See that person at the front of the plane with the screaming baby? Yes, that’s me.
Did you just sit down at a restaurant only to find the sticky remnants of apple juice spilled on the floor and sugar sachets strewn across the seat – me again.
Before I had a kid, people always told me that things would change when I became a mum. What people never told me though, was just how much.
When they say you’ll never quite experience a feeling of love as intense as when you meet your baby, they’re right. It’s almost as if your heart can’t contain all of the love you want to express for this little human you created. Parenthood is magical – I wouldn’t trade it for the world… I just wish that someone had warned me.
And, because I don’t want you to be taken by surprise, here are some things I’ve learned since becoming a mum.
- You will always be ‘that woman’. Yes, you. Chances are, at least one person in your plane is going to wish you stayed home. Chances are, the couple having a romantic dinner at the table next to you is going to glare at you throughout the evening. I remember what it was like, being young and childless and despising that person. And now, a year and a half into being a mum, I honestly couldn’t care less. It’s a simple rule, but one that you’re going to have to learn very quickly if you want to maintain any level of sanity – relax. Stay calm, and most importantly, screw them. You are never going to see any of these people ever again. Let them deal with it.
- Diet, what diet? Smarties, coco pops, chocolate chip cookies. It’s great when your child starts eating solids. Problem is, realistically, your kid’s only going to eat a few of whatever you’re feeding them and, whether you like to admit it or not, you’re going to scoff down the rest. Just try not to – go on – I dare you.
- Love TV? Great. So do I. I watch it between 8 and 10. The rest of my day is filled with replays of Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. I know all the lines. I know all the actors. I could recite a 100 word summary on Cats and Dogs right now. That’s what happens when you watch one thing ten times a day, every day, which you will… just saying.
- You will become the master of your calendar. Remember when it was difficult to manage cleaning your house after a big night out? Once you become a mum, the word difficult becomes relative. You’ll have the house cleaned before work, supper done by six, errands will have been run and kids bathed and tucked in by seven, giving you just enough time to watch your favourite show and paint your nails. And then – you’ll wake up the next day and do it all over again.
Sleep becomes something you vaguely remember enjoying. You know how people always say that you should enjoy your sleep before thinking of kids? They’re right. In fact – stop whatever you’re doing and take a nap right now. Do it. Because trust me, when you have kids, you don’t sleep, ever. Oh sure, you close your eyes for a few hours every now and then, but that long, uninterrupted sleep you knew when you were younger, that’s a thing of the past.
The funny thing is – after having kids, none of it really matters anymore. Things that were once important suddenly take a back seat to this amazing, beautiful person you created. Sure, I miss being able to go to gym when I want, sleeping in on a Sunday and watching an entire season of a show in one go, but I’ll be honest, it all fades into nothingness when I see my little man run towards me for a kiss, screaming mama all the way there.
Mama. That’s what I am now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Deanna spends her days buried in a jumble of words and her nights trying to balance family life and everything in between, all while doodling the name Grohl on her notepad and watching reruns of Supernatural. If it’s on TV, she’s seen it. If it’s the latest fad diet… she’s tried it. She’s got a lot to say.