It can be all too easy at times to mourn the things that are no longer available to me now that there’s a baby on the scene. Like long showers, being spontaneous and a decent or even half-decent night’s sleep.
For the moment at least, late night partying is well behind us; we might still be up at 3 AM and there may even be a bottle and the occasional vomit involved, but the circumstances are altogether quite different. Lazy mornings relaxing together are replaced by tag-team parenting at the weekend and begging, pleading and blackmailing for an extra 10 minutes of shut-eye in the week. This baby lark hasn’t half changed things around here.
But, it’s not all bad. Of course there’s the love stuff; the happiness, the laughing the fact that life is really rather beautiful (aside from all the poo). However days with a mad cap baby have also meant letting go of much of the boring life admin that, really, I could have done with shaking off years ago.
So cheers, baby, as thanks to you, I no longer have to do any of the following:
As in, anything. Baby brain can be a pain, I admit. Like the time I went out solely for petrol and returned home without it – not my finest moment. But it is GREAT for explaining away missed jobs, unpaid bills, forgotten tasks, giving messages, emailing people back… I just seriously can’t remember. And it’s kind of nice to clear my head and conscience of a whole lot of tasks, consequences aside.
I’m either too tired to follow one or too distracted by something cute, funny, dangerous or annoying my baby is doing to engage in one. Saves a whole lot of energy not using my ‘I’m listening intently, honestly’ face.
Have a Social Life
OK, so life doesn’t need to end when you have a baby, but it does need to change. Even if we did have a constant willing line of babysitters, we have a lot less energy and money than we used to and the whole getting dressed up and going out business just seems like so much more hassle than it’s worth. Especially since discovering that a baby plus a hangover is a literal hell on earth. It’s actually rather nice to embrace my lazy side and stay in more than I go out – who’d have thought it?
Watch What I Eat
Due to lack of social life (see above) I don’t need to slip into any of my nicely fitted, non-milk-stained clothes. It’s all about the leggings, which of course had never been a part of my wardrobe before…ahem. So it’s cake if I want it (I do), and no guilt or fear about that dress not fitting me for Saturday night. Although come to think of it, with how often the baby steals my food and the number of long walks I must take to get him to sleep, it probably about evens out. Quick, pass the doughnuts!
Stay Up Late
Having a baby is a great excuse for putting on my PJs at 8 PM, curling up on the sofa for a bit, NOT having a conversation and being tucked up in bed by 10. It would be bliss if I wasn’t starting the night-of-the-living-dead walk between the bedroom and nursery at midnight.
Take Pride in My Appearance
So it would be nice to shower, dress and make a vague effort every day, but being a parent is all about prioritising and the way I look has quickly been bumped to the bottom of the pecking order of stuff I must do each day. Particularly in the context of stuff I must do before I can leave the house in the morning. If I manage to get the baby up, milked, fed, changed, dressed, changed again, changed again, me dressed, our teeth brushed and the morning’s Shreddies scraped off the floor then firstly: I congratulate myself, and secondly, I get the hell out of the house while I still can. There is simply no time to lose before we risk a meltdown, missing a nap or being even later than usual, so faffing about with me just isn’t on the cards. This is unfortunate as I often look like a mouldy teacake, but fortunate in that it’s one less thing to bother about. Liberating really!
By this I mean pretty much anything I don’t have to do. Things that I probably should do, and should perhaps even pretend to enjoy: sorting photos into albums (or even getting the damn things printed in the first place), attending a gym, joining a book club or clearing out my wardrobe. Let’s face it, they’re all a bit like hard work aren’t they? And being tired, tied up or tied down due to the baby is a perfect excuse not to bother.
Talk On The Phone
I’ve found this a bit of a pain ever since the whole text and email thing took off. It’s so much more convenient to send what I need to say in my own time rather than speak it during someone else’s (anti-social, me?) and now that I have a baby and no ability to have a conversation anyway, the phone is literally pointless to me. As my son demands something pretty much constantly, the days of nattering down the wire are virtually impossible if I want to keep him alive and reasonably safe and tear-free. So if you want to get in touch, keep it text or email-easy, friends. However, I may not remember to reply of course…
Tidy The House
I’m starting to realise – there is just no point. And also, tidying is the most boring thing ever. So:
There’s clothes strewn everywhere… I had to get dressed whilst holding the baby
Stuff is thrown all over the house… the baby was practising his co-ordination skills
Bed not made… the baby and I were playing hide and flop (it’s a real game you know)
Toys and books everywhere… well they are for the baby, what can I do?
Keep Up with The World
This is quite bad, I know. But free time to watch TV or browse the internet is precious and what little I have needs to be spent on really important things like, err, slobbing with a box set, frantically Googling baby sleep techniques and checking my Facebook. Something had to give and, for me, it’s all that important stuff going on in the world that I mostly never understood anyway. And seeing as I never go out or have conversations I am fairly confident that I can get away with it.
So apologies to all the people in my life I don’t respond to, talk to, spend time with or look half-human for. Apparently it won’t be forever, although I wouldn’t bank on it if I were you. And if anyone out there wants to simplify their life and clear their mind, remember you don’t need yoga or a mystic vision – you just need a baby. Life has never been so easy…honest.
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