These are just some of the things that change when you become a parent...
- Your concept of "busy"; once you have children, you start to notice just how much time you used to have for yourself. You also realise how much of it you wasted.
- Your priorities; naturally, the welfare of your kids suddenly becomes the most important thing in your life. If half the picnic gets spilt into a muddy puddle, you'll give the little ones your share and go hungry yourself, because that's what you need to do. And you won't mind in the slightest.
- Your sleep patterns; you'll be waking up much earlier, every day, for many years after your child is born. A lie-in will be a luxury. A lie-in with your partner an extremely rare luxury. Suddenly, early nights won't seem such a bad idea anymore.
- Your reading habits; there's very little time to read books when young children are around.
- Your appreciation of spontaneous things; although children can be very spontaneous people ("Let's build a Thunderbird out of paper and this egg box right now Daddy!" says mine at 7.15am), they're not very flexible. They need to be fed when they're hungry, they need to go to bed when they're tired. It's hard to be spontaneous when you have to plan for your little one's every requirement in advance.
- Your diet; suddenly you find yourself hoovering up your offspring's leftovers. This can amount to a surprising amount of food.
(19th September 2006)