I was always quite an organised person, so replying to messages surely wouldn’t be a problem when kids came along. I’d just pop the baby down, sit down to bash out a reply, and hey presto, the job would be done and friendships would flourish. But what I hadn’t considered is that giving birth to that baby would fry my brain cells. Three years later, I’m still using the same excuse.
2 – Getting to the bottom of the laundry basket
This wasn’t something I considered in the days when I only needed to do a couple of washes a week. I didn’t realise that I’d hang a load up to dry, step away from the drier, and then glance down to see that the basket was already half full again. And I didn’t realise that even if I did get that ‘halleluiah’ moment of spying the bottom every once in a while, I wouldn’t bother to celebrate. Oh no – because I am wise enough after 3 years of this motherhood lark to know it will be overflowing again by lunchtime.
3 – Leaving the house on time
People with children were always late and I had no idea why. It was plain rude. So my newborn baby took it upon himself to teach me why on our very first trip out the house together. By exploding in his nappy, down one leg of his babygrow, and all over the kitchen floor as I picked him up to put him in his car seat.
4 – Styling them
When my first baby was little, I imagined him running around in a superhero costume when he grew up. Actually, he’d probably choose to wear it to the supermarket, which would be really cool. But then he grew up and decided costumes were totally overrated to the point of screaming at the top of his lungs when they came within a few feet of him. In fact, it turned out that he had his own views on pretty much everything in his wardrobe. No he didn’t want to wear the new T-Shirt I had bought him – he wanted to wear the one with a nasty cartoon emblazoned across the front that was a gift and I had carefully hidden at the bottom of the pile. And don’t even get me started on his hatred of hats. Don’t even get me started.
5. Giving them Five-a-Day
I was pretty adamant that my children would eat a super healthy diet. Before I had them, that is. The truth is that vegetables were suddenly considered the epitome of evil at some point after they moved onto solid food. It has been a battle every mealtime since – and three years later, I still watch them pick up peas, think about it for a second, and then drop them on the floor without a flicker of shame.
6. Losing the baby weight
I didn’t think it would be easy, but I did think it would happen eventually. Probably within a few months. But it was no biggie, I was prepared to wait that long. I thought it would be easy to resist stealing bits of fish fingers off their plates at dinnertime too, but it turns out that wasn’t so easy either.
7. Being angry
I wasn’t going to be a pushover as a mother. No way. I was made of tough stuff – and if my children were disobedient, cheeky, or damn right rude, they would find out who was boss. And if they didn’t sleep or refused to comply, they could cry in their cot until they did. But then they were born, I clapped their big innocent eyes, and I turned to jelly. Oh I can do angry – but they only have to glance at me and I melt. It’s frustratingly inconvenient.