The biggest difference you will notice right away once you become a mum is that you can’t really read this easily because a small wobbly head is probably blocking your view. Distract that head with some crackers and read on to see how the things you valued most — because they were blissfully, peacefully yours — have changed.
1. Your car
Then: You drove a car of your choosing in which you play music that soothes you while enjoying a cup of coffee exactly how you take it.
Now: It’s a slightly dented minivan priced right, in which a Justine Clarke CD from 2008 is still jammed, screeching tunes that make your street cred die a slow death in sync with the wails of your brood in the back seats while you search for a single cupholder not filled with melted crayons.
2. The couch
Then: You searched ages for a couch with the perfect arch to its armrest and width on which to stretch your legs. Weekends were often spent quietly perched on it, lost in the pages of a book.
Now: One of your butt cheeks has fallen into the crevice between cushions, for your kids aggressively bookend you, brawling for both the seat next to you and the armrest, but you have more than two kids so it’s getting ugly. You hold your Kindle overhead, reading a couple sentences at a time in between reprimanding your offsprings’ antics and telling your cat to stop head-butting you from its perch on the back of the couch.
3. Your bed
Then: Your honey had his side. You had your side. The bedding was smooth and had the pleasant scent of laundry detergent and fabric softener.
Now: You made a litter of bedhogs who alternate sleeping horizontally or diagonally, making sure to elbow only your most tender of organs while sprinkling those now-dingy sheets with pee.
4. The toilet
Then: For almost three decades you ventured solo to make your daily deposit in the brown bank.
Now: It’s time to pay back taxes on that freedom in the form of a line of littles queued up at your knees pondering the meaning of life, asking you to play Minecraft, or crawling into your naked lap because the 12 seconds you were away from her made her miss you so very much.
5. The shower
Then: Washing away the day’s tensions or starting the morning anew, this steamy cell of solitude was where you’d collect your thoughts, peace out, or simply lose yourself in the wet, white noise while recharging your batteries.
Now: This week you might get a chance to slip in there maybe three times—if you’re lucky—and you only do so while a smattering of slightly mildewed plastic toys glare up at your nether regions, various children yank the curtain aside for assistance in breaking up a fight/signing a form, or the toddler decides now is the time to use the only toilet that, when flushed, causes the shower head to slap you with freezing rain.
Then: Conversations were held at arm’s length or further. Handshakes, hugs, and high-fives were seen coming from a distance. You moved about the world freely.
Now: Today you had a conversation with someone whose runny nose was touching your nose while another small person used you as a jungle gym and a third removed the cardigan from your shoulders to use as a door on her fort. Since the birth of your first child a decade ago, you have never not had another human either in your arms or holding onto you/your clothing for dear life, thus are both constantly on the defensive to protect yourself from accidental over-touch injuries (i.e., a scratched cornea from a missed high-five) or catching your progeny as they fall like rain from your person.
Thankfully, their delicious, sour-milk-scented hugs are worth it (even the accidentally violent ones that slip a disc in your neck).
More mum truths:
- All the Things More Effective Than Sex Education in School
- 21 Things Mums Know Happen Outdoors, in the Summer
- Crazy Sh*t People Without Kids Say to Parents