1 – Sugar. When you first bring a child into the world, you vow that sugar will not touch their lips until they go to university. Then their first birthday arrives and you let them destroy a cupcake. And the rest, as they say, is history.
2. The Living Room. ‘I will absolutely not, under any circumstances, allow brightly coloured plastic toys take over my living room. It will remain an ADULT SPACE,” you said, stroking your pregnant bump. Fast forward a few years and you can hardly see the carpet.
3. iPads and iPhones. You saw parents in cafes reach into their bags and pull out iPads and iPhones to entertain their kids, while they tucked into their Full English Breakfast in peace. ‘Lazy parenting’, you thought. ‘I’ll involve my children in mealtimes when I am a parent.” Until that is, you have a couple of these small, noisy, fidgeting humans under your care and you fancy a Full English Breakfast in peace.
4. Nursery Rhymes. “I will not be that Mum that plays nursery rhymes in the car,” you told yourself. And then you gave birth to a child that prefers the sound of his own screaming to your carefully curated playlist. He liked Old Macdonald though – so you pressed ‘play’ so regularly that you still catch yourself singing the lyrics in the shower.
5. Soft Play. Who would want to go into those horrendous, sweaty, noisy places by choice? Not you! Until you had a toddler and realised they could fall flat on their face and bounce straight back up. So you took up unlimited entry membership.
6. Bribery. Before you had kids, you imagined your offspring would be delightful, polite, obliging little folk. It became obvious that wasn’t the case the first time they refused to get back into their buggy and you reached into your bag for a box of raisins. By the time you got to potty training, bribery was second nature.
7. Saying No to Invitations. As a pregnant lady, you were convinced that your social life would carry on where you left it – after all, you’d just take the child along too! No biggie! Until that is, the baby arrived and you realised drinks parties and evening meals weren’t quite as fun when you had to change pooey nappies between the martinis.
8. Flights. As a childless traveller, you watched parents with babies board the plane and held your breath until they walked past your seat. And as you witnessed their fruitless attempts to get their babies to sleep / stop screaming, you swore you’d never put fellow travellers through the ordeal in the future. Until that future arrived and you realised you still quite liked holidays.
9. Snot. Wipe another human being’s snot off their face with your bare hands? The thought would’ve made you heave in your pre-child days. Now it happens daily and your clothes reveal the evidence.
10. Oven Food. Before the kids came along, you had visions of yourself in the kitchen, creating home cooked meals from scratch, dressed in a floral pinny, with a smile on your face as your little darlings played nicely on their own. And then you become a mother, realised that you have about 3 minutes every night to knock up dinner (usually with a child attached to your leg) – and in a weak moment in the supermarket, picked up a packet of fish fingers. After that, life was never the same again.