7 Things That Were Different in Life BC (Before Children, That Is)

Parenthood is a life changer, no two ways about it. Things that you took for granted before you had children get viewed in an all-new light, through bleary eyes and caffeinated dark hours. It’s a fantastic change, filled with lovely moments that will last in memory. Soon, you’ll start to wonder what life was like before the little pet came into your life and changed everything.

 

Bedtime

Before you had kids, its quite likely you went to bed at an hour that wasn’t too unreasonable, especially if there was work the following morning, but likely that gave you less sleep than optimum for a full working day. After baby, its likely you’re set for bed at 8pm and wishing the baby would do the same. As for staying out until 4am? Pah! Not a clue why I used to let myself be that sleep deprived for fun!

Meal Times

Do you remember eating with two hands? Having a meal without a child on one knee, staring at every mouthful you eat? Perhaps a meal where you didn’t have to balance a bottle into a child’s mouth while attempting to eat without spilling any of your food onto the child. While still in hospital, I once skipped dinner and went straight for dessert as the baby had decided it was also his mealtime: since dinner was a hot stew and dessert was a cold trifle, it seemed like the easier option. Also, decaff coffee as the healthier choice? No more. Extra shot every time.

Daylight Saving Time

Oh, the hour going back. Thoughts of lie-ins, an extra hour in bed, wonderful notions of Sunday mornings where work was an extra hour away than any of other week of the year. Yeah, nobody passed on the message to the children, so now you’re awake at 5.30. For the next month. Gah.

Songs Stuck in Your Head

Whether you were one for getting the latest Top-40 ear worm stuck in your head for weeks, or random old songs popping in and not leaving due to their inclusion in advertising, I can bet you didn’t realise just how catchy Old MacDonald (and his friend Ali Baba, who also has a farm) could really be. It’s only when you’re wandering through Tesco, childless for a brief interval, and you find yourself singing “With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there” that you realise just how grave your problem is. Bring back the dodgy Rihanna lyrics – at least they were a semi-socially acceptable ear worm.

Laundry

Once upon a time, you did washing once or twice a week. You even got to see the end of the laundry basket. Those days are gone, my friend. Also note: wearing clean clothes in front of your infant, with the intention of leaving the house wearing those same clothes, is a mistake and unfortunately, a price must be paid! They will get no further than the laundry basket. You have been warned. Children mean endless laundry.

Topics of Conversation with Complete Strangers

Back in the day, complete strangers had two main forms of conversation – the weather, and any holiday plans (this one reserved mainly for hairdressers). Once baby comes into the picture, this changes. No longer will you be confronted with “Sure, its not raining, isn’t it lovely?” but multiple questions, mostly culminating in “Is he/she good for you, do they sleep?”. On top of this, if the other complete stranger is also a parent, it is quite likely you can wind up discussing your child’s bowel movements, in alarming detail you never would have anticipated in a million years. Ah poo talk, the fodder of the new mama.

Baby-free Time/Shopping

Looking back, I could have spent hours wandering the shops, picking up random things, enjoying my time to myself and heading home with a couple of new purchases that were obviously essentials. These days, on days when I am deliberately headed out the door to get things for myself, sans tiny compadre, I’m likely to return empty handed for myself, and with a bag of baby clothes. Or formula. In fact, often the only thing not for the child is milk. I can’t be alone here.

What else have you noticed as the biggest changes since becoming a parent?

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