Wednesday 2 August 2017

7 Things That Don't Make Sense Now I'm A Parent

When I think back to my pre-motherhood life, I can barely remember what it was I used to do. How did I occupy myself during all those free hours? How late did I stay awake knowing I wouldn’t be woken early the next day? How much money did I spend on little luxuries each month without a second thought for anyone else? The world was a completely different place back then, or I was looking at it through a different (probably less tired) set of eyes. Things have changed now, and there are a few things that simply don’t make sense now that I’m a parent, such as:

1. The phrase ‘done the washing’
How is it ever ‘done’? I don’t understand. I can’t get to the bottom of the laundry basket, it refills itself by magic before I am even halfway there, a constant stream of muddy socks and dirty t-shirts procreating like Mickey’s broomsticks in Fantasia. I haven’t ‘done the washing’ since before I had kids. I remember, I used to store all of my washing up and then do it all in a day and move on with my life. I read books, I went out, I watched TV. Now I am always doing washing and yet the washing is never done.

2. Alarm clocks
I cannot, just cannot, work out what these things are for. From what I understand, they are annoying noise-makers that beep loudly without warning two hours after I have woken up with the kids. They usually go off when I am in the shower or otherwise engaged with a small child, and beep aggressively at me from across the house until I am finally able to switch them off. Heaven forbid it switches to snooze mode and I have to relive the entire nightmare in another five minutes. I haven’t needed an alarm clock since I became a mum.

3. Sunday mornings
From what popular cultures tell me, Sunday morning are mythical pockets of undisturbed peace and quiet in an otherwise hectic week. Instagram shows me ornate plates of croissants on floral bedspreads, Facebook shows me statuses by hungover friends who are hiding from the world and binge-watching boxsets in bed, so why doesn’t my life look like that? Sunday, to me, is the same as any other day. I am woken at 6:30am by a squealing baby who is officially ready to P-L-A-Y.

4. Where all the food goes
When I was young and living in house-shares, I always knew where the food had gone. I had eaten it. And then I would go shopping to buy some more. And then I would eat that. Life was simple, predictable and cheap. Now, life is anything but. I go shopping all the time. When I’m not washing, I’m shopping. And yet we never have any food. What happens to all the food? The children eat it. I don’t even understand how, they are so tiny, and yet they put away approximately fifteen bags for life of fruit and veg each a day. How is that possible?

5. What normal people do in a super king bed
I have a super king bed. It is amazing. It is huge and massive and comfy and I love it. There is room for every member of my family without anybody falling out. Ember sleeps on the edge, then me, then Laurie. And, at some point in the night, Ebony sneaks in and climbs up to join us. What I don’t understand, is why a couple would need such a big bed. If there are just two of you in it, you must be marooned far away from each other in the sea of a mattress.

6. What child-free people do all day
Oh yeah, you might wonder what the stay at home mum does all day, but, in all honesty, she spends most of her waking hours wondering wtf it is you do with all your time when you don’t have any kids to chase after. I used to not have kids, I used to have loads of time, but I can’t remember what I did with it all. It’s a black hole in my memory, emptiness disappearing into a chasm of time. Why didn’t I write books or learn languages or solve some of the world’s problems? Why did I just watch friends reruns for so many years of my life? Is that really all I did? It can’t be. It is.

7. Playing things by ear
Oh, let’s play it by ear, say the people without kids. They rock up, just a bankcard and a phone in their pocket. They could stay an hour or a week, it makes no difference. They’re easy going, they can do whatever, they’re up for anything. They have no babysitters to prep, no nappies to pack, no snacks to take, no 5am wakeup calls to survive hungover, no children to entertain. I can’t play things by ear, that just sounds like a hell of a lot of whining in my life.

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