"You know you're a parent when..."

Bern and the kids.






Now before you read this, I want to make sure you understand that this is NOT a cautionary tale for those who are yet to be parents.

I’ve heard it said so many times: “Oh, I’m not sure I want to be a parent after reading this.” I really don’t want this to scare you away from reproducing.

I’ve tried to make this both funny and real. Because being a parent has honestly become the best part of me. And I say this as someone who really didn’t want kids all that much. I now have three. Go figure.

There are defining moments as a parent though, moments when you realise, WOW, my life really has changed. Times you realise, without doubt, that you are now a parent.

You know you’re a parent when…

  • 6am is no longer the time you get in, it’s the time you get up.
  • You honestly believe you can stylishly and adequately cut your own child’s hair.
  • That overenthusiastic guy from Hi-5 starts to look attractive.
  • Your handbag no longer contains a purse, lipstick and a ‘lash-defying’ mascara, but instead holds baby wipes, a power ranger, and a questionable dummy.
  • Decaying apple cores found under the seat in your car no longer repulse or surprise you.
  • You’ve absentmindedly returned the milk. To the cupboard.
  • There is an email sitting in your inbox with the subject line: Head Lice.
  • You’ve started to resemble a pack horse with the ability to hold multiple school bags whilst also carrying ALL of the groceries.
  • You’ve stayed up until 1am making cupcakes for an entire class of 2nd graders.
  • You aren’t above using your own spit to remove stubborn matter from your child’s face.
  • You have mastered the art of appropriate condolences for a goldfish’s funeral.
  • The wheelie bin goes out more than you do.
  • You find yourself still watching and answering Dora, 35 minutes after the last child has vacated the room.
  • Instead of running away from projectile vomit, you run towards it.
  • Sleep is more alluring than sex.
  • You have learnt new and inventive ways to swear after stepping on upturned Lego.
  • You lock yourself in the bathroom and pretend to have “stomach problems” just to get some alone time.
  • You lock yourself in the linen cupboard to eat a Mars Bar because, quite frankly, you’re sick of sharing.
  • Picking up another human to smell their bottom isn’t only normal, it’s necessary.
  • Your fantasies start to revolve around sleep.
  • You consider a trip to IKEA with your partner to replace the chest of drawers, and eat Swedish Meatballs, a date.
  • Fridays mean nothing anymore.
  • You find yourself swaying side to side even though you no longer have a child in your arms.
  • Happy hour no longer involves cheap beer. It now refers to those 60 minutes between your child going to bed and waking up to pee.
  • You have more children’s apps on your phone than adult ones.
  • You start to use the phrase “Oopsie daisy”. At work.

And finally

  • Nothing else quite makes your heart beat and almost explode than when you watch your child sleep.

Look, life changes when you have kids, and it changes in both the best and worst ways. For a while there, you stop being you, or the ‘you’ you were before you had kids. And this, I believe, is as it should be.

Because, let’s face it, nothing is the same. Eventually though, you will find your groove and, personally, while initially the phrase “out my depth” was an understatement, I wouldn’t change it for quids.

Any other additions? What has changed since you became a parent?