibling has and want it all the more. You can see in this photo, I’m staying classy with my baby gal swigging away on the bottle!
Clean my house at rate of one chore a day, so that covering the whole house takes approximately one week. This is a tactic learnt from my late grandma, who when she was in her 80s, slowed her housework down to doing one job a day, spreading the load across the whole week. This is me now – only 50 years younger!
Involve pasta in about half of my meals. Where once my husband and I were both vegetarians, now we all generally want to eat differently and finding a meal that we all like is pretty difficult. Our go-to emergency meal? Pasta and pesto, with a bit of broccoli on the side if you’re lucky.
Walk past baby wipes in a shop and don’t buy any. Stockpiling wipes is an absolute must for me now, as I work on the theory that you can never have too many and it’s a nightmare if you run out mid nappy change. Despite this rule, I’ll also never pay more than £1 a pack, so living in close range to both Aldi and Home Bargains helps a lot. Don’t forget, wipes can be used for everything from cleaning little hands and faces to freshening up shoes, car interiors and even clothing!
Set my alarm for 5.40am, just so I can get a shower before the kids get up. When first born was a few months old and I was a total novice at this mum thing, a friend said to me if I don’t blow dry my hair before the kids get up, my day is ruined! I don’t go as far as to brave a hair wash so early, but I now know exactly where she’s coming from.
On the subject of hair, I didn’t know then that I would happily leave my locks for up to three to four days between washes. Where I used to be a shampoo everyday kind of girl, now I see washing my hair as a laborious chore best left to the professionals. Fortunately two pregnancies have left it fairly dry, so washing it any more than once every couple of days makes it massively frizzy. There is method in this madness.
Pre-kids, I wouldn’t have to worry about loading up my handbag with snacks, drinks and spare clothes. Whereas in my 20s I’d rummage around in the bottom of my bag for a packet of fags and a lighter, now I’m scrabbling for raisins, tissues and toys.
Choose clothes according to how easy they are to wash and how quickly I can make them form any semblance of an outfit in the few minutes I have every morning to get dressed. Top of my list are leggings or skinny jeans with jumpers and ankle boots. Quick shoulder check for snot or pasta sauce stains, and I’m done,
Think going out twice in one week is excessive. I caught myself yesterday telling a mum friend that I’d “already got three nights out booked in for December”. THREE nights out! Call the police! There was a time when I used to think staying in three nights in a month was a travesty.
Be so emotional. Why is it, that now I’m a mum I only have to glance at a John Lewis Christmas ad and be in floods of tears? The worst one (or best, depending on how you look at it), is the one where the little boy is waiting for Christmas Day to come just so he can give a present to his mum. Pass the Kleenex quick! Any sort of vague tugging at the heartstrings has me welling up. Having kids has definitely softened me up a bit.