Not enough sleep or hours in the day, but here are 10 big ways my life improved after babies
Becoming a mother is amazing on so many levels.
There is the baby itself, of course, the wonderful way people are so kind to you in those early days of motherhood and the knowledge that you are now in the process of making your very own little family. All very heart-stretching stuff.
But, the great part about motherhood is that the perks of it go far beyond that of the actual baby. I'm not just talking about now having the best excuse ever to get out of things you don't want to do (although that bit is pretty AH-MAZING too!). Here are 10 more ways life got even better postpartum:
1. I love my body more
I, like most women, have always had a pretty ambivalent relationship with my own body. It's not like I have ever flat out hated any part of it, more just a case of "imagine if just my legs were longer/bum smaller/hair more wavy, sure wouldn't life be even better" kind of notions. Like we all do, unfortunately.
But; since being pregnant and subsequently having babies, I have developed a whole new level of love for my body - and what it can do. I have made two perfect humans. Made them. From scratch. (OK, so someone else was somewhat a teeny bit involved in the conception part of it all, but I mean, that was like minutes out of a nine month (more, I was overdue both times!) journey + plus labour. So my body can make, grow, birth and feed two babies - that is pretty much more awesome than any thigh gap or six-pack will ever be.
2. I have more patience
Once you have had to deal with a 3-year-old, you just develop a whole new level of patience. There were times in the beginning, when her battle for independence began, where I felt like I was going ga-ga over time spent waiting on her to pee/poop/dress herself/eat toast/colour something, but eventually I just realise that this is what life is like now - and to just roll with the punches.
3. I've stopped caring about (unimportant) things
Think about all the things you have spent time worrying over - that turned out to be a total waste of time. Projects in work you didn't quite ace, lack of said thigh-gap, what people say about you when you are not there, the list goes on. The good news is that when you have a child - or children - you will be so pressed for time that you won't have time to worry about any of this. It. Is. Total. Bliss. (On the other hand, you do find yourself worrying about a whole new set of issues, like child abductors and meningitis and whether or not you should have a will written out!)
3. I've become a time-management super-hero
Before you HAVE to do it, you will have no idea how it is possible to juggle a full-time job, ballet classes, baby swimming, birthday parties, weekly shopping, the odd yoga class, PTA meetings, after-school pick-up's, date nights, book clubs, play-dates and dentist appointments. Now I do this every week - more or less successfully. High five to me.
4. I no longer dread doctor appointments
Even visits to the gynaecologist stop being such a big deal once you have given birth. Seriously, once doctors, nurses, midwives and medical students all have seen your most intimate parts, having just one doctor look at you feels borderline mundane.
5. I can hibernate and stay in on weekend nights
Pre-children, I always used to feel vaguely boring or uncool if we spent a Friday night in front of the TV eating take-out. Now I am perfectly content doing just that. Imagine.
6. I've joined The Club
Being a parent is like a ticket into the worldwide Mummy Club. Strangers smile at you. Mothers on the Luas or in line at Tesco ask you about your baby. You get invited to playgroups and make new Mummy Friends. You have whole community of other mums (online AND in the flesh) to vent to and get advice from, and you can pretty much get out of anything you don't want to do by starting a sentence with "Sorry, but my baby...". Best. Club. Ever.
7. I can be irrational and blame it on lack of sleep
It is much harder to be a total head-case when you DON'T have a toddler who won't sleep to blame it on. At least now, when I have shouted at my fiancee over lack of dishwasher emptying or cried over yet another TV commercial, I can just about save myself by going "I'm SO sorry, the baby was awake 17 TIMES last night, I am just tired" and still get an ounce of sympathy from people.
8. I can buy baby clothes
Baby clothes are so unbelievably cute! But - much like wedding magazines - it might seem a little strange if you start buying them before you actually need them. Once baby is born? Go to town!
9. I can wear skinny jeans and flats ALL THE TIME
I felt more compelled to at least try to wear heels and fancy dresses into work a couple of days a week in my pre-child life. Now, on the other hand, I can use the excuse that I need to get from A to B (AKA office to creche) as quickly as possible as soon as the clock strikes five, and so cannot wear anything that will hinder that race in any way.
10. I have a bigger heart
OK, this one is a bit soppy, but it is true. I swear I have felt my heart grow bigger over the last seven years (since my first-born was born). Much as you THINK you know all about love before you have children, the minute they put that slippery, gooey baby on your chest, you KNOW you had no clue. THIS is the real, raw, overwhelming deal. And then, just when you think your heart is stretched to capacity as it is, you have another baby and literally feel it double in size again. I have been told this is also the case for third, forth and fifth (and any other) babies you go on to have. Clearly the heart is a very stretchy organ!