Being a parent is a privilege that should be embraced by all of us that are lucky enough to be one - but my, how it changes ones life...
Being a late in life parent, I think I probably realise more than most the difference in lifestyles between those that have kids and those that have not. It amuses me when I get time to be amused, at how different my life is now I'm a mum. Obviously it's a lot more chaotic and a lot harder but in many ways it's a lot easier too, as now I have a purpose and not very much else matters to me in life more than my family.
For your amusement though, here are 15 things that always change when you're a parent.
1. The privileged of sitting down to eat a meal in peace is taken away from you.
This seems to happen to me more than it does Phoenix's dad. When our baby was first born I found it really difficult to eat as I didn't want to eat over my precious babies head. No one wants to drip butter from a crumpet on to their cherubs brand new head.
Naturally once he started to sit up I thought I'd have more of a chance at eating a meal with some decorum - but not so, as at this point you start to wean them and that is a full time job in mess, panicking about them choking and having no clue what on earth to give them.
Now he has been weaned, I don't get to eat anything either because whatever I eat, he wants. Again though, he doesn't take his dad's food off him quite as much as he likes to take my meals away from me. When we go out for a meal now (which is quite often I must say) I now just order one meal between Phoenix and me. He eats the main bulk of it and I eat the cold scraps, like a dog - but a happy dog at least.
2. You forget to cut your toe nails
To be fair I don't just forget to cut my toe nails, I forget to pluck my eyebrows, paint my nails, shave my legs and have my hair done! I think I probably only look in the mirror first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I'm a complete mess really, my poor husband.
I also smell of food all the time and I think that is because I often wipe Phoenix's face and then wipe that on my jeans! I've never worn perfume but now I understand why ladies do wear it! It's to mask the smell of 'child' that wears off on them through the day. Let's face it, kids over the age of 6 months are smelly! Phoenix only smells nice straight after bath time. The rest of the time he smells fizzy or like an old tennis ball and then that wears off on me!
3. Bath time is the only time you don't feel guilty for having a 'time out' - but you only allow yourself 10 mins to soak before the guilt fog seeps in.
Every night, if I can wangle it, I have a bath. Just ten minutes alone in the tub, so I can stop smelling like 'the child', maybe have a quick look at exactly how bad the toe nail situation is and cleanse myself of the Wotsits, bolognese and whatever else might be in my hair, up my nose and under my finger nails. I can also have a peaceful look at my sticky phone in peace and rest my extremely weary bones.
After 10 mins though I always start to feel panicking and in rush to get out - I want to see my baby and perhaps stupidly I feel like that's enough time for me, I start to feel selfish and guilty.
4. You honestly do not give a shit about what you look like..
Once you are a mum you honestly do not really give a toss about how you look. The days of vanity go out of the window. There is no time for beauty. You hope beyond hope that au naturel suits you, because if it doesn't you are well and truly fucked, there's no time for applying fake tan and fake eye lashes. Bring on the goddess, she will have to be enough for your partner and the world, this is real life. The days of the pouting selfie have gone. It's time for a personality if you're gonna get through this mumathon.
5. You would drive through a red light just to keep your baby from crying
This one has whizzed through my head many time and brought a m=naughty smile to my face, especially when Phoenix was really small. I have gone through many a light changing from amber to red in an endeavour to stop my sleeping baby from waking up. I've also imagined the wrath any policeman might have encountered should he have pulled me over for such dangerous driving.
I'm not proud of it but I can't imagine there is a single mum out there that hasn't done this. It's dangerous and downright silly but the fear of the baby crying is a force that is strong and could easily get any mother out there arrested for assault on an officer of the law.
I've also 'taken out' a fair few shins with my pushchair in the name of the sleeping child too. I apologise on behalf of all mothers for the millions of bruised shins out there - but if you get in the way of our sleeping babies you will pay the price, be warned!
6. You can go without having a wee all day long
This one happens to me every day and has done since Phoenix was born. I NEVER get to go for a wee and it's got to the point now where I can't even be bothered to get my bum out to do one anyway.
I think this happens to most mums. When you are out and about alone, the changing 'ledge' is never safe enough to leave your baby on while you do a wee yourself - even if you can strap your baby on it and as there is rarely room fpor yoiur pram or pushchair in the baby changing rooms, the only other alternative is to put your baby on the floor and who wants their baby or toddler to sit or stand on a public toilet floor while you quickly do your business? No one does! Out and about is a wee no no.
When I'm home, I'm so busy using any spare time I have to hoover, wash pots and do chores that again doing a wee is always bottom (pardon the pun) of my list. So on the wee front I have become like an undercover agent, I hardly ever go!
