Wow, it really makes you sit back and think doesn’t it? Mourn, reminisce, weep…! So even though these are now distant memories for me because I find it incredibly hard at times to remember what life was like before having my girls, I have delved into the depths of my mind and come up with these 10 things I wish I had known before having children! Yikes……
- I will never laugh or cough again without a little pee coming out
Yes ok when you are pregnant you do get plenty of warnings from the midwife and district nurse about the importance of doing those Kegal exercises (which maybe you listened to or like me didn’t take as seriously as I should have) but I don’t remember them ever telling me what the consequences would be of not doing them!! Now every time I feel a sneeze coming on I instinctively cross my legs to stop the pee from leaking out. Yeah that’s not embarrassing at all….
2. Going to the supermarket would become my new social life
This is especially in the early days when your baby is very young and there are days when you barely leave the house. All of a sudden going to the supermarket becomes a huge novelty because you are getting out all on your own! I remember once when my second daughter was only a few weeks old and my mum came over to let me go out to to do the shopping. I walked the aisles browsing for far longer than I needed to. I then bumped into my cousin who was also a new mum and we stood talking for at least 20 minutes in front of the cereals, savouring the freedom of finally being out of the house alone!
3. Sky Plus would suddenly become the most important thing in my life
I never knew before having children how much the act of watching television would change for me. I always took it for granted that I could watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted – in silence and uninterrupted. Then the babies arrived and everything changed. Suddenly the evenings were spent trying to put the baby and toddler to bed – basically the hours between 6 and 9 are a complete write off. It is spent making dinner (and now doing homework with my 5 year old), then bath time and bed. So Sky plus has become my saviour – it means I don’t have to miss my favourite shows, I just have to wait until about half nine now before I get to watch them. Preferably with a glass of wine in one hand and a bag of M n M’S in the other!
4. I will never wear high heels again
Before I had children I lived in high heels. I absolutely loved them and had a whole rack full of them – I still do except now all they do is sit and gather dust in my wardrobe. I was so good at walking in them I could have run a marathon with them on! Then my first daughter arrived and very quickly clothes and shoes were not a priority anymore. I suddenly discovered just how much energy is required to wear heels and I did not have that energy to spare. So life became all about flats and runners. I went to a wedding a few months ago and wore a pair of heels for the first time in over two years. By nine o’clock that night I was hobbling and for the next two days I could barely walk. Complete agony! It turns out you need to re-train your feet into wearing high heels and I was nowhere ready for it. I was never so happy to see my precious runners again!
5. My once well-toned abs will never look the same again
Yes before I had children I was a bit of a fitness fanatic. Most evenings after work were spent in the gym or going to spinning class. I loved strength training and prided myself on my well-toned abs (well I worked very hard for them!). Then I became pregnant, twice, and well lets just say tight muscles became stretched and separated – a lot. I try to keep in shape now, whenever I can find the time but I have come to accept that my belly button will forever more now resemble my granny after she has taken her dentures out!
6. Become an expert on children’s tv
Ask me anything about Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol. Go on, ask me! I could go on Mastermind now with Peppa as my specialist subject. But the even stranger thing is, after initially hating it and then finally tolerating it, I actually found myself laughing at it. I even turned to my husband last night and said “We watched the episode today where Miss Rabbit drives the taxi” and he looked at me, laughing and nodding and said “Oh yeah, that’s a good one”. I sometimes wonder – is this what our lives have become? We have developed an appreciation for kids’ tv? Or is it just that our brains have totally melted? I’m not sure…..
7. I will never leave the house again without a packet of wipes
Before having children the only reason I had to own a packet of wet wipes was to sometimes clean my face at night when I couldn’t be bothered to cleanse properly. Now I permanently carry a packet of wipes somewhere on my person. There will always be a packet in the car, in the bottom of the buggy and in my handbag. “Oh did you just spill something?” “Is that a stain on your trousers? – Never fear, I have a wet wipe that will sort that out! ”
8. Getting to stay in bed until 7:30am is the new sleep-in
Everybody says it and it is true – you never fully appreciate all the sleep you got before having children. And the freedom to sleep-in at the weekends for as long as you wanted. Once children arrive that liberty is over. FOREVER!! Now if my daughters manage to sleep through until 7:30 I feel great and well-rested. And if they do that magical thing like both sleep in until after 8 o’clock (this happens about twice a year in our house), then my husband and I are practically giddy with excitement. The best surprise ever – it’s Saturday morning, you hear that first noise through the monitor and you reach out sleepily for your phone to check the time, only to see that it’s 8:10am. It feels like winning the lottery!
9. I will never read a book again
I have tried. I have had the best intentions and a true desire to read a book again. I have gone as far as the library and taken an actual book home for myself (jumbled in amongst all the books that my daughters picked out) and have stood in the kitchen, holding it up and boldly declaring to my husband “I am going to read this!” Well needless to say it never happened. The book sat on my bedside locker gathering dust and acting as a coaster for the glass of water I take to bed with me every night. I just can’t do it. As soon as I get into bed, and much to my husband’s dismay, the tiredness hits me like a tsunami and I am out like a light. I am not fit for anything except sleep. So I have resigned myself to the fact that it I will probably start reading books again once I reach retirement.
10. Get really excited about the post van pulling up outside my house
Oh yes because you know what that means?! That means my lovely clothes parcel has arrived. I just love to see that man/woman carrying my delivery to the front door! Now that I have two small children I rarely get out to shop in stores these days so online shopping for me is the only real way to go. I sometimes think our postman must think I have some sort of addiction because I am frequently getting parcels delivered to the house. But it’s only because of the January sales and I had vouchers, I swear! A girl needs some sort of small pleasure when the rest of her day is spent picking up toys, wiping bums, making sandwiches, getting drinks, watching Peppa, blah, blah, blah……!
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