The clocks have changed – and so has the meaning of summer for you!
Here’s the reality of life with little ones in British Summer Time…
1) Summer nights
While your child-free pals are necking rosé in a beer garden after work, you are all about the blackout blinds and trying to enforce a 6.30pm bedtime routine. Then you’ll be opening the rosé.
2) Hats off
You buy what you think is an adequate supply of sun hats. Wrong! You’ll lose said hats on an almost daily basis.
3) Red alert!
Terrified of your little one burning in the sun, you’re smothering her in factor 50. Only later do you realise – ouch – you forgot to apply your own sunscreen.
4) Travelling not-so-light
Remember slinging a pair of sunglasses in your bag then leaving the house? Not anymore! Drinks, non-melting snacks, sunhats, spare sunhats, a litre of sun cream, baby wipes… Your casual summer bag looks more like a suitcase.
5) Early risers
You are in the park or on the beach by 9am. Home again by 11 and ready for nap time!
6) Rain dance
Some days you find yourself wishing for a downpour. Anything to prevent the too-hot child’s tantrums.
7) Ice, ice baby
You have developed a Solero habit. It’s not cheap.
8) Shady behaviour
No sunbathing with your nose in the latest chick lit hit for you: instead you’ll play hunt the shade spot. And you won’t get to sit down.
9) Barbecue stress
While they were once an excuse to binge drink, now barbecues mean you spend the whole afternoon on health and safety duty; ensuring your little one doesn’t get too close to the grill; trip on a stray beer bottle or skewer herself on a kebab.
10) Keep it clean
These days, your inner smug-o-meter rises, along with scorching temperatures, as you peg out three loads of laundry on your washing line.
11) Home or away
When you think about the amount of organisation and packing a summer holiday as a family will entail, you see the advantages of a staycation.
12) Hot wheels
You once made the most of summertime car journeys, cranking up the air conditioning and enjoying some summer tunes. Nowadays, you sweat for Britain trying to tether a hot and bothered toddler into her car seat; repeatedly fix sunshades as they inevitably fall off the windows and sing nursery rhymes over and over again.
13) Al fresco
‘Bubbles in the garden’ have taken on a whole new meaning: no chilled prosecco in sight. Instead, you’re flinging around a wand hoping chasing bubbles will tire your little one out.
14) Luxe for less
Swim up bars and cocktails have been replaced with paddling pools to dip your feet in whilst sucking on an ice pop.
15) Fast fashion
You used to be all about summer fashions. Now, your hot weather wardrobe consists of: shorts, flip flops and vest tops. You tried wearing wedges and a maxi dress but couldn’t keep up with your flight risk toddler.
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As a freelance writer, Jo covers parenting, health and lifestyle with the odd opinion-based rant and celebrity interview thrown in.
Before freelancing (and juggling journalism with two young sons), Jo was on staff at Good Housekeeping, Bella, Woman and The Mail on Sunday. When not typing furiously or refereeing the kids, Jo can be found pulling on her trainers for a gentle run or baking up a storm in her quest to produce the perfect brownie batch.