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As you get older, you start to mentally prepare yourself for certain milestones. There is plenty of warning and foresight, so you get to those points in your life where things change drastically and you feel like you are ok, because you knew what was coming. I was getting ready to plonk myself on the couch with a movie for the night, and as I lay back and felt a wooden train lodge itself into my spine I got to thinking of all the things I hadn’t been warned about. Things I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to, but no longer had a choice. My eldest is only two so I’m sure the list will become more extensive with time, but also, please let me know anything I’ve missed that I can look forward to losing.

1. Dignity

Losing your dignity starts before your child has even entered the world. Farting with no prior warning (this could be at the dinner table or even worse during sexy time). Vomiting in front of someone due to morning sickness or squatting in the bushes for a pee while you are out on a walk because you just know you won’t make it back in time. If you’ve ever had a stretch and sweep or simply your waters breaking in a public place. You might as well name your dog Dignity because it’s the only way you will have any in your life.

2. Privacy

Having a shower or going to the toilet alone is a thing of the past. You pretty much find yourself signing up for the gym so you can go and sit in the car park of the gym alone in your car revelling in the fact there are no tiny hands touching you for the next hour. Your phone, computer, TV and hell pretty much anything else you once considered yours, no longer belong to you and now everything is “miiiiiine” you will loathe that word, MINE.

3. Space

Whether it be eating your lunch, watching tv, on the toilet, in the garden or at the supermarket, be prepared for total invasion of personal space. There will be a tiny little face within inches of yours EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY! Try not to be shocked the first time you roll over and open your eyes and there is a child staring at you within millimetres of your face. Also for some reason no seat will never be as comfortable as mummy’s lap and even though there is a whole couch free they need to sprawl themselves across your face. (Don’t judge me, I love this 90% of the time but just give me some SPACE!)

4. Money

I’m not sure what it is that goes off in your brain that causes this imbalance but for some reason you have no qualms spending $50 on a pair of jeans for your child to wear (and probably grow out of it within 3 months) yet you can’t justify throwing away and replacing a $10 pair of leggings you have been wearing since 1998 that have more holes in them than a creeps pockets.

5. Hot food and drinks

This may be the one you are least prepared for and also the one you need the most. I think it only dawned on me when I went back to work in between children and realised that my latte is meant to be hot. I was so used to making a coffee and then letting it sit on the table because there is always SOMETHING that happens as soon as you sit down and it eventuates with you drinking the coffee as a shot, even though it tastes like cold dirt just so that you can get that caffeine hit you so desperately need to get you through the rest of the day. Same thing goes for your food, if you ever get to eat some that is. Half the time after my progression line of feeding, wiping and putting down for naps, all I want to do is lie wherever I land and not move for the next however long they give me before they wake up. I WILL sacrifice food for this alone time.

6. Swearing

I’m a teacher so I am well accustomed to not swearing but damn it hurts. I feel like I want to be a rebel now that I am on maternity leave and go nuts, swear until my little heart is content. I want to drive in my car and listen you my gangster rap and f**k dat s**t up singing along. Rap? Also a thing of the past. Now we listen to the radio because I refuse to give in, unlike my husband who made the mistake of taking a “Are we there yet? Road trip songs for kids” CD into his car and now wishes he would die a slow death rather than be caught in traffic listening to “Give me a home among the gum trees” on repeat. SUCKERRRRRR.

7. Getting out of the house quickly

Remember before kids when someone called you and asked if you wanted to meet them at the beach, so you’d throw on your bathers, grab a towel, your keys, wallet and mobile and head out the door? Now it takes me at least half an hour, even if the baby bag is prepped and the kids are ready. Getting shoes on becomes a game of chasey and looking for their fave toy, that for some reason they can’t seem to live without at that second, which has mysteriously vanished, only to be found in the fridge 15 minutes later. The amount of things you forget and need to run back in to grab is ridiculous and even then you will always forget to switch something off and do another trip. Then you arrive at your destination and realise you either forgot to draw on your eyebrows, you have spew or dribble on your top or your hair is in a mum bun (not to be confused with an intentional bun. The mum bun is a nest on your head, often with toys or food trapped in it.)

8. Eat something unhealthy

Gone are the days you can crack open a pack of Tim Tams or get some fries and a McFlurry on your drive home. You will no longer be able to do these things out in the open. These things must be done with more precision and discretion than getting contraband through the checkpoints from Mexico into The States. I can’t even enjoy a can of Coke without my tiny dictator saying “SOMMMMME”!! GAHHHH!

Enjoy these things while you can. Savour every glass of wine, every crappy midday movie and every restaurant meal you can because it may be the last one you have for a while. They are lucky they give us so much joy as well because I don’t know how I get through my days sometimes without hot food and coffee.

Thanks for reading. Love you all.-Zoe