Things I didn’t do before I had children


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.

I’m linking up this post with the Share with Me linky over at Let’s Talk Mommy’s blog.

Mami 2 Five
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  • Reply
    November 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Brilliant! I agree with every single one, especially the little boy JL advert :). Lovely sweet photo btw; fruit shoot or not!

    I was so idealistic, so desperate to do everything right that I really had to learn to let go and live a little and stop giving myself a hard time.

    I would add – plucking my eyebrows in the car when hubby is driving us somewhere as its the only time i have to do it and putting on my make up in the traffic queues to work as impossible at home as small boys mess with everything!,

    Super post, made me smile a lot 🙂 x
    Steph recently posted…Running up that hill – or hills!My Profile

    • Reply
      November 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Haha Steph thank you! I’m quite often seen slapping the blusher on on the train it has to be said! Oh and generally not looking in the mirror before leaving the house for work, which sometimes ends in disaster…! Xx

  • Reply
    Laura Evelyn Bee
    November 18, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Brilliant post and very funny!!
    I think you have to add multitasking to the list. I can be cleaning, entertaining my daughter, thinking what’s for tea and singing the wheels on the bus (I might not do any jobs well but hey-ho!). Pre-baby I used to feel hard done by when I had to clean the house, alone, with no interruptions!!!! Those were the days 🙂 x
    Laura Evelyn Bee recently posted…Pushchair WarsMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      I know, cleaning can be done in such a short space of time and far more thoroughly without small ones undoing all the hard work as you go! Glad you like it, thank you for your lovely comment x

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    November 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Ha ha love this all so true, I have an obsession with wet wipes still. I get panicky if I run our and my youngest is 9 haha
    sarah christie recently posted…Bad Dreams, Aren’t They Odd?My Profile

    • Reply
      November 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      I know, they are still handy though! I should keep them on my desk at work! X

  • Reply
    Katie (@mami2fiveblog)
    November 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Love this and agree with everything, you are completely right that subsequent children get things to eat/drink or able to do things much earlier than their older siblings!
    Our go to meal is cous cous. It literally take 5 minutes to cook and can be served with anything pasta can!
    Katie (@mami2fiveblog) recently posted…Multiple Madness Linky #5My Profile

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Oh yeah cous cous is a big one here too, tho the little one is at the age where most of it goes on the floor! X

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Brilliant!!!! 🙂 BK I was totally into not letting them watch TV or play computer games, I frowned upon it. Now I have twins this has GONE OUT OF THE WINDOW. I love this post and giggled so much xxxxx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Should we move house for the right school?My Profile

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Ah thank you! Yes it’s all about survival sometimes! Xx

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Ha ha.. brilliant post! I panic buy wet wipes too..they are always on offer! It’s a problem… and as for fruit shots I hate seeing her swigging them too! ha x
    mamasvib recently posted…V. I. BUYS: 9 Cool kids Advent Calendars … and not a chocolate in sight!My Profile

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 11:22 am

      It’s bad isn’t it!! Actually for all this I did run out of wipes yesterday, aargh! Loved your post too! Great minds! X

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Love this post so much and all so true!!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Thank you! Xx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    November 20, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Oh my, this is all so true. I had such high ideals before Little Miss H was born. I especially thought that I would hardly have the TV on. Now I often curse CBeebies because it doesn’t start until 06.00. And the John Lewis advert with the snowman had me blub my eyes out. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 11:23 am

      High ideals is the right way to phrase it, definitely! Expectations and standards certainly take a bit of a dip don’t they. Glad you liked the post! xx

  • Reply
    November 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Oh the wipes. I bulk-bought to the extreme. I think I’ll still have enough stock for the grandchildren. I get panicky if I leave the house without snacks for my boy and I absolutely must have a spare pair of trousers and underpants for him. The trousers are about three sizes too small, but I still insist on taking them everywhere. The Thomas Tank underpants are always to be found hanging off the end of something I pull out of my bag quickly in an inappropriate place. Usually my notebook in a meeting at work.
    And before I had kids, I really didn’t understand how the buzz of shopping for trains could ever match the buzz of handbags in Selfridges. And they’re cheaper!

