1. Going to the toilet without an audience
I have three children under the age of five – I probably won’t pee alone for the rest of this decade. If I’m at home, you can guarantee someone will walk in asking for something, or to tell me they missed me. If we’re out and about, I usually have to squeeze myself, two children and a baby in a buggy into a cubicle. It’s lucky I don’t suffer from stage fright.
2. A long, hot, uninterrupted shower
If I don’t get in the shower before my husband leaves for work, it’s not going to happen until he gets home and the children are in bed. And just like going to the loo, I usually have an audience or am washing my hair while being asked to sing some nursery rhyme or other.
3. Drinking a hot drink while it is actually hot
I boil the kettle, get distracted by something one of my children needs. Boil it again. Get distracted again. Boil it again and pour my drink. Get distracted again. Finally start to drink it and it’s cold. By that point, I’m so thirsty I usually don’t care.
4. Finishing a conversation
A friend will be divulging the latest piece of gossip and someone’s child will need something. By the time that child has been attended to, someone else’s child will need something and before you know it, half an hour has passed and you’ve completely forgotten what you were talking about anyway. I’m forever texting friends asking them to tell me the end of the story.
5. Popping to the shops on the way home for one small thing
Pre-kids, if you need a pint of milk on your way home, you park up the car, pick up a pint of milk, pay, and get back in the car. Three minutes tops. Now, I park up, get the buggy out and clip on the car seat, get the other two out and try to get them to stop arguing about whose turn it is to get out first. Then we have to make our way to the milk without someone having a tantrum because I won’t let them buy something entirely unhealthy. Next, we go to pay and that takes forever because they each want to use the self-scanner or give the money to the sales assistant. We get back to the car and I have to strap everyone in and put the buggy back in the boot. Fifteen minutes on a good day.
6. Leaving the house in an instant
Closely related to number 5, pre-kids, I could pick up my handbag, lock the door and go. Now I need to make sure the change bag is fully-stocked up with nappies, wipes, muslins and a change of clothes. I need drinks, snacks, toys. Someone won’t want to put their shoes on. Someone else will cry because the hoodie they want to wear is the wash. Someone will need the toilet just after I’ve got everyone strapped into the car or the buggy. I always aim to leave the house 20 minutes before I actually need to. Even then, we are usually running late.
I love that my house is never quiet. I love the fun and the chaos. But every so often, I long for a moment of absolute silence when I can close my eyes, take a deep breath and know that no one wants anything from me. Guaranteed if it suddenly goes quiet, it’s because they’re doing something they shouldn’t be. Or if it’s because they’re out of the house without someone else, I’m moping that it’s too quiet without them here.
I love that every morning, all five of us sit in bed together, baby feeding, the others listening to stories; it’s such a special start to the day. However, sometimes I would really love to sleep beyond 7.15am at the latest. Sometimes I would just like to keep my eyes shut and not have to talk to anyone.
Pre-kids, I remember often texting my hubby at work and suggesting we meet for a few Friday night drinks and food, or suddenly deciding to hop on a train and visit friends in a different part of the country. Now, everything takes a lot of planning, coordinating of both of our schedules and booking up babysitters.
10. Holding my husband’s hand
On a recent trip to the park, my children were arguing over who was going to hold which parents’ hand. My husband got a bit fed up and told them he was going to hold mummy’s hand instead. I had forgotten how warm and nurturing it feels when you’re holding hands with someone bigger than you. Usually we’re both pushing buggies, carrying bikes or scooters that have been abandoned mid-walk and holding our children’s hands. I loved how innocently romantic it felt walking hand-in-hand with the man I am married to. It only lasted a couple of minutes but it was lovely.
What simple things did you take for granted before you had children? Do let me know so I can add them to the list.
If you liked this, you may also like to read my post 9 things I own as a mummy my pre-child self would be mortified about