According to scientific research, the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night in order to function properly.
Back in the day, you might even have considered 7 hours to be quite a short night’s sleep… YOU WERE WRONG! When you become a parent, broken sleep becomes your new norm and the only possibility of a 7 hour stretch of unconsciousness occurring would be if you were to require a general anesthetic for a serious operation. We learn to cope with as little as 2 hours sleep per night, in the early, newborn stage and still function properly. Well, maybe not so properly.
2. Solo toilet trips:
You know when you were a teenager on a night out, and you, and your two friends, would all cram into the one tiny toilet cubicle in the nightclub? Well fast-forward a few years and it’s your new daily toilet routine, only not with your friends, with tiny versions of yourself which you have created. Toddlers seem to think it’s a necessity to accompany their mother (or father) to every toilet trip.
Peeing alone never seemed so appealing.
3. Talking about people behind their backs:
Gone are the days when you could casually pass comment on other members of your family while in conversation with your other half. Your tiny humans become sponge-like parrots who feel that it’s appropriate to repeat only your most controversial and ignorant remarks, to the said subject of these remarks. So don’t speak ill of ‘Aunt Mary’ around your tot unless you really want her to know that she’s a ‘pain in the behind’.
4. Watching movies:
Remember when your casual Sunday night-in consisted of snuggling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good movie? I bet you don’t, because you’re a parent!
Now the only acceptable channel on your TV is either RTE Junior or Cbeebies. Plus, you know all the characters from ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘Paw Patrol’ but probably can’t remember the last time you and your significant other actually sat down together to watch a movie, let alone drink alcohol and snuggle.
5. Spontaneous trips to the supermarket:
Ever go to make a cup of tea only to realise that you’re out of teabags?
Well, before you became a parent you could just hop into the car and drive down to your local supermarket to pick up your essentials, without even so much as a thought. Now it’s a different story. Now you have little people who often have to be bribed in order to even get them into the car, with promises like; ‘If you come to the shop with Mammy and don’t make a scene, you can get sweeties”. So between zipping little coats and bucking little people into car seats, the thought of going to the supermarket just seems like too much hassle, and you end up realising that tea really isn’t that important anymore.
6. Your own space:
Since becoming a parent you will have begun to realise that your small beings have absolutely no concept of personal space. This is particularly relevant to sleeping arrangements. If you have children it is likely that you now regularly sleep with either a child sprawled across your upper half or with feet at your face. Getting a child to sleep in their own cot/bed is a challenge mastered by only a few.
On the subject of space, by now you know that with one small human comes a lot of baggage. From baby clothes and changing bags to toys and games, your house often probably looks more like a crèche than an actual human household.
This is a strange one. Once they place your tiny bundle in your arms for the first time, everything you ever worried about becomes insignificant and suddenly this child becomes the focus of all your attention and worry. YOU become insignificant in your own eyes. It is a true saying that ‘you never know worry until you become a parent’. Literally, you could come down with the plague, swine flu and bird flu combined and as long as your kids are okay, you’ll be fine!