I love my baby so much. I knew that my life would change after I had him. Many of my friends have children, I felt pretty ready for the changes. This is a hormone trick that your brain does to you so that the human race does not die out.
1. Sleeping. Oh my god I miss sleeping. The thought of being able to get into bed at ten p.m. with a book (no reading in bed now, he will sense my presence and wake up) fall asleep when I can keep my eyes open no longer (I could fall asleep standing in the queue at Tesco now) and sleep until I naturally woke, then roll over and have a lie in until life (work/dogs/need a wee) made me need to get up, is one of the most tantalsing prospects that I can think of. Now I stealth sneak into my own bedroom, slowly moving the duvet so as not to create noise and lie down gently hoping that I can sleep for more than three hours without being woken.
2. Leaving the house. My check list used to be phone, purse, keys and fags, unless I was taking the dogs as well and then I would shove some poo bags and gravy bones into my pocket too. I now carry a bag that is so heavy that I worry it will damage my back long term. I must check to see that I have two changes of clothing, nappies, wipes, travel changing mat, toys, calpol, teething granules, a hat, muslins, nappy rash cream, a bowl, spoon and a mini meal. Then I must dismantle all evidence of baby and hide it in the cupboard under the stairs so that the biggest dog doesn’t eat it all in a fit of worry about his baby (he obviously doesn’t trust me not to lose/break him while I am out, I learnt this lesson the hard way when he ate the moses basket when the baby was three weeks old). Then I must get the car seat or pushchair, put my child in lots of layers (cue angry crying as he hates being clothed) strap him into contraption (more crying) Try and get baby and contraption out of the house without standing on a dog/letting a dog run out into the street. “Popping to the shop” is a serious mission. I forgot toilet roll the other day and just used tissues until lovely boyfriend came home so that I didn’t have to repeat the process all over again.
3. Booze. More than one booze at a time. Having one glass of wine is not the same as sharing a few bottles with friends. Chatting nonsense to a taxi driver on your way home from a lovely night out is a thing of the past, I doubt I could afford a taxi to the end of the street these days. If I do get the chance to have a (singular) drink there is guilt as I am breastfeeding and I worry that I will somehow be damaging my tiny person. I miss being awake in the small hours, walking (wobbling) down the road enjoying the stars and the way the city changes in the night. Now I am awake in the small hours with a baby angrily gnashing at my nipples.
4. Sexy underwear. Matching bra and pants on purpose, not that I am wearing black pants and black feeding bra. Having quick release catches on your bra sounds like it might be sexy, however, when you do quick release that catch there is a milk sodden breast pad in the way of the boob, never sexy, no matter how you try and look at it. So even if you are feeling sexy, you don’t want your partner to try and undress you because there are soggy reminders that your breasts still belong to the baby and if you try and get them to join in sexy times they are likely to drench your partner in milk rather than be the perky little mounds of joy that they were before.
5. Make up. I used to wear make up every day, it made me feel confident and good about myself. I would recommend giving up on make up before you have a baby so that you get used to it, otherwise it will be another thing that makes you shudder at yourself when you look in the mirror. Which means that you will not look in the mirror as much when you have a baby. Which means that you may very well spend a day with a soggy bib stuck in your hair and pureed carrot in your eyebrow without knowing (actual life event).
6. Only getting advice when I ask for it. Now that I am a parent I obviously want to hear every opinion on child rearing that has ever been. I am doing it wrong. I am doing some of it right but should change 98% of what I am doing. I am doing a good job, but they don’t know how as they did it so differently. And all of these opinions are unsolicited. If I wanted advice in the past I would ask trusted friends for it. I still feel the same way now. I have trusted parent friends who I do ask for advice. However if I haven’t asked, how about shut up. Seriously, I am sleep deprived, it can only go for so long before I beat someone to death with a nappy bag (it weighs a ton, it would be easy).
Don’t worry though, as I have this other list.
Things I would miss if I hadn’t had my baby.
1. Pretty much EVERYTHING. (except the annoying, unwanted advice, those people really can shove it right up their arse.)