The New Normal of Parenting

In the midst of a conversation about toilet training with another parent, a childless friend walked over to join in and we realised, this isn’t something you talk about in front of people without kids. Poorly timed bowel movements isn’t something we wanted to talk about before we had kids. How things have changed. It caused me to pause and with surprising ease, I came up with a list of things that have become my ‘new normal’ since becoming a parent…

Angry voice: I used to be fun! I used to laugh a lot. Now I find myself yelling bizarre commands and wondering if I may, indeed, be the very first person in the world to ever say: ‘Stop combing your hair with ham and finish your dinner!’ Or ‘For heaven’s sake, don’t groom the dog with your fork!’

Sleeping a lot less: Once upon a time, I averaged a good 10 hours’ of solid sleep a night. Now, if can pull 4 hours of uninterrupted snoozing, that’s a win. My official Saturday morning wake-up time used to be 10am, now 7am is a luxury. I’ve discovered precisely how much sleep a human being requires whilst still being able to function in a semi-normal, if somewhat dazed, state.

Discussing Poo:Filling in my 4 year old’s Kindergarten application, I was actually asked the question; ‘What words does your child use to refer to urination and bowel movements?’ Yes, people, I have used the words ‘wee wee’ and ‘poo’ on an official form. This is what my life has become. Birth stories and epic toilet training fails have almost become a part of everyday conversation.

Active Holidays: These used to be a much anticipated time of complete relaxation and rejuvenation. Usually involving countless hours reading beside a pool. I finished ‘Breaking Dawn’ in one afternoon… in galaxy far, far away. Now, holidays are anything but relaxation. Filled with activities and Helicopter Parenting around the pool. I spend much more time IN the pool, engaged in splashing competitions and ball games, rather than beside it these days. And I can’t remember the last time I finished an entire page of a book.

Cleaning Standards: We were so house proud before kids. Always immaculate and tidy, with a minimalist approach. Now I just clean when we have people coming over. And by clean, I mean shove all the toys into a cupboard and hope it doesn’t burst open at an inopportune moment.

So, what’s your new normal since becoming a parent?

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