Motherhood: what I’ve lost and gained

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Lost

  • Any awkwardness I would have otherwise felt about getting my boobs out in public.
  • My ability to resist cakes, biscuits and chocolate of all kinds. After a long day of chasing a squirmy baby around the house, I kind of feel like I’ve earned my empty sugar calories.
  • About 15 pounds (despite excessive cake consumption), due to several hours of buggy walking every day. Best. Exercise. Regime. Ever.
  • LOTS of hair. Not only did it fall out in clumps for months, but a few weeks ago I noticed a few short strands on my hairline on the left side of my forehead. At first I blamed my new hairdresser, even though I’d gotten my hair cut nearly a month ago and hadn’t noticed the short strands until recently. Then my husband pointed out that the Popple pulls at my hair to fall asleep and has probably broken it. FFS.
  • The ability to watch TV at a normal volume due to a sleeping baby. Everything is barely audible or on mute with subtitles. It lets me pretend that Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares is a fancy foreign film where people shout “f***” all the time.
  • My tolerance for alcohol. Nine months of abstaining while pregnant + nine months of very moderate drinking due to breastfeeding = asleep after one glass of wine.
  • My ability to be spontaneous. Not that I was jetting off to trendy European destinations on a whim before I had a baby, but I totally could have been. Now even a trip to the supermarket involves extensive planning, and I almost always forget something. Usually baby wipes. You’d think I’d have learned better the first time this happened and I had to wipe her bum with another nappy, but no.
  • The freedom to do nothing. There was a time when the idea of laying on the couch in my pyjamas all day while watching Netflix and eating Ben & Jerry’s straight from the tub sounded kind of boring. Now it sounds like a fantasy, about as likely as me getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
  • My sense of style. Now it’s all jeggings all the time.
  • My sense of self. I can be too busy being the mummy to remember how to be Katie, the NPR-loving, bad-teen-drama-watching, literary-fiction-reading, vegetarian-food-eating writer, digital marketer and semi-nerdy person.

Gained

  • The ability to recite numerous children’s books by heart because I’ve had to read them OVER AND OVER AND OVER. (Maybe I can turn this into good party trick. Wait, that would mean I’d have to actually go to a party. Scratch that. This skill is of no use to me whatsoever.)
  • The ability to function on VERY little sleep for a VERY long time.
  • Dark circles under my eyes pretty much always, like I’ve been rubbing yesterday’s mascara directly into my face.
  • A newfound appreciation for ‘me’ time, even if it comes in short intervals these days and usually involves doing things that I used to find tedious, like washing dishes or vacuuming. A trip alone to the corner shop feels like a foreign holiday.
  • An excuse to eat dinner at 5pm. I mean, the Popple goes to bed early, so we need to eat before she gets too tired. It has nothing to do with the fact that an early dinner allows me to justify eating a second dinner later in the evening. Nothing at all.
  • New standards of cleanliness. Are some of the baby toys piled up in the same general area of the living room? Is the baby mostly free of visible food stains? Yeah? Then we’re good to go.
  • An ability to laugh at things that could have otherwise made me cry. Like when the Popple peed on me twice in one day. Or when she greeted me in the morning by sticking her entire finger up my nose. Or when she threw every single dummy that we own out of her cot over the course of a night. Hahaha! Babies be crazy, amiright?
  • An appreciation for the little things in life as I watch the Popple discover them for herself. Did you know that FINGERS CAN WRIGGLE? Or that a water bottle make a great sound when it’s banged on a table? Or that pineapple is almost impossibly sweet? Life is amazing, guys.
  • A community of other lovely parent bloggers who are a wealth of knowledge, advice and support.
  • The squishy, drooly love of a very little person with a very big personality.

 

21 Replies to “Motherhood: what I’ve lost and gained”

  1. This is just fantastic! Made me laugh from start to finish! Mascara around the eyes – aww so true – sometimes I even double check it isn’t the fool I am!!

    1. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t look tired, but I can’t be bothered using cover-up. I’ve decided to own the I-was-up-every-two-hours-last-night look.

  2. This is brilliant and really funny! It sums up motherhood pretty accurately. Thanks x

  3. Lost: one sense of style. If you find it, please return to Min at Single Mum Speaks. She’s desperate for it back, but is limited by the need to wear FLAT SHOES all the time. I know, can you imagine the horror.

    Definitely identify with all of these. #FamilyFun

    1. Flat shoes are a must! They need to not only be flat, but able to withstand several hours of buggy walking a day. Heels be damned.

  4. Love this post, so many things lost but so many things gained. It’s nice to reflect on them #familyfun

  5. Love love love this post! My motherhood room of lost and found is very similar to yours! My mind is also in there though as I keep leaving the door unlocked, the boot open, forgetting my wallet, nappies, the baby…. Thanks for the great post #FamilyFun X

    1. I know what you mean about losing your mind – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to leave the house in my slippers.

  6. I had a half laugh half cry at this. So relate-able my love..wipe her bum with another nappy, chuckle…Lost. My sanity. Gained, a stomach that I need to tuck in to my Bridget Jones knickers. Looking forward to reading more 🙂 Ps if your ever down south then thecheese is on me xxx #Familyfun

    1. I’m definitely going to take you up on that cheese offer!

  7. Best post I’ve read today. Such brilliant observations. 9 years later and I am rocking the leggings still 🌸 but that appreciation for the little things outweighs the permanently black eyes and never ‘clean’ house! With you on the lovely blogging community too 🌸 TY for linking up with #FamilyFun 🌸

    1. I don’t see how leggings could ever get old. I started wearing them a lot when I was pregnant and thought, “Wait…why did I ever wear anything else?”

  8. Hehe, life is so different after having a baby! But I like it, it’s way more fun, give me fingers up my nose any time 😉 xx
    #familyfun

    1. I agree – I certainly get poked up the nose/in the eyes a lot more, but it’s more than worth it. 🙂

  9. Brilliant!! A very comprehensive list that I could relate to nearly all of!! I’m envious that you lost 15 pounds! I also spent a couple of years pounding the streets with my buggy (up to 4 hours a day sometimes!) and I lost NOTHING!!! Apart from my sanity!! And yes, I’ve also lived in leggings, got hugely fed up with planning every single thing (right down to needing a spreadsheet just to plan walking to the post box up the road!) and dreaming of staying in bed all day watching Netflix, for the last 3 years!! Love the observation here!
    #StayClassy

    1. I definitely didn’t set out to lose any weight – it was the last thing on my mind after having a baby! I think some of my sanity might have disappeared along with it. 🙂

  10. twotinyhands says: Reply

    So many things lost but so many gains! Surely it’s all just shifted around! Best thing in the world are our little people x

    1. It all balances out in the end, doesn’t it? As many losses as there are, the gains are more than worth it. 🙂

  11. Amen to that. Every single point is highly accurate haha. I especially related to losing those “Netflix days” where I didn’t have to do ANYTHING, if I could go back in time and tell myself that THIS IS THE LIFE I would. I had no idea how much free time I would lose as a mother. So, as you’ve said, on the flip side I truly appreciate the little moments I have to myself…taking the bus to dance class….being in dance class….going to the toilet…taking a shower….that’s pretty much it haha. The cake thing is also a huge part of my life now, who have I turned into?! (side note: I heart NPR) Thanks for linking up with #StayClassy!

    1. I appreciate going to the toilet and taking a shower now more than ever – though I don’t even always get to do those things alone! Well, not going to the toilet, anyway – when the Popple and I are home by ourselves, I balance her on my lap while I pee. 🙂

  12. Brilliant post – I agree with all of these. We lose lots but gain a whole lot more. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

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