7. You will bond with other mums
This one is one of the biggest shocks to me. When I presented on Cbeebies, mums, my bosses on the channel and women in general, hated me. Even though I am definitely a woman who will stand by and fight for other women, women tend to not like me on first glance or at least that was the case before I became a mum.
Now other mums give me knowing looks of appreciation. Now you lovely ladies read my blogs, support me, encourage me and empathise with me. It's wonderful to be part of the sisterhood, it's what I've always wanted and being a mum has made that possible.
It's like a secret club and I'm in it! We mums bond without words, it's glorious.
8. You will need a new phone with a huge memory for all your pictures
We had to upgrade our phones when Phoenix was about a month old! My phone is full of memories and captured moments and I'm so grateful to this day and age of technology, which enables to catch so many memories.
This generation of children will have their childhoods documented like no other before them. Certainly my childhood is a picture album with a few faded snaps in. Of course I don't know the best way to organise and protect all Phoenix's pictures, as if I ever lost them or my phone I'd be devastated. I feel that's some research and a blog to come, so watch this space and any suggestions on the picture storage front, please do get in touch!
When Phoenix was first born I didn't want any pictures of him online as both his father and I are in the public eye, I was paranoid that someone would use them. I'm not as bad now but I still keep them to a minimum and ask family and friends not to post pictures of him all over social media. It does make me uncomfortable when I see lots of pictures of other people's kids online because I feel like it's private but at the same time I completely understand why people want to share their kids, their pride and joys with the world and who am I to say hat's right or wrong but it's probably worth looking at the pros and cons of too much online sharing of your dear little ones.
9. You will realise you are going to die
A bit morbid I know but I really didn't care about dying before Phoenix came along. Now I wish I could see him when he's 60 years old and older but I know I won't be here then and I can't believe it. I can't be there for him forever. Of course, I want him to live a full and long life and if I had to give up my life tomorrow for him to do that I would - but I hope I'm here for him as long as possible and of course I hope that he lives forever.
10. You won't give a shit what anyone thinks of you
I don't think I need say much on this subject - but once you are a parent you don't care who likes or dislikes you. All you are interested in is, whether or not your baby is ok and if they're not, why not and how can you fix that.
11. You realise just how much your parents loved you
I've said this in other blogs and it's so true. It was only when I had Phoenix that I realised that if my parents love me as much as I love my baby boy, then I am loved a vast amount. That made me feel better about myself too. I know I'm loved. Phoenix will never love me as much as I love him and that's how it's supposed to be - but one day when he has children of his own he will realise just how much his father and I do love him and how we would do anything for him.
12. You can no longer find the time to watch The Walking Dead or other box sets
This is a great shame and maybe when he gets older we will rectify it... but we are two whole seasons behind on The Walking Dead! Before Phoenix, we had to watch other box sets while we waited for them to film the next season.. Now we don't have the time, energy or the concentration levels to catch up! I think maybe when he's ten years old we might get round to watching it again - but my how times have changed!
13. Cleaning the house feels like a time out
I can't believe I'm actually saying that cleaning feels like a time out but it does! I can only clean now when someone is watching my little terror as he gets in to everything - so any free time I get is chores time and it's also my thinking time too.
14. You have no time for protocol
Today I contacted PR agents about my blog and a few agents for presenting work. I know there is a certain (in my opinion stupid) protocol that is expected of such a connection - but I just can't be arsed. I probably won't get what I want but I don't have time to care what they think or even if they will help me. I send emails, hoping it's to a fellow mum who will appreciate that I am cutting out all the political crap and just getting down to it. They most probably won't - but again if they don't, I don't have time for them. I used to care about other people's protocols but now I'm a mum, I see it's just flimflam and I play by my own rules, so they can either catch up or I'll just do it my way.
15. You will never know happiness like the happiness your child gives you
I suppose this last one goes without saying but if someone had told me this before I'd had Phoenix I would ever have believed it. After all my struggles coming off Prozac I am now 5 months clean and I've never been happier. I've worked all today and I miss his little face. Whether he is laughing or crying or sleeping or chattering he brings me more joy than any job, purchase, drug, holiday or win fall. He is my miracle and if you are a parent take a moment to look at your little psychopaths and say thank you for them. They give us the power to carry on when all else is against us and they give us laughter when we are weary to the bone. They are absolute buggers but they are our buggers and may they be healthy and happy their whole lives through.
Now excuse me while I go and do a wee, cut my toenails and then rush to see my wonderful family....