Pinpointing what changes when you start a family is about as futile as trying to quantify what changes when you discover Nutella for the first time.
The pre-family days and the post-family daze are radically different. However in a bid to scratch the surface of this question here’s 9 things that change when you start a family.
1. You may actually start to feel like an adult
You do grown up things like buying food and clothes for another person besides yourself and filling out forms on another person’s behalf.
2. You become consumed by getting to bed early
Where once getting to bed early meant before dawn, now we’re known to “treat” ourselves by going to bed at 7pm at the same time as the child. It’s bliss.
3. You learn the true meaning of the word “busy”
Now, when childless friends describe how “stressed” they are, you laugh inwardly knowing the the real definition of “busy’ is trying to accomplish all the things they are moaning about, only on about 75 per cent less sleep and with a toddler on your face.
4. You understand fully for the first time ever, why your mother once rang everyone you know that time when you were an hour and half later than you said you would be, and then KILLED you when you finally did walk in the door
There’s just a helluva lotta feels when you are a parent. And the worry, oh the worry.
5. You may never be able to watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit ever again
Or any other film or TV programme involving children in danger. It’s simply too harrowing, best stick to Grand Designs and old episodes of Friends.
6. Rice cakes and bananas will play an integral role in your life from now on
I’m not sure why this is, it’s just some kind of law of parenthood.
7. You will spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about nappies and what your baby will produce into those nappies
If you are anything like me, you may even photograph it to show to other more capable types who may be able to reassure you that wholegrain mustard is a perfectly reasonable poo-consistency for a young baby.
8. Your barometer for fun will shift dramatically
Where once a glass of wine, a pair of heels, the best of the 90s blaring and a posse of cohorts constituted a good night, now a tiny human playing peek-a-boo with your tummy rolls kinda hits the mark. We’ll still take a night out wherever we can get it, of course, but these days the people we make ourselves are always the best fun.
9. Life is, literally, made
Whatever seemed really important before kind of recedes in the face of chaotic, frustrating, awesome family life. A random leg-hug from the toddler will make your day more than an unexpected tax refund did in the old days.