Let’s face it, in our twenties we all have that rose tinted vision of our futures. We know what to expect to a degree, we know a house and a family, if that’s what we choose, doesn’t come without work.
But, what I don’t think any of us expected was for the ‘work’ part of it to become a desirable thing, now did we? Still in denial? No clue what I could possibly be talking about? Okay, play hard to get, but I bet once you’ve read this list you’ll be a little more honest with yourself!
(And if you’re still in your early twenties with no kids, enjoy this peek into the future!)
1. Clean Sheet Night
A friend of mine posted about this on Facebook recently, it was actually the inspiration for this whole post!
After realising it was just one of many small pleasures I have now that I’d never have imagined back then, I just couldn’t resist putting them all on a list like this!
I’m pretty sure when I was at University, in charge of my own laundry and housekeeping, I remember washing my bed sheets once per term? Maybe twice if I was lucky? What do you expect, I was a starving student! Far too busy stressing over essays, playing video games and going out to do non-essential laundry!
Now I make sure our sheets are changed regularly, because eww, and the joy of climbing into cool, clean linen after a long day is one of life’s small pleasures.
I think clean sheets go hand in hand with other household victories like an empty draining board, an empty washing basket, and a clear living room floor. I can just hear those wistful sighs of agreement from other mums out there.
Nope, not talking about the kids. That’s a given, am I right?
I’m talking about my bedtime. At 20 I was an insomniac and a Uni student; I remember staying up all night after dancing with friends then going for a fry up at the local café at six am, in full glamour, just to scandalise the oldies. (Hoo boy now I cringe looking back!)
Now I’m 30, I have two children under four, I get up at six am every day to write before they stir (baby has, of course, already had his four am bottle by then), I have a full day of kiddie wrangling which may also include; cooking, cleaning, play dates, baby groups, relative visiting, grocery shopping, craft and so on ahead.
By the time nine pm rolls around I’m usually yawning and losing focus. If I happen to glance at the clock and realise it’s past ten pm? I pretty much drop everything and go to bed asap!
My brain even starts calculating total sleep time. (I bet i’m not the only one.)
For example: I have to be up in eight hours; at least one of those will be lost to the night time feed and change baby still requires. That gives me seven. I’m a terrible sleeper, I wake at least once for the bathroom and take ages to get to sleep, we can safely whittle that total down to six. And so on.
I love my sleep, and we all need a bare minimum to function well, you can see why an early bedtime can become a priority, Possibly even a luxury.
3. Going to Work
I know, I just made a post about how horrible having to go back to work is, am I crazy?
Look at it this way.
Sometimes as a stay at home Mum/Dad, you might get frustrated with your partner because they come home from work and don’t immediately jump in and help you/take the kids so you can have a break.
At the same time, your partner will be frustrated because they see it as not being given a chance to relax and come down from ‘work mode’, before being expected to do things.
We all need time to relax after getting home from work. But the problem is, as a stay at home parent, home is work.
The idea of going to an out of home day job can be (not always, but sometimes) a taste of freedom.
You get to shrug off the shroud of mum/dad and become you again. Professional, adult, independent you. No mum voice, no arguing over which shape to cut sandwiches into for lunch, no endlessly repeating Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig.
Let’s face it, baby groups and play dates are lifelines, but how often do those allow you to leave the nappy changes, nose wiping and scrape kissing to someone else? How often do you get to talk about things non-parenting related, or without interruption?
I hate that I have no choice about going back to work, but I do look forward to the chance to be Me, not just Mum, while I’m there.
4. Changing dirty nappies
‘But Claire!’ I hear you cry, ‘You were just talking about getting away from changing nappies! This list is becoming a roller-coaster!’
It’s okay, I haven’t lost it completely! In fact, I bet most of you already figured out why I put looking forward to changing nappies on the list, you’re probably nodding your heads sagely as we speak.
Having a sick child is awful. Your heart hurts for their discomfort, your brain hurts for your own lack of sleep. One thing new parents are often tripped up by is just how awful, and how dangerous, bowel obstructions in babies can be.
I didn’t really know much about it until I’d had my second, when I was googling his symptoms and came across an article. He was unwell, and hadn’t had a dirty nappy for three days, when he usually had one every day. According to the article if he went a fourth day, I should take him to the GP immediately.
I then went on the read more about the issue. Did you know constipation in children can cause sleep, mood, behaviour, eating and even long term health problems? That’s a lot of problems.
Luckily my little man went back to normal later that day, and we haven’t had a problem since. But, as a parent responsible for the health of a mini person who means more to you than your own life, sometimes you find yourself feeling relieved, even happy, when that godawful smell finally hits you.
5. Comfy knickers
Okay, so this one is probably mostly for the Mums. Let’s face it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
One thing I never thought about as a 20-year-old was underwear comfort. Hey, I was young, single, living on my own for the first time, of course I was going to buy ridiculously frilly, lacy, froufrou knickers with matching Balconette bras!
Now, after two pregnancies/labours, my privates and breasts have suffered unthinkable atrocities! Like hell I’m wearing tight, scratchy, unsupportive/over supportive uncomfortable froufrou crap!
You want to buy a cute matching set? Go for it!
Love your lacy thongs? I won’t judge!
But personally, I would rather buy myself some comfy knickers that don’t ride up into the forbidden territories and a bra that won’t stab me in delicate places after one go in the washing machine.
I think after everything my lady parts (above and below) have been through, they deserve a little comfort!
Five things I look forward to, I know my 20-year-old self would be horrified to learn! The best part is this list got completely out of hand! There will be a Part Two!
What do you think? Hey, even if you’re still in your twenties, if you’ve had kids I bet there’s a couple you could add!
Why not leave a comment with your own suggestions? I’d love to make a Part Three!