20 things I don’t want friends without children to know…

I’ve always wanted children.  Even when I was ten years old I was broody.  Before I had the Monster and the Minx I was jealous of those who had those gurgling, gorgeous bundles of joy.  Now, don’t get me wrong here – I love my children to bits and would love a third, but I must admit that in the years B.C (before children) I may have looked on motherhood (and particularly the stay-at-home-mum part) through rose-tinted spectacles.  Whilst that’s probably largely my fault – I saw what I wanted to see – I think that I probably wasn’t in full possession of the facts either.  Perhaps it’s just me but I think there’s a minor conspiracy going on amongst mothers to hide from the world all the less than shiny, lovely parts of motherhood (except as part of tongue-in-cheek humour).  Let’s face it, when talking to childless friends there are many things that we don’t want them to know.

being a mum is a juggling actFor example, my list of things I don’t tell my friends but probably should would include:

  1. Life as a stay-at-home-mum does not revolve around day time tv.  Not unless you count CBeebies.
  2. Most Some days I don’t have the energy to provide live entertainment from dawn till dusk.  Some days I consider it perfectly acceptable to let them watch that DVD.  Again.
  3. The babble of children’s voices can be akin to the sound of nails being dragged down a blackboard in certain contexts – contexts which arise daily. Sometimes I wish my children had a mute button.
  4. A trip to the supermarket sans enfant counts as a night out.
  5. 11 pm is either way past my bed time or the only time of the day I get to myself.  Do not disturb.
  6. I am still an adult though, and do still want you to invite me to join you on nights out.  I may just get very tired very quickly.
  7. I can feel starved of real adult conversation and so will latch on to you when out and probably babble incoherently about the little darlings’ latest achievements/misdemeanours.  You should also be careful because…
  8. Birth stories are permanently etched in my brain to be shared at the drop of a hat – and yes, it is painful.  And there is blood. (Why did no one tell me about lochia until last minute!?).  Just smile and nod.
  9. If I’m wearing matching underwear it is a coincidence, not forward planning or a signal of amorous intent.
  10. There is no amorous intent.
  11. Though once a proud member of the debating society, my daily coversations now generally include any/all of the following phrases (and ones like it):  “Have you done a poo poo?”  “Bottom in the air so I can wipe it.”   “Those brussel sprouts do taste like sausages.”  “Will you please pull up your pants and stop flapping your willy about?”  (That’s not always aimed at your son…)
  12. Though I’m an adult and understand that it’s not my fault, being called to the head teacher’s office about my child feels just as bad as being called there as a child.
  13. I work hard to make my children look cute, presentable and angelic in your presence.  Normally they are screaming banshees.
  14. I no longer dream of Brad Pitt/Johnny Depp/Whoever is the current celeb of choice (I don’t know – I have no time to stay current).  No, now it is Mr Bloom – the housewives’ favourite.
  15. I bought the latest smartphone so that I can fill it with apps to make life easier – ie kiddie games apps in the hopes that I might get 5 mins peace when I go out.
  16. Playdough is really annoying when it gets onto the carpet – which is almost guaranteed to happen.
  17. Teddies are pointless.  Do not give me one as a gift.  They look cute and it’s an easy choice but I quickly end up drowning in a sea of them and the children prefer to cuddle the same stinky toy in bed anyway.
  18. I love to see you but please do not invite me to your house unless you have hidden your precious things away because I will be unable to relax the whole time.
  19. Please don’t phone me because my children clearly see the phone ringing as a signal to break into World War Umpteen.  They will also demand to speak to you on the phone.  Texting me means I can wait for a (slightly) quieter time to respond.
  20. The best time of day is when I get to watch them sleeping, so peacefully.  It’s hard to get my head round how I managed to make such wonderful little people.  It really is a miracle every day.

What would be on your list?

39 responses to “20 things I don’t want friends without children to know…

  1. Love this post. Of course I am so sleep deprived due to yet another bought of household illness that I don’t have the energy to say much m ore. Lochia is nothing. And how could no one prepared me for what what would happen to my bum? Ah the indignity.

    • Lol, I think I thought that after I’d given birth, all would be well. There were so many things about birth that I wasn’t told about until birth was imminent and even then it was just hints –

      “it might be a good idea to stock up on super strength sanitary towels…”

      “I was a bit ‘nippy down below’ after and found it easiest to wee in the bath…”

      “That first bowel movement – I thought it was filled with shards of glass…”

      Thanks for commenting, Cordelia.

  2. Your post took me back down memory lane. To all you mums out there it’s all worth it. The noise and tantrums get louder and more challenging tomdeal with in their teens but then there is a shining bright light. You see your little people as adults getting on in the world.thus year is saw my eldest son move out and buy a house with his girlfriend. When he says things like ” I think I’m going to cycle to work as I will save money” Or “oranges are the best food ever and full of vitamin c mum.”. Or ” i bought a lawn mower At the weekend mum ” think wow hes all grwon up … I didn’t do such a bad job.
    And my youngest daughter graduated last year and works with me and I hear compliments such as “she’s so bright and very articulate” I think well actually I know she wants to get her own place but uni has taught her to cook and wash her own clothes which
    she still does and her bedroom gets tidied sporadically . So keep going all young mums the hard work you put in now will bring you great things later. A happy mummy is a good mummy so don’t beat yourself up!

