It’s amazing how much a baby changes your life. Until they’re here you don’t realise how much they turn your life upside down, you took the freedom you had pre-baby for granted and could never imagine how much one little person could change your life.
I remember the days pre-baby, I used to regularly lie in until 12/1pm on my days off, I didn’t know how people could get by on 5/6 hours a night. When I was working shifts as a nurse I would be so tired on my days off from having only 6/7 hours sleep the night before work, I would need at least 10-12 hours to make up for it! Nowadays I exist on about 6-7 hours of broken sleep every night and sometimes even less depending on when Oliver decides to wake up! I probably definitely am a lot more tired than I was before, the health visitors always said ‘nap when your baby naps’, this is great advice for when you have a husband on hand in the first 2 weeks who can do housework etc. But once he’s back at work it’s near on impossible! Every time Oliver sleeps in the day I use that time to a) catch up on social media, b) try to do housework c) catch up on tv I’ve missed due to Oliver (i.e. The Bake Off) . There’s definitely no time for naps!
When I had no baby, I could at the drop of a hat go shopping or out for the day, with just my handbag and a purse full of money. It now involves meticulous planning. Have I got enough nappies, wipes, a muslin, a spare outfit, toys to entertain Oliver, the baby carrier? I have to make sure I am ready at least 15 minutes before I’m due to leave, because Oliver will 99% of the time do a poo as soon as he’s strapped into his car seat. Said poo’s are not just your run of the mill poo, they’re poonami’s, meaning he nearly always requires an outfit change! Undoubtedly Oliver will spend about 25% of the time we are out in his pram, he’s just not a pram lover. He hates that he can’t see everything that’s going on, he much prefers being carried, and after many trips where I have skilfully carried him on my hip whilst manoeuvring the pram, I have learnt that the baby carrier is a must have on any trip out! Nowadays I spend more time window shopping, as maternity pay is nearly half what I was earning before, and about 5% of my free money goes on me but instead on all the adorable outfits I ‘need’ to buy for Oliver.
When you go out for a meal, you have to think about where is baby friendly, whether you can take the pram in, are there changing facilities? Then you spend your whole meal thinking everyone else is thinking ‘stop that child crying/screaming/generally making a lot of noise’ even though they’re probably not bothered and are just looking at your baby thinking ‘aren’t they cute’. I used to just walk in sit down and eat, savouring the tastes, having plenty of time to peruse the menu. Now we spend ages choosing what to eat because we spend most of our time trying to entertain Oliver or stop him pulling everything off of the table whilst attempting to glance at the menu. Our meals are eaten in turns and generally at speed, so we can swap over who is watching/entertaining the baby.
However, even if I have learnt to eat scorching hot or cold meals, I have barely any money to spend on myself, I have never before existed on so little sleep and have to take a car load of things on a trip out, I wouldn’t change it for the world, to see that little cheeky smile every morning. To have those beautiful eyes brighten up when they see me and to feel the warmth of you as I hold you. You’re the biggest life changer, but the best I could wish for. I wouldn’t change you for the world Oliver ❤️