How Life Changes When You Have A Baby

How life changes when you have a baby

When I had Elfie I was determined that I wouldn’t change as a person. I knew some things would be different – I wouldn’t be able to go out on a whim, would be a bit thicker round the middle for a few months, might lose a bit of sleep and there’d be a new little person around the place, but essentially I was determined that life as I knew it would remain the same. How different could things get, right?

AHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHA.

Let’s take stock, shall we?

The Body
Weird things happen to your body. I’ve carried two children which obviously has put a strain on various parts of me and it shows: I have a spare tyre that I’m currently working on (getting rid of it, not keeping it), my boobs will never be the same and my feet GREW when I was pregnant. I have a funny bulgey vain at the back of my right knee and I won’t go into details because I want some of you to be able to look me in the eye again but: PILES. No 25 year old thinks she’s going to have to worry about piles. Think again.

The Sleep
Unless you have a child or have perhaps been tortured you DO NOT know sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is not being able to think, converse, cook, walk, function. I have had days when I’ve reclined on my sofa and wept feeling so unable to do anything at all: it’s a terrible feeling and is surely the worst thing about motherhood. When you’re in the middle of it you can feel like you’re never getting out of it and you want to punch the well wishers with their pointless advice on how to make your baby sleep (how do they not realise you’ve already tried it ALL?). Also: never tell a new mum she looks tired. Never ever ever.

How life changes when you have a baby

The Nose
Something must happen to your sense of smell during birth because you suddenly become totally immune to the smell of poo. Your child can be sitting right next to you and for some reason you have to place your nose to their arse and take a big whiff to decide whether or not they require a nappy change. If you want to make doubly sure you can use your index finger to pull at the back of their trousers and nappy and do a visual check. Pure glamour.

Last night I had a spectacular fail on the shit-whiff front. I did the cursory nose-based check of Hux’s bum as I was filling up the bath: nothing. I sat him on my knee, whipped his clothes and nappy off and plonked him in the bath. With an almighty crap clamped between his bum cheeks. Have you ever seen a bath with a full-length skidmark? My tub spent the day simmering under an inch of bleach but to be frank, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to relax with bath oils and a couple of candles in there ever again. Thanks for nothing, sense of smell.

The Gross Things
Situations that would otherwise turn your stomach really don’t phase you anymore. I’m talking vomit (OH, the vomit…), poo, snot. Just today I have: dealt with a middle of the night nappy leak, picked a hardened bogey out of my son’s hair, retrieved a half-masticated piece of cucumber off the floor, held a toddler’s hand on the toilet and wiped two bums. I basically wash my hands a lot.

The Emotions
As soon as I had Elfie I developed ALL the emotions. And they never left. I will cry at the drop of a hat these days and have particular things that make me weep more than others. The sickly sweet Dinosaur Train on Nick Jr “I’ll always been your Mom”. WEEP. Any and all charity TV adverts (even the donkey ones). Love stories (The Undateables kills me). Don’t even think about Comic Relief/Children In Need. I even have issues with the X Factor final.

What have I missed?

31 Comments
  1. So true. Everyone tells you about the lack of sleep and I thought I was prepared but can you ever be? It’s crippling! And thinker round the middle for a few months? Lol, 13 months later and I seem to be getting thicker still!!!

  2. Oh boy do I completely concur with everything you have said. I thought it hilarious that you compared being tortured to losing sleep; this is new to me and should be used!! A lot! Haha. :)

    As a man I have experienced mostly all of the emotional changes you have described and I am sure my wife has experienced them ALL, but he was worth it in the end! :)

  3. I love this. It really made me laugh – because it’s all true. I can completely relate to this.
    Also, watching The Undatables as I type this and I am sobbing like a baby.
    I even sobbed my heart out at Haley Cropper winning her NTA award. Too bloody emotional these days.

  4. All of the above plus having 2 minutes to go to the loo alone, going out for lunch without having an anxiety attack, a nice handbag not full of cars and lollipops, the ability to talk articulately… I could go on…sob sob

  5. Sums it up perfectly. I was SO deluded when I first had Amelie. I assumed she’d almost be like a cute accessory that would slot nicely into my life at first. Oh the shock. Pity there’s no way for new mums to be better prepared but until you go through it you don’t really get it. And there’s a reason sleep deprivation is a method of torture…

  6. I enjoy reading your blog!
    Thinking back we had so desperately been waiting, waiting, waiting, a whole 8 years of waiting until our son arrived. We had anticipated “The Change”. But rather like some when they get married the day itself is everything, with little consideration to what being married will mean. Having a baby was a little like that for me, it was about the waiting, then this little wonder arrived and everything has been continually changing ever since!
    For some reason I hadn’t realised everything would keep changing & it was quite a shocking realisation. I remember feeling like I’d got it together when we’d got sleeping through the night sorted with a late night dream feed. I even think I did a little dance. Then a month or so later our sleep plan wasn’t working and I was heard to be muttering, “But it MUST work, it did last week! What are we doing wrong!”
    I admire people who naturally can just roll with it, I’m not that person, I’m a planner and a fixer, I’m still learning to accommodate and embrace the changes, but I still get puzzled when something that used to work now doesn’t!

  7. Just today a girl at work said ‘I’m so tired I feel ill, I got up at 6.30 to go to the gym’ .. I will not repeat my response!
    Also on the bum checking front, when you go for the manual check, pull the nappy out and get poo stuck under your nail .. oh the glamour!

  8. All so true. What really gets my goat now is when non parents say they are tired. The other day I rang my 20 year old sister at 10 (TEN) am and she said ‘Katie why have you rung me so early, I’m so tired, I went to bed late last night?’ EARLY?? Grrrrrrrrr. And don’t get me started on The Emotions. I cry at absolutely everything. Except Dinosaur Train, that I will always be your Mum bit makes me want to throw something at the TV.

  9. Oh this made me laugh. I don’t know why, but I guess laughing is better that crying…and God only knows I do enough of that. Sleep deprivation and emotions are killers, and let’s not even start on the constant chatter and “why?”

  10. I think the sad thing is that when you look back those really long days seem very short! I know they seem My feet have got wider and have had to get rid of all my gorgeous (read expensive) shoes and I’m hoping that sense of smell never actually returns X

  11. I think the sad thing is that when you look back those really long days seem very short! I know they seem My feet have got wider and have had to get rid of all my gorgeous (read expensive) shoes and I’m hoping that sense of smell never actually returns X

  12. I look back on it from a dad’s point of view. my partner is darned hotter since having children the wobblier bits are the way to say she made pure awesomeness!

    That said I’m the puke magnet and the poop magnet. My sense of smell died big time though.

  13. So so so true! Brilliant! I would also add…
    The Negotiation – since becoming a mother, I have found myself in more situations where I’ve had to draw on my powers of negotiation that some sort of peace envoy! “If you eat your lunch you can have a chocolate biscuit”, “Please go on the potty and then you can have a sweet”, “If you get into bed now I’ll read you two stories… ok, three stories, oh alright, 5 **oody stories!!! just get into BED!!!” – all that bargaining and persuasion, it’s exhausting!

  14. Ha, thanks for giving me a well needed laugh. Yes, all of it true! I love the comment about negotiation above, that is totally me at the moment. You can have one book, oh ok well that second book is a favourite of mine…

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