Now I get it!
As a new mum there are now things I want to apologise for- things I just didn’t understand before I had children. There are also other things I now unashamedly (or shamedly) do. Can you relate?
- Being late
This was always me. I honestly, truly believed I had valid reasons but, looking back, I can now admit my child-free self rarely had an excuse. Getting myself fed, washed and dressed, maybe with a couple of chores thrown in, was about as complicated as it got. Now it’s a whole different ball game; it’s a military operation.
It starts with back-timing from when you need to leave the house, calculating the time needed to get washed, dressed and fed, baby dressed, fed and napped, bottles and/or food for the outing sorted, nappy bag restocked and the washing machine loaded… phew… and that’s not accounting for last minute emergency nappy or sick changes (like Harriet being found in a pool of wee and needing a bath just before I was due to leave for a friend’s house last week). When you do eventually leave the house you then realise you’ve forgotten the sippy cup, your purse etc. It’s like you’ve done a day’s work before you’ve even got out of the door!
Surprisingly my time keeping has actually improved since having a baby. I’m still late but only about 50 per cent of the time. Result! How people get anywhere with two or more children is beyond me…
- Poo talk
I was definitely not going to involve myself in this. How naive was I?? There is no escaping it. It is inevitable. It fascinates and horrifies all at once. Babies can’t talk so it becomes a barometer for if they’re well or sick and how well they’re eating and drinking… and it’s also just a gross bonding topic for mums!
- Babies on planes
I used to break out in a cold sweat if I was sat within a three aisle radius of a baby. I’ve now been on the other side, seeing eyes roll and the look of relief on people’s faces when they realise they get to walk further down the plane and out of earshot.
We took Harriet on her first flight at five months old and while she was surprisingly good (if wriggly), every minute of the two and a half hour flight felt like a lifetime. I liken it to playing Buckaroo- everything may be fine in the moment but that meltdown could happen any time. You’re always on edge.
Pre-baby flights were a pleasure. I loved reading a paper back to front or getting into a good book. Now they’re an endurance exercise. I have new found patience, respect and sympathy for on-flight parents.
- Calling during baby bedtime prep
I’ve been so guilty of this. Sorry veteran mum friends! I had no concept of how delicate and regimented this time of day was- feeding, wind-down, bathtime, milk and finally bed battles. I’ve looked longingly at my phone as a friend’s name pops up, but I’m out of the game from 5pm; every minute is accounted for – no time for chit chat and gossip until after 7pm at the very earliest.
- Posting baby photos
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always loved my friends’ babies popping up on my Facebook timeline, but my eyes used to roll and I would fall into some generic baby photo induced haze when particularly earnest Facebookers documented their child’s every move.
Now while I don’t post loads of pictures I do get why parents are a little trigger happy. There is some weird validation in showing the Facebook world that you’ve managed to keep your baby alive (my proof is a monthly post of Harriet holding her latest milestone card!) and actually get out of the house in time to visit some fun places before they close for the night.
I’m sure as Harriet gets older there will be plenty more to add to this list. I’d be interested in hearing your ‘now I get it’ experiences. Leave them in the comments or Tweet me.