Since the arrival of my kids it’s like my brain has been completely re-wired. Another miracle of Mother Nature.
Whereas before I had just my own wellbeing and needs to look after, now there’s two helpless little humans who need me to do everything for them. They consume pretty much everything I think about at the moment. Well, it’s about 95 per cent kids, one per cent what’s going to happen next in House of Cards and four per cent is there any wine left in the fridge. Sorry hubby, you’re on your own!
I’m hyper aware at all times. Like those poor sods who stand guard in the ridiculous hats outside Buckingham Palace, I’m always at attention. I can be across the room in a split second when my toddler falls and bangs her head. I know my seven-month-old is about to go into meltdown before it happens. This makes it sound like I’ve developed super powers, but actually the other changes to my brain are a bit problematic making me wonder of Mother Nature is qualified to go around poking in people’s brains.
So what changes have this dodgy rewiring job inflicted?
1. Watching TV is an emotional rollercoaster.
While any sad, emotionally-charged scenes involving children in films, shows and the news were never nice to watch since having my own they make me bawl. Seeing interviews with parents talking about their children makes me tear up. It could be about something horrendous in which case I imagine how unimaginable their pain must be or something completely the opposite where they’re talking about their kids with incredible pride. Either way, watching TV must now be accompanied by tissues and a big box of chocolate.
2. Scanning for potential threats wherever you go.
Like a Terminator I have developed a habit of analysing the situation, setting and people to decide if anything or anyone may pose a danger. I’m scanning potential outcomes of everything; allowing your toddler to climb a ladder, toddler running out of sight round the corner for a split second, baby rolling over to sleep on front but unable to roll back, choking hazards. It’s frankly exhausting.
3. Totally risk averse when driving the car.
I used to be happy to put my foot down and overtake anyone who was making me bored with their dawdling along the motorway. Now that I am responsible for two children in the car I’m in the slow lane annoying the 90-year-old driver behind me as I cruise along at 50.
4. A night out is no longer a no-brainer.
Instead of reacting to a potential night out with an instant “I’ll meet you at the bar” I pause to consider if it’s worth suffering the hellish hangover coupled with a day of toddler tantrums and baby teething.
5. You pick new clothes based on whether they’re machine washable and how easily they could stain.
Gone are the days of picking out a top or dress just because it’s pretty. Now it has to be practical too. White is a no-no.
6. Your hunger takes a backseat.
Years ago when I was hungry I would make myself something to eat. Sounds simple, right? Why can’t that just carry on? Because there are two hungry mouths that need feeding round the clock. When one mouth closes, another mouth opens. And if they do take a break from begging, the cat sneaks in to fill the gap. Now I can’t eat before they do. Partly because of guilt, and partly because the noises they make are bloody annoying but food makes it stop instantly.
7. Short-term memory loss mean lists are essential.
I cannot remember anything. I talked about the effect having kids had on my brain previously here. When it comes to leaving the house this is a particular issue. There’s no excuse to forget everyday stuff like milk, bananas and yoghurt but they always fall out my brain the second I walk out the door along with the random bits like lint roller refills. The only one I can always remember is bread because between the rounds of toast, sandwiches etc we always need bread. I reckon we’re keeping Hovis in business.
Have you noticed big changes in the way you think/approach things since having kids? I would love to hear your thoughts.