    • Reply
      November 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      That’s so true about the pants! Funny. Can you believe I ran out of wipes today and now have six packs in stock. phew. Panic over. X

  • Reply
    Mama Blueberry
    November 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Excellent post I can relate to all of it. So honest but true x
    Mama Blueberry recently posted…Adventures of a NOOB bloggerMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Melodie Cullen
    November 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I am so glad that there is someone else out there who leaves her hair in an up do for a prolonged amount of time. It seems the moment I was mine, I get sick or food in it. So I gave up unless I really have to. It still ends up on top of my head to prevent it being pulled out.
    Melodie Cullen recently posted…8 tips to get through babies 1st coldMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Good plan! Haha x

  • Reply
    Anne Krietlow
    November 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I am so with you! Sometimes I think going out 3 times a year is pushing it! Thank you for the laugh and the nods this afternoon. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Your little gal is just adorable.
    Anne Krietlow recently posted…Blog Link Love List #3My Profile

    • Reply
      November 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Ah thank you! happy weekend to you too! I’m just wondering if I can stay awake til ten, haha! X

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    November 23, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Fab post hun! Yep, yep and yep, what is it about bloody wet wipes! 🙂 #SundayStars x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…When photoshoots go BADMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

      I know! Thank you xx

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Brilliant post – so true and so very funny. The iPad is a lifesaver first thing in the morning and I know what you mean about 3 nights out being a near-miraculous event! And yes, I’m constantly stocking up on wipes and won’t pay more than £1 for a pack either if I can help it! #sundaystars
    Louise recently posted…Silent SundayMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

      I’m glad it’s not just me! I can’t stay awake anyway when I do get a night out! Tragic xx

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Haha love this post. I’m a wipe fanatic too. The irrational panic of running out, though I know there’s still two unopened packs in the cupboard. And … I found a YouTube video of moving shapes for babies a few days ago (my girl is 3 months). I feel a bit guilty but it buys me 15 minutes of guaranteed calm per day! #sundaystars
    milly recently posted…Routine (12 weeks)My Profile

    • Reply
      November 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      The shapes sound good! If it buys a few minutes it’s worth it I say! Xx

  • Reply
    Emily (Mama ramblings)
    November 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Haha! i think I have so much of this to come, although like you dry shampoo has become my new best friend!! x
    Emily (Mama ramblings) recently posted…Breastfeeding ‘Bribery’My Profile

    • Reply
      November 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      I don’t know if I even have time for dry shampoo some days! Hee hee x

  • Reply
    Brighton Mama
    November 23, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    So true! I can relate to so many points. You can never have enough baby wipes! And pasta…how could we live without it 🙂 #thelist

  • Reply
    Megan - Truly Madly Kids
    November 23, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    LOVE the ipad comment – I said it this morning!

    Great post – and three nights out is good going!
    Megan – Truly Madly Kids recently posted…COMPETITION from RadwrapsMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      I know! I wonder if I’ll have the energy for them all?!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Fabulous.checking down my back for baby vomit was the height of my accessorising for a long time

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    November 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    *smiling and nodding as I read* I always have a banana in my handbag! Lol. Because you never know!
    I tried setting my alarm earlier to get washed and dressed before the baby wakes… but it wakes her too. This from the child that can sleep through fireworks! Pha!
    Katie Haydock recently posted…In the Night Garden and Rice Crispies #MySundayPhoto #SundayStarsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hannah Mums' Days
    November 28, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Hahaha! hilarious – love wet wipes, dry shampoo is my best friend (no chance I’m getting up at 5:40 to get a bloody shower, silly idea 😉 !!) and I love the you have 3 nights out in December…2 more than me you party animal!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…The list 13 – Personal Planner Giveaway!My Profile

  • Reply
    Everything mummy
    December 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Great post nodding along all the way through in also said they’d never watch TV paha!
    Everything mummy recently posted…Christmas EveMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 3, 2015 at 11:31 am

    This is brilliant and so true. I was nodding along the entire time I was reading. So different isn’t it? Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. Happy new year! #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Me & Mine {December}My Profile

    • Reply
      January 3, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks Jenny! Happy New Year to you! Xx

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    Baby gal at the park, nose squished against the window but still smiling!