Parenthood is full of the unexpected, one of the most surprising to me was the realisation that I took so much for granted. From the sublime to the ridiculous, here’s a few things which I’ve only really begun to appreciate since I became a mama.
1. Stain remover
I never gave this magical substance a thought before I became a mama, mostly because I’ve mastered the art of feeding myself without needing to wear 87% of my food and have learnt the value of a napkin.
My children have not.
Without fail one or both of them will return from a hard days slog at school wearing no less than 5 different shades of stain…pen, grass, marmite, crayon and even make up!!
I have scrubbed, cursed and thrown away more items of clothing due to stains than I’ve had full nights sleep since becoming a parent.
2. Hands Free
I’m not talking phones or some other fandangle device; I mean walking around with nothing in your hands…..a buggy, wet wipes, a child, nappy bag, blanket or that poxy toy they insisted they couldn’t leave the house without and promised they would carry it, yet you somehow end up with.
As much as I love the moments when my kids want to hold my hand, sometimes I just need to walk along without it feeling like someone is trying to yank my arm out of its socket.
3. A Big Night In
Staying in is the new going out.
The whole rigmarole that would be involved in a night out is just too much to think about let alone put in to practice. Gone are the days when I could chuck on jeans and a hoodie and leave the house in under 5 minutes, now I need to plan, schedule, conduct CBT checks on nannie and doopa, bribe the kids to be on their best behaviour and then attempt to find some items of clothing which don’t have those random food/paint/drool/snot or unidentified stains on.
So yeah, going out has been replaced with the more relaxing and less stress inducing staying in.
4. My Parents
Oh my goodness.
Nothing can make you appreciate just how much of a dick you were to your own parents until your own kids throw that attitude back at you.
I’m sure we all appreciate our parents, but until you’re a parent you just do not realise the heartache, stress, worry and fear that they went through, and most likely still do, cause you know from your own parental experience, that your kids never stop being your baby.
5. Me Time
Peeing alone is so underrated.
I’ve had the most bizarre conversations whilst trying to pee; my boys are nothing if not inquisitive.
Bath times used to be relaxing and are often interrupted by a child who either needs to poo and wants to make sure I hear each and every splash and plop or who wants to show me how they can stand on the toilet seat and aim wee in the loo.
Getting dressed is apparently the time of day when boobage and booberlisers are discussed whilst seeing which bra makes the best hat.
Being a parent automatically makes any right to these seemingly innocent moments null and void, much like sleep filled nights.
6. Hot food and drinks
Enjoying a coffee whilst it’s hot and consuming a meal whilst it is still hot is something I now treasure.
Without fail, no matter what time we eat our dinner, it will be interrupted by the children wanting a hug, a drink, some loo roll, a bedtime story or someone to find their teddy bear.
I miss hot things.
Oh how I miss my once faithful friend.
It started when I was pregnant, then just got worse when I had two screaming babies sleeping in the same room as me, moving them to their cots just meant a longer walk to sooth my screaming babies.
Now that they are a little bit older my nights are broken by calls for drinks, being told the light is too dark and requests for bacon for dinner.
None of this compares to the sleep I lose just worrying about my little family. And not surprisingly, bedtime is one of the rare times I can actually finish a coffee whilst it’s hot, and I wonder why I don’t sleep!
So, those are some of the things which I once took for granted; parenting is nothing if not a journey in self discovery.