    • Thank you. It’s always good to remind yourself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Though I’m trying not to think of those teenage years in the middle. Your children sound lovely – a real credit to you.

  3. I love these.

    I’d add …

    1) If I have sick on only one shoulder then yes, I’ve made an effort.
    2) Don’t ask me if I’ve heard the new song by some band unless it appears on Mr Tumbles Greatest Hits.
    3) I can read a newspaper that’s 3 weeks old without realising.
    4) if I say I’m not coming for a drink because I’m not well, I reserve the right to include being tired as an illness.
    5) yep, it’s another photo of my kid on a swing, that is my life.

  4. Reblogged this on THE HIGHS, the lows, The Inbetweens and commented:
    We are only human. I have friends with no children, and they do not have any sense of adventure, and I do not get this. And they always say to me, but you have beautiful children, I would love to have that. My thoughts are, those that do not have it want it, and those that do hae it never appreciate it!

  5. What I missed the most when the kids were young was adult conversation. Today the kids are much older, don’t really need me and I still miss adult conversation because I don’t work.

  6. Brilliant blog! Even being just one year into parenthood I can identify with so many of these …. And have the rest of them to look forward to with toddler-hood looming and *whisper* possible future siblings :-S And number 8…. Why do we feel the need to share our birth stories with anyone and everyone?!

  7. No21: The Washing. Nobody told me about the washing. It’s continuous! My house is always like a Chinese laundry, the washing machine & dryer are never off. And I don’t mean for just Bambina’s clothes. Her food, poo, wee, crayons, drinks, pretty much anything she comes into contact with spreads like a contagious disease! On her, us, the floor, the sofa. My answer to everything since joining the motherhood club is WASH IT!

  8. Loved reading this – so so true, all of it. I would add:
    – Glitter is never a good idea (everyone needs to find that out for themselves *cackles maniacally*)
    – One day some one will be passing judsgement on the way you bring up your children just as you are passing judgment on my parenting skills
    – it may only be once, but there will be a day when you will bribe your child with sweets to do something totally unimportant because at that moment, it feels like the most important thing in the world
    – if you choose not to go back to paid employment, you may, one day find yourself at your partner’s work night out saying “I used to be a **insert role**…” before trailing off to get another drink
    – that it is never the right moment to explain about the birds & the bees
    – all the questions

  9. Hehe this is so funny and soooo true! I love going to the supermarket without my little one. It’s like pure luxury… That’s not sad is it?

  10. Love this post and can really relate to a lot of the points. The one about Mr Bloom made me hoot! I would also like to add that before having my little girl I was adamant that she wouldn’t watch TV until she was at least 2 (who was I kidding?!). Now I consider Peppa Pig to be up there with God and without her I would fear for my sanity on a daily basis!

  11. I look at those youngsters, out there in the world, carefree, enjoying their 20s, perhaps travelling the world, bunjee jumping, skydiving….I look at them and laugh.
    You want adrenalin rushes, you want to push the envelope? Try having your first poo after a front-to-back tear. Then come back to me and let’s talk about life.

    • I know! Why do we do that?! I never relive the horror of my pilonidal abscess or my appendectomy but give me a room full of mums and I’m bursting for my chance to share (it’s usually a fight though because we’re all at it!) Still, it’s always fun to frighten the child-free women.

  12. I have two to add. 1. Once the boy is in bed (normally around 19:30), I am so tired that I sit and watch the phone when he rings. I have no energy left to pick it up and hold a conversation. 2. Despite thinking that I would carry on with life as it was, my son won’t nap anywhere other than in his cot. Therefore, nothing on earth can persuade me to leave the house between 12:00 and 14:00. So he sleeps and so I can get two hours of uninterrupted lying down and tea-drinking.

  13. I am consistently torn on whether or not to mention the pain I had with breastfeeding – on the one hand forewarned is forearmed, on the other hand I don’t want to put anyone off! Oh, and pooing during birth being a common thing – I knew that before giving birth and worried about it – maybe I would have been better off not knowing it.
    The thing I think those without children might not want or need know is that even beyond the newborn years, being woken up during the night for childcare things is common (and you may never sleep as deeply again as part of your brain is listening out for the small people!)

  14. I remember quite clearly, after having my third child 11 months after my second, of meeting my sister at a cafe and accidentally, in the middle of the conversation, trying to spoon some yogurt into her mouth. I also regularly forget to turn off my mother-of-small-children voice when in adult company, making me appear quite insane.

    An addition to my list: If you need to be somewhere and are in a rush, it’s a guarantee that your baby will projectile vomit or poo beyond nappy capacity just as you’re about to leave the house.

    Great post!

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