Motherhood: what I’ve lost and gained
- 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.
- 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.