Once you’re a mum, there are certain things that just NEVER figured in your life before that now mean more than you could ever imagine (like, err, lack of sleep and making sure you have an endless supply of muslin cloths).
Your mum friends will totally GET how things change once a baby comes along; your non-sprogged-up mates, not so much. Try as you might, you just won’t be able to get across all this…
1. Just how totally and utterly knackered you are, like, ALL the time
Once you have a baby, the days of leaping out of bed after a long, refreshing sleep seem long gone (if you were ever like that in the first place). Try as you might, you just can’t explain quite how tired you are to someone who doesn’t have kids.
The fact is, you’ll never need an alarm clock to wake you up ever again, and you haven’t had 4, let alone 8, hours’ straight sleep since you can’t remember when.
Non-mum friends will nod sympathetically and say they know how hard it is to function after so many late nights on the trot. But they really don’t get it at all…
2. That your body’s just not the same
You mates will tell you you’re looking great after you’ve had your baby (and, of course, they’re right). But even if you have lost (almost all) your baby weight, it’s more than likely your body’s not quite what it was before your pregnancy. Perhaps your boobs are that bit less perky, your stomach not quite so taut.
You still know how to look totally gorgeous for a night out – and your friends will make you feel like a million dollars – but your body’s been through some MASSIVE changes that no one can fully understand until they’ve gone through it themselves.
3. That a night out doesn’t come with a morning off
When your friends without kids finally manage to pin you down to a night out, they’re so excited, they’ve planned a big one and are ordering shots before you’ve got yourself to the bar.
We can’t blame them – these nights don’t come along too often – but what they don’t realise is that the free pass rarely extends to the next morning.
Yep, come hell or high water –- and however many Mojitos you’ve downed – you’ll be up with your little one at the crack of dawn. So, while you’d LOVE another shot, it’s probably time to go. Taxi!!
4. That wet wipes are the most essential product in your life right now
Anyone without kids has probably never given a second thought to wet wipes, right? But as soon as you have a baby, they become pretty much our desert-island must-have, the one thing we couldn’t live without.
And we get a bit obsessed with them. We need them with us EVERYWHERE we go and panic if we’re down to the last 3. We’ve even realised they’re great for cleaning the bathroom….
5. That timing’s all important
Before you have kids and you arrange to have friends round for lunch, or meet for coffee, you’re pretty laid back about timings. But once you have a baby, routine can (for some of us) become pretty central to making sure the day goes smoothly.
So if a friend who doesn’t have kids says they’ll pop round for coffee at 11 am… you REALLY want them there at 11am.
You’ve arranged the morning perfectly so your baby will be napping just as your mate arrives. Then they text and say they’re running half an hour late. It used not to be a big deal; now it sort of is. Boo.
6. That there’s not a lot you wouldn’t do for a lie-in
Short of selling your granny, some mornings it feels as though you would do pretty much ANYTHING to stay in bed past 7am – something your childless mates just don’t understand.
Even if your partner’s great and does the odd morning shift here and there, you’re still usually woken up by a baby crying or a toddler jumping on your head and it’s not always that easy to get back to sleep (often your little one simply won’t let you).
A lie-in is SUCH a precious commodity when you’re a parent. You can’t BELIEVE how much you took them for granted before – and how envious you are of your child-free mates who still get to have at least 2 a WEEK. Not fair!
7. That leaving the house in less than 30 minutes is a major achievement
Remember before you had a baby and you wanted to leave the house, you just, kind of.. did it? Coat, wallet, keys, go! Or something along those lines.
Now, though, you have to pack a million billion things, and make sure your baby’s wrapped up nice and warm (but not too warm, agghhh!). In fact, you’re juggling so much ,you rarely manage to get yourself dressed properly for the weather.
And then they poop big-time just as you’re about to leave. Joy.
Yep, if you manage to do it in less than 45 minutes you’re pretty happy with that. But, alas, friends without kids are clueless about the struggle you’ve been through just to meet them on time. Ah well.
8. That date nights and ‘time off’ aren’t that easy to organise
If you do get to have a heart-to-heart with your mates, they’ll probably give you every bit of advice they can think of to make sure you’re happy, and get a few breaks here and there.
But if they’re not a mum themselves, what they might not get is that organising a break of pretty much any kind – be it a date night or day to ourselves – isn’t always that simple. We don’t necessarily have people nearby we can leave the baby with – and if your little one’s at that clingy stage, you just might not feel ready to do it.
9. That you wouldn’t have it any other way
Despite the early mornings, no sleep and barely a minute to yourself in general, you can barely remember what life was like before you had a baby – and you wouldn’t go back there for anything.
And while you might think about trying to explain to your mates who don’t have babies how amazing it is when your little one smiles, how you sometimes sit and watch when he or she is sleeping, and how you’re in a constant state of awe about how you made this little human being, you think better off it. Because you can’t really put all that into words.