When they said mum life would turn your world upside down, they weren't joking. HoneyKids writer Jana shares how her standards have dropped after having her own children.
A few days ago, my wee 19-month-old got bitten on the face. He never saw it coming. He was happily popping bubbles with his fingers, clapping after each successful attempt, then BAM! Although he’s usually quite the fighter, ready to land a few fists when attacked, he went weak in the knees, slumping down onto the ground in pain. I rushed towards him, scooping him into my arms while he wailed his little heart out. The welts on his face were an angry red and my first instinct was to scream my head off. But I stayed speechless.
All those who know me well can vouch that I am not one to keep my words to myself. At this point, all I wanted to do was yell every curse word I knew, let the other mum have it and tell her to keep her bleeding child away from my poor baby. Fearing the latter would end with a huge scene and tears from all parties involved, I took a deep breath and managed to squeak out, “It’s OK.” Instead of lashing out, I thought about how horrified the other mum must feel. Quite a change from my usual acting-on-impulse mode, but hey, mum life really changes you and makes you do things you never would.
Since having kids, my life has changed in so many crazy ways. Here are a few other things I swore I’d never do but did anyway:
Wearing activewear at places other than the gym
As someone who loves a trip to Zara and has an ever-increasing favourites list on both Shopbop and ASOS, opting for Lululemon instead of a cute dress feels like a cop-out. But can we talk about how awesome the brand’s hi-rise Wunder Under leggings are? Not only do they do a good job of keeping the ol’ mum tum in, they’re also comfy AF. Need to run after your toddler, pick up the groceries AND take the kids to the playground? Activewear is definitely your best friend. They’re stretchy in all the right places, baby!
Eating frozen food
I’ve always taken pride in my cooking and baking treats from scratch. But when you’ve got two kids who are hungry and ready to dive into another pack of biscuits, you’re going to need something snappy. Yes, I know they’re probably filled to the gills with preservatives; however, you’d be surprised at how much you’d be willing to overlook once you hear a toddler screaming (repeatedly, if you’re lucky): “Mummy, I’m hungryyyyyy!”
Sleeping at 9pm
In my early twenties, my nights officially began at 9pm. Happy hour would start at 6pm and by 9pm I’d be hungry for a burger or a slice of pizza, followed by even more drinks. I’d wake up the next day feeling surprised at how little sleep I needed. You can say goodbye to all that once you become a mum. When your days start at 5.30am and your kid keeps waking you up every two hours because their teeth hurt, you’d be amazed at how much sleep you suddenly need.
Letting my kids eat sweets
In the age of information where everyone knows everything about what’s bad for you, you can almost hear the whispers every time you whip out a lollipop for your toddler. I vowed never to give my kids sweets; I never wanted to be the mum whose kids ate whatever they wanted. Obviously, since having kids of my own, I’ve started to understand the value of a good lollipop and how much quiet time I’d get because of it. I try not to give my kids too much candy but every once in awhile I’m a sucker… for a sucker.
Allowing them to watch TV
Yep, we’ve all read the studies about how TV can turn any toddler’s mind into mush but when you’ve got a million and one errands to do around the house and you need to keep the kids in one place, the TV’s your best bet. The only caveat I have is that they need to watch something educational and I’m glad that they don’t mind Sesame Street, Hey Duggee or even Storybots! Yay!
Turning into my mum
I’m probably going to get into lots of trouble for this one, so I’m going to say sorry in advance, Mum. I’m also going to tell you that you were right about most things, especially about putting things away after I’m done playing with them. I can almost hear you saying “How many times do I have to tell you…” and “Did you brush your teeth?” and “Are your feet clean?” along with me. Yes, these constant requests didn’t make sense to me back then but they do get my kids doing what I’ve asked, so thanks again, Mum.
When they tell you that having kids will change your life, instead of being surprised, just roll with it. And when you hear your grandparents yell at your kids for being noisy, just take a deep breath and remind yourself to never say never.