It’s a familiar refrain: “Parenthood is life-changing”. And yet it’s impossible to fully comprehend the extent to which your life changes until you actually experience it for yourself.
Motherhood is characterised by fatigue, worry and sacrifice. And it’s also characterised by leakage, nappies and conversations about poo.
You hear phrases come out of your mouth that sound like they belong to another person – maybe even another species – like: “When was the last time he filled his nappy?”
The early years are turbulent as your life is turned upside down, leaving some indelible signs of motherhood.
Here are 20 clear signs you’re a mum.
1. You move to suburbia, trading in urban bars and atmosphere for grass and ‘block size.’ You consider a trip to your former postcode as a day out in the ‘big smoke.’
2. You gesticulate enthusiastically whenever you see a plane, bird, or digger … even when your kids aren’t with you!
3. Your ice cube trays, previously used for gin and tonics, become vessels for baby mash. Incidentally, carrot mash does not compliment a G&T.
4. You converse in monosyllabic expressions (“Bird!” “Car!” “More!”). Even after the kids have gone to bed, it feels too hard to construct full sentences. Me. Tired. Bed.
5. You start adding “y” to the end of words like doggy, narny, ducky. You realise that you’re still adding y’s to words long after your kids have stopped.
5. You feel like you have lost a limb if you’re out without a baby carrier, pram or your baby.
6. You now classify a trip in the car alone as fun.
7. You consider four hours sleep in a row the biggest achievement, resulting in a conga celebration and high fives.
8. A night of drinking results in unprecedented physical and emotional torture and requires more time to recover than surgery.
9. Your conversations that once involved talk of holidays, restaurants and movies have now become about potty training, school readiness, and age-appropriate car restraints.
10. You leak. You hear a baby cry and there’s leakage. You sneeze and there’s leakage. And trampolines are strictly a no-go zone.
11. You can’t remember the last time you went to the toilet on your own at home. Privacy and dignity are distant memories.
12. You breathe a sigh of relief when evening mid-week plans are cancelled. Your idea of the perfect night is being in PJs, ordering takeaway and falling asleep on the couch.
13. You can cook dinner, breastfeed, talk on the phone and play Candy Crush, all without breaking stride, taking multi-tasking to an all new level.
14. You form a new appreciation for, and connection with, cows.
15. Your previously interior-styled house is barely recognisable amidst multi-coloured toys that litter the living room floor, and there’s not a bare wall in sight.
16. The pharmacist and all the staff at the local medical centre know you and your children by first name.
17. Peppa, Jemima, Angelina and B1 are like part of the family - you know their personalities intimately.
18. The Wiggles play on endless loop in your head. You wake up during the night for a toilet run and you immediately break into the next verse.
19. Happy hour has become the 60 minutes between your kids going to bed and you going to bed.
20. Sex or sleep? It’s a no brainer: sleep wins every time.