Motherhood: the scariest 'hood you'll ever enter. While it may be a joke, there is a lot of truth to the statement. Becoming a mum for the first time takes you into unexplored worlds - the mothers' group at the park, the nappy aisle at the supermarket, the hard liquor section of the bottle shop...
It also gets you into new habits - the kind of habits that will stick around long after you've removed the last Fisher-Price toy from the living room. Even as my eldest child enters teenage-hood, there are quite a few new mum habits that I just can't shake - and probably never will.
1. Buying baby wipes
How did I ever survive without them?! No longer do I use them for wiping bottoms (okay, sometimes I do but let's not go there), but they have become my UCC - ultimate cleaning champion. Bathroom sink, toilet seat, benchtop… if I need any of these areas need cleaning in a hurry, those little squares of moistened tissue are my saviour. Dirty hands and faces need tending to quickly? Wipes to the rescue! Dolimio sauce on my shirt? Wipe it. Wipe it real good.
2. Feeding my kids baby food
Before you start mentally shouting "You're feeding your grown kids baby food! Are you serious?!", I'd like to clarify that both my children eat regular family meals and age-appropriate snacks. But... I do keep baby food pouches in the kitchen cupboard. Why? Because they are an ideal on-the-go snack to throw to the kids if we're rushing out the door and they suddenly announce they are hungry. Yes, a piece of fruit is better but a puree of apple, pear and zucchini ain't so bad either, and those moments when they're busily sucking on the pouches gives me at least 43 seconds of much-welcome silence.
3. Wearing maternity jeans
The last time I gave birth was nearly 10 years ago but damn it, I'm not giving up my glorious maternity jeans. They have the comfort of a pair of trackies and the style of a pair of cool jeans - what's not to love? Seriously, when I'm wearing these Mavi skinny-legged beauties, no one has ever picked that they're made for pregnant mamas. Also, they are the perfect item to put on before a big meal as they'll more than accommodate a growing burger baby.
4. Speaking in baby talk
No, I'm not saying "goo goo gah gah" or "here comes the aeroplane" to my 12 year old, but I still slip into cutesy talk when my kids are hurt or need comforting. I'll hold them tight and whisper things like "Mummy's here" even though they haven't called me "Mummy" in years. But in those moments, they don't seem to mind.
5. Carrying a nappy bag
Without a doubt, the best handbag I own is my Mimco nappy bag because it contains so many useful little compartments. And because my name is spelt M.U.M., the items carried within them haven't changed too much over the years either (besides a distinct lack of its namesake). I still fill them with bottles (water), wipes (see point 1), pawpaw ointment (for lips, not bottoms), snacks (see point 2), toys (fidget spinners, not rattles), hand sanitiser, sunscreen, spare clothes and then the usual handbag items - purse, keys, phone and sunglasses. What regular, non-nappy bag could hold all this? I'll tell you now - N.O.N.E.
6. Using nappy rash cream
The brilliant thing about nappy rash cream is that it heals way more than just nappy rash - just ask Margot Robbie who recently claimed she uses Bepanthen as a lip balm. Long after the last toilet training session, I'm still buying it for its magical healing properties. Any scratches, cuts, rashes or abrasions heal better with a good slab of this white gold. And mums, here's another tips: use it post-bikini wax to soothe any redness and prevent ingrown hairs. You're welcome.
7. Looking at my babies sleeping
I'll never get tired of this. Ever. Okay, maybe I'll stop when they're adults and it gets creepy, but maybe not even then. There really is no other moment in the day (or night rather) that my kids seem more perfect. There's a sweet serenity that comes over their faces when they're sleeping and I immediately forget all the dramas of the day. It's this burst of love that reminds me why I entered the crazy world called motherhood in the first place.