I love my daughter, of course I do. I wouldn’t change a thing…But every now and then I allow my mind to wander back to a simpler time in my life when popping out for a shop wasn’t a military operation, or I could take my time over a three course meal…Here are seven things I totally took for granted in my pre-child life…
Shopping ‘at leisure’
There seems to be two ways that I shop since I became the owner of a small human. The first consists of a carefully planned list (written out in the very specific order that I’ll be passing the shop/aisle). I’m a woman on a mission – I have fifteen minutes until my toddler daughter finishes her two packs of raisins, there is no time to waste.
The second is the panic shop I do when I’ve not been organised enough to write out the above list (or left it on the kitchen counter as I was trying to convince my daughter that she can’t keep her slippers on)…In the supermarket I’ll frantically throw every item into my trolley – in the hope that some of those items will be the ones I need. In the shopping centre I’ll grab clothes off the racks (obviously no time for the fitting room), telling myself I’ll take back what I don’t like. I never do.
And DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING TO IKEA…
I’ve forgotten what it feels like to browse at my own leisure, comparing products, looking at ingredients, trying on six items in the fitting rooms…
Starters and desserts
Parents of young kids know that a meal out is not the treat it used to be. You ended up there because you a) couldn’t be bothered to cook or b) realised there’s no food in the fridge c) left it long enough that you forgot the nightmare you had last time and tricked yourself into thinking you’re going to have a ‘nice family outing’.
The minute we walk into a restaurant, the toddler thinks she’s at soft play and proceeds to run around, climb the furniture and hide under the tables. On a bad day when she’s hungry she will simply scream and hurl cutlery at us across the table.
This usually means that we’ll order her food before we’ve even looked at our own menus…Which of course we then regret when she’s finished her food just as ours arrives and is standing up in the high chair wanting out (“Ice-cream please!”)
By the time we’ve finished our mains it’s definitely time to get out of there. We practically run out of the door, mumbling something about picking up a dessert from Tesco on the way home and watching Made in Chelsea. Eating out is over rated anyway.
Trips to the cinema
Oh, how I miss the cinema! Those days when we used to decide on a Sunday afternoon (just as the hangover was wearing off) that we were going to take ourselves into town for a Wagamama and cinema evening. Sometimes we weren’t even that bothered about the film we were going to see (we’d seen all the good ones already). We just wanted to chill out and munch on popcorn/pick-n-mix, Ice Blasts…
A hot cuppa
I probably make myself about five cups of tea a day. I probably drink one in its entirety (the first one in bed!). After that I find them around the house, cold and forgotten about.
I don’t think this one needs much explanation. However at least I can take some comfort from knowing that I definitely made the most of all of those mornings when my younger self was able to lie in. Those lazy mornings when I’d wake up and look at my phone to realise it was ONLY 9AM and what the hell was I doing awake already? I’d lull myself back to sleep until it was gone 11 – a much more acceptable time…
These days by 11am I’ve already been up for six hours. Sleep is most definitely not over rated.
A tidy house
My house is actually ‘tidy’ twice a day – in the morning before the toddler wakes up, and in the evening after she’s gone to bed. But ‘tidy’ these days literally means that all of the toys have been pushed into one corner of the living room and you may still get the odd raisin stick to the bottom of your foot as you walk to the bedroom.
The ‘clean washing’ in the basket never actually gets ‘put away’ before we ‘put it on’ and there’s a permanent array of hair bobbles, slides, used wet wipes and small socks on every table top.
And let’s not mention those bloody sequins I’m still finding EVERYWHERE. And we haven’t even entered the LEGO stage yet…
Becoming a parent yourself gives you this whole new respect for your own parents. You can’t quite believe that they let you live all of these years without reminding you every single day how much they’ve done for you. How they gave up sleep for you, how you embarrassed them with all of those public tantrums, how you used to hurl cutlery at them during meals out…I guess you have to actually do it for yourself, until you actually believe it.
What would you add?