YOU KNOW YOU’RE A PARENT WHEN…

Punctuality is out the window – for a few years anyway

Don’t worry – your friends with kids will be running late too.

You become a lark – whether you want to or not

If you’re a night-owl, you’re about to get well acquainted with your inner lark. And if you’re a lark already, the boundaries of your lark-hood are about to be drastically redefined (5 am still counts as morning, right? 4:30?).

The phrase ‘travel light’ means nothing to you

In fact, if you are travelling light, something has obviously gone terribly wrong and you’re just one step away from a poo-explosion.

You have the biceps of a body-builder

All that lifting and carrying means you’ll have guns to rival Schwarzenegger, even if the rest of you isn’t quite as ripped.

Sleep is a very complex science

Unfortunately it’s really not as simple as it seems. In fact, a quick scan of your internet history will probably reveal it as your most searched-for subject.

Sleep-sabotagers are the enemy

And you’ll reserve a special kind of vitriol for the postman, door-knockers, the bin-man, and squawky birds – who seem to innately know when it’s naptime.

You go to work to get a break

Whereas pre-baby you probably used to come home from work to get a break, now you’ll find that the reverse is true.

Holidays don’t have quite the same meaning

You’ll still be working just as hard, only somewhere sunny.

Grocery-shopping is the new you-time

You know you’re a parent when you feel an unnatural level of excitement about buying your bread and milk in peace. Likewise, driving without mini-passengers will become about as endorphin-inducing as a night-out on the town.

A night in is the new night out

Who needs a night out when you’ve got wine and Netflix?

You always look just a little bit grubby and unkempt

It comes with the territory – ain’t nobody got time for foils.

Nature doesn’t always come naturally

Breastfeeding is much harder than it looks.

Nothing on earth is quite as exciting as your car keys

You probably have a house full of pretty awesome toys, but it doesn’t matter – your car keys, mobile phone or the remote control will always be way more interesting.

You’re running a launderette from your home

But for free.

You experience every emotion known to man

Quite often in a single afternoon.

You feel guilty, basically forever

But don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Kind of.

Children turn into werewolves at 5 pm

It’s ok, they’ll turn back again at sunrise.

The best way to feed a baby is to throw their food on the floor

Let’s just cut to the chase – it’s gonna end up there anyway.

You spend an inordinate amount of time on your knees

Specially once they start solids.

Your tastefully decorated home looks like ToysRUs

It didn’t close down. It simply relocated. To your place.

You consider the ethical, moral and educational merit of cartoons

And you might even have a few favourites of your own.

You’re completely unphased by bodily functions

And will happily discuss the shade of your baby’s poo over dinner. Korma, anyone?

Caffeine has become your crutch

You’ll probably drink so much of it, it’d be easier to just get it intravenously.

First birthdays are not about the child

Your baby has no idea it’s their birthday. We all know this is really a celebration of the parents’ success at keeping a small human alive the past 365 days.

You’ve forgotten how to have a conversation

Sammy, get down from there! Sorry, Julie, you were saying? Sammy, I said GET DOWN NOW!

‘The days are long but the years are short’ (Gretchen Rubin)

So savour them. ‘Nuff said.

What have I missed? Let me know below.

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