Being a parent is great. I love it. Genuinely. But adding kids does to your life what a mix master does to an egg white – makes it unrecognizable.
But also, despite what’s written in the list below, somehow so very much better. I mean, who doesn’t like Pavlova?
Doubt me? Have a kid or two and find out for yourself.
So here’s a bit of fun – my ten ways having kids can change your life:
1. Your Bed
It’s not your bed anymore. It’s the house equivalent of a common room in student accommodation, where you’ll find lots of your housemates lounging about sleeping, often kicking you in the small of the back, nuts or neck.
It took me seven kids to solve this problem but I finally did, and I offer you the solution for nothing but kudos. Don’t skimp on mattresses for your kids. Buy them the best around.
Then, when they crowd into your bed, go sleep in theirs.
Wondering if this might adversely effect your sex life? You’re funny.
You have a sex life now in the same way Jeremy Clarkson has a career at BBC – he used to once and he might again, but for now he’s probably happy just to play with his gear stick when he finds himself alone.
Your meal is now a plate of second helpings for any of your children who still feel a bit peckish after they’ve finished their own dinner.
And remember those lovely, exotic curries you used to enjoy? Well, I hope you took some Instagram pics.
3. Sleeping In
Remember how you used to sleep in and worry that you’d wasted half the day?
Once you have kids there isn’t a better way to spend a morning than languishing in bed waiting for hell to break loose.
In the pursuit of a late rise we have put kids to bed late, attempted bribes worthy of a FIFA bid, put up black out curtains Dracula would be okay with – everything short of actually tranquilizing the little
Because that would be wrong.
4. Your Parents
Who are these people?
Seriously, they become unrecognizable strangers. Plus you effectively cease to matter.
It’s not just that I’ve had my parents rush past my open arms to hug my kids, it’s that I no longer recognize them as the two sensible, controlling, practical people I grew up with. I suspect they do it on purpose.
Kids want a drink? They’ve a fridge full of soft drinks. Kids want a snack before dinner? They’ll run down to the Golden Arches.
And then they hand them back!
I suspect all those body snatcher movies are based on script writers trying to find a plausible way to explain their own parents’ behaviour.
Having said that… my kids have made my life hell so far so I can’t wait until it’s my turn to be a grandparent.
5. Having Friends Over
Are you nuts! Then you’d have to clean the place up, and ain’t nobody got time for dat!
But if you must entertain (I don’t know, it’s someone’s birthday or something), eat out. Why do you think McDonalds and Hungry Jacks do so well? It’s all those parents who can’t be jacked grabbing a shovel to dig for carpet in the lounge room. Or playroom, as it’s probably been renamed by now.
Still want to have people over, just like the old days? Slap yourself hard for being so stubborn, then throw all the mess into one or two of the bedrooms and then shut, and preferably lock, the doors.
But don’t play Russian Roulette with your sanity and insist on a sit down meal. BBQ’s are very hip these days. So is bring-a-plate.
Like the scare factor of a good horror? Maybe you prefer a thriller with a chase scene?
Well I have some bad news and some good news. Actually, that’s overstating it. Truer to say I have some bad news and some other news.
And I don’t want to hear a single whingy word from you new parents either. When my oldest were growing up all we had was Disney. You guys have Pixar!
First, the bad news. You are about to know more about the world of Peppa Pig, Barbie, Octonauts, Winx, Bratz, Dora or Pokemon than you might otherwise have ever considered possible. If you’re lucky you can eventually steer your kids towards the Marvel universe, but for the first half a decade that’s kind of a pipe dream.
And don’t tease yourself by checking out movies in the Latest Release section of your local Blockbuster. Those titles will be in the discount bin before you get to watch anything rated even PG. Trust me, you are not going to want a horror or thriller in the house in case your impressionable young rugrat catches a glimpse of gore and doesn’t sleep for a week. Movies which make your eyes go wide and your adrenaline pump are on hold for a bit.
And the other news?
Well, let me assure you, you don’t know heart-pounding excitement until you’ve chased a toddler around the house, over the carpet, who’s got one tag barely holding up a shitty nappy!
7. Road Trips
When I was just out of school road trips were often spontaneous things. I remember ending up three hundred kilometers down the road with a mate four hours after he mentioned a particular beach and I said I’d never heard of it, let alone been there.
By an odd coincidence four hours is precisely the amount of time it will now take you to go on a road trip with your kids. And by road trip I mean shopping or to the park.
Of course, actual road trips take months of preparation.
Grocery shopping alone is now the equivalent of a day at the health spa. The freedom to go down any aisle you like, in any order. Twice even. Think you might do a few laps of the deli working out what specials might make for a nice change to the weekly menu plan? Knock yourself out. Want to read the ingredients on the can? Go on. You deserve it.
I can feel a weight lifting off my shoulders just typing this.
Isolated beaches. Five star dining. Exotic villages. These are just some of the destinations you’ll now be saving for your retirement.
For the next decade or so you’ll happily put up with breakfasts consisting of tinned spaghetti on toast and rooms with cheesy wall murals, so long as the resort offers childminding.
But don’t get excited about the babysitting and picture yourself dumping off the kids and heading out for a nice meal – you have to stay in the resort grounds while you kids are in there. Which you’ll be absolutely fine with, because the moment you’ve dumped the kids you’ll both race eagerly back to your room to jump into bed.
Just don’t get any ideas it’s to have sex. The only thing you’ll both be determined to do is nap.
Chances are you’ll be so tired you won’t even care, or notice, you’re missing out on seeing the world while your kids are growing up and sucking all your energy.
Which is good because, trust me on this, it will be a hell of a lot easier to climb to Machu Pikchu with an arthritic hip and an oxygen tank than with a tired preschooler.
You and your partner might have made magic in your room at your parent’s place before you officially moved in together but that prepares you for sneakily having sex when you’ve got kids in the same way walking around a shopping center prepares you for a marathon.
Just kidding. Nothing changes regarding sex. If anything you’re shagging like you’re an eighteen year old again. I don’t even know why it’s on the list.
Okay, so maybe the frequency drops off a little. If you used to do the forbidden polka once a night you might drop it to once a week. Or once a month. Or simply birthdays and Valentine’s day.
So yeah, your sex life reverts to that of an eighteen year old. By which I mean there’s a lot less of it, and you’re almost desperately grateful when you do finally manage to get a bit.
If this post tickled your fancy please share it with your friends. Thanks. Bruce x
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”
Sharing. It really does make a difference. Thanks.