Okay, obviously we eat, but it’s less sitting down at meal time with a knife and fork and enjoying a whole meal in peace, and more neglecting our plate till it’s cold, shoving its contents in with one hand—sans cutlery of course—with a moaning baby on our hip. Gourmet? More like kiddie leftovers,
“Having a hot meal becomes a luxury
,” one mum tells us. “If lucky, I get a warm meal, one-handed, and feel blessed if I get to eat a decent meal once a day.”
Mornings are notoriously the craziest time in a home with small kids. Can anyone really sit and enjoy, or even manage to consume breakfast when they have to prepare the child’s brekkie, feed it to them, clean them, and get them ready for the rest of the day?
2) Having breakfast
We can relate with one mum who explains, “I prioritise the kids eating and getting ready so inevitably my breakfast ends up waiting until all other tasks, like drop offs, are completed,” and another who explains, “I miss being able to eat breakfast one bite after another, instead of having to stop several times to do other kid-related things, i.e. stop them from throwing their food around/crying/fighting.”
It goes without saying that a full night of uninterrupted sleep with a baby
is not going to happen, but a recent report
said that parents can expect sleep exhaustion for up to six years after their child is born. Night feeds, teething
, sleep regression
and bad dreams are just a few of the reasons our little ones keep us up at night.
To people who advise napping when the baby sleeps; thanks for your wise words but it’s not always (read: never) possible, what with that being the only time we can do literally anything else. Kindly refrain from sharing that little nugget of advice. Thanks, mums everywhere. As for lie-ins? To quote one of the most popular videos in recent years, “What are those???”
If you do perchance manage to put on some clean, dry clothes, it’s pretty certain that they won’t stay that way for long if you have a kid. “No one warned me that motherhood meant never again wearing a dry item of clothing,” explains a fellow mum. “Whether from lactating, baby dribble, vomit, food or drink spilled on me, and, yes, even pee and poop, my clothes are always wet or sticky.”
7) Clean clothes
Ah, the days where we could just carelessly throw our keys, make up, phone, and purse in our favourite designer tote, cross-body, or clutch—coordinated to our chic outfit, of course—whenever we went out. Now, it’s a loaded baby changing bag
or rucksack filled to the brim with baby essentials. Hey, look on the bright side; at least it matches the tracksuit bottoms, trainers and oversized parka we’re donning on the regs.
12) Leaving the house spontaneously
Spontaneity. It’s a nice concept and something that you take for granted until it’s gone—which is pretty much the day you have a baby. Going out of the house, even if it’s just to nip to the shops, the park, or visit a friend has to be planned, negotiated, and organized with military precision. The terms ‘spur of the moment’ or ‘just get up and go’ don’t apply to people with kids.
“I miss going out to the shops for a quick hour to do 10 things on a list,” one mum says. “Now, I have a double buggy to pack, food, drinks, snacks, more snacks, changes of clothes, coats, hats, scarves, mittens, shoes, socks, nappies, toys to keep them occupied, rain covers, and by the time I’m ready, one of them has dirtied their nappy and it’s right up their back. A full change of clothes later, we can leave, but by then I only manage to visit one shop because I’m too knackered trying to keep the kids amused. Online shopping
at 11pm it is then!” In addition, what’s it like being able to travel anywhere in London without worrying about where the lifts are?
19) Me time
If they have the opportunity, most parents hire a babysitter when they have to run important errands or go to work. It’s rarer for them to take some time off for themselves, but me-time
is necessary and a lot of mothers wish they had more of it. Having a swim and sauna, a massage, enjoying a yoga lesson, curling up with a good book, or going out for a few drinks without having mum guilt for leaving the kids, are just some of the things that mums told us they wished they had more of.
20) Holidays abroad
An annual holiday abroad may have been something your single self saved up for and looked forward to all year, but family holidays
with kids are a far cry from solo, couple, or girly holidays. Not only does the cost go up greatly with the addition of extra humans, the amount of planning that has to go into it may just put you off the idea all together. As time goes by, we can totally understand how Kevin McCallister’s mum just forgot the whole child at home.
By drugs we mean medication and antibiotics. When pregnant and breastfeeding, most meds are banned and that could mean having to suffer through colds, flu, headaches, and any other kind of pain and discomfort.
21) Drugs, alcohol, caffeine (and maybe even dairy!)
Some mothers even have to cut out certain foods that could be causing allergies like dairy, eggs, or soya, and anything over one or two cups or tea or coffee a day are advised against. The hassle of pump-and-dump might not be worth that glass of wine, no matter how much you fancy it. All in all, a lot of our creature comforts are either banned or restricted.
23) Energy levels
New mothers are notoriously
super-tired, from birth recovery and breastfeeding, to always being on high-alert, having a million things to do, multi-tasking, sleep deprivation, and other common issues such as postpartum depression, and even anaemia. Mums are great at taking care of everyone else apart from themselves, and as a consequence, their energy levels—among other things—can take a deep dive.
26) Friends, social life and nights out
In the early days of motherhood, and even when kids are older, a lot of parents have said that their social lives have been put on the back burner. Socialising with friends without the little people becomes rarer and rarer. Also, mum-ghosting
is very real. A lot of our friends may not be in the same stage in life as us and so these types of relationships tend to suffer. Even if you are invited on a girls’ night out, the thought of waking up early to tend to children with a hangover can put you off going entirely.
require a lot of hard work and TLC at the best of times, so you can imagine how much more you have to work at it when kids come along! “It’s hard to maintain the fireworks or enjoy cuddles and date nights when you have two children and jobs,” explains one mum. “I miss little nights away with my guy.”
While decades of studies show
that marital relationships are more likely to decline after having children, we are also more aware of these issues and know that (1) there’s no harm in admitting that it’s hard, (2) communication is key, and (3) seeking help if necessary is a great step.
Water, Mummy. No. Peppa. Mummy pig. Oh no. Poo poo. Snack, Mummy. I want cheese. Unicorn! I hate cheese. Ouch, Mummy. Baby shark. One little finger, tap, tap, tap. Water, Mummy. No water, Mummy. The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish. Wee wee. Dinosaur!
28) Adult conversation
Now imagine that all day... Every. Single. Day. Never has a conversation with the postman seemed more appealing.
“They say giving birth to a child is when the fear is also born; fear for them,” one new parent describes. Continually worrying about another’s safety, health, wellbeing, and every single other thing about them—all day, every day—can literally drive one crazy. That, in addition to not having any alone time, constantly being on high alert, severe exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and mum guilt, makes you feel like voluntarily checking in to an insane asylum.
30) Brain function and sanity
We can certainly sympathize with one mum who says, “I miss my brain. It’s been AWOL since giving birth the first time and I’m still looking for it. I was once an organised freak, and now I struggle to remember my own name!” Same, gurl! Same.