They say that nothing truly prepares you for having a child. No amount of baby classes, advice from mum, books by child psychologists, or those helpful “You’ll never sleep again” comments from friends.
But, let’s at least try and get a handle on it.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but we think it covers the broad strokes.
There is no such thing as lazy time
Remember how you and your partner would get in from work, have dinner and then lounge around binge watching Netflix? Or maybe indulge in a hobby at the weekends?
Now you’ll be enjoying quality time together while one of you empties the nappy bin and the other digs mashed carrot out of the crevices of a high chair. But though you’ll be busier than ever after having a baby you’ll find you actually get more things done, because you won’t waste any time.
Your body clock has a new setting
Forget rushing to get ready for work and dashing through the front door, toast still in mouth, to make it in on time. Now you’ll be up before the crack of dawn feeding the little one and changing nappies. Keep telling yourself that sunrises are beautiful.
You learn what’s really important
Having the latest gadgets, going on a couple of foreign holidays a year, keeping the house spick and span… these are just some of the things you’ll find you care less and less about when you could be singing nursery rhymes, experiencing developmental milestones and just being with your baby.
Suddenly, what you want isn’t the most important thing in the world because you have another life that is totally dependent on you.
You buy cars based on boot size not engine size
Your car is no longer a status symbol or a reflection of your need for speed. Instead it has a spacious boot, great MPG, and every safety feature imaginable. Post-baby life changes aren’t all earth-shattering or exciting, but this practicality will start to seep into other areas of your life. And it’s all for the better.
Sick and poo hold no fear for you
No matter how squeamish you are, once you have a baby, bodily expulsions of any kind become part of the rich tapestry of life. Cleaning up sick used to be something that happened because of a stomach bug (or a particularly wild night), now it’s going to be a day-to-day chore, like doing the dishes. The colour and texture of poo will start to become a topic of conversation, too. It’s quite amazing.
Of course there are countless other things, large and small, that will be different once your baby comes along. How your life changes after having a baby is profound and will bring you a totally new perspective on life. And there is no denying that you’ll probably find it the most rewarding experience of your life.
Even when you’re woken up at four in the morning. Again.