Hang up your heels! How parenthood can truly change you
Babies change everything -- we all know that -- but not in the ways you might expect...
Fergie, of Black Eyed Peas fame, reckons she's stopped wearing vertiginous heels since having her son. Not only that but the poor love has started getting less pointy nails during manicures. So, in homage to Fergie, here are 10 unexpected ways that new motherhood may change you, too. Don't say we didn't warn you...
You become an extreme shopper
Remember when you spent six hours trying on 50 pairs of jeans and still went home empty-handed? No more. Motherhood makes you an extreme shopper, capable of smash'n'grab style sessions, during which you purchase everything before your charge wakes up and demands to be set free from the confines of the pushchair.
Your discover new passions
My friend Victoria had amassed a noteworthy shoe collection before she had children, but now she's got a new love; cloth nappies, the frillier the better. "I've got as many of the things as I have shoes," she admits. "And in as many colours. I never saw that coming."
You back down on previously held absolutes
Remember how you swore no child of yours would ever have a dummy? I was that mum, but with each of my children the dummy was the number one piece of baby paraphernalia without which I wouldn't dare leave home. By baby number three I'd even packed the dummies in the hospital bag.
Your appetite evolves
Alas, this isn't because you start eating more healthily in a bid to convince your child of the deliciousness of puréed broccoli. It's because the restaurants you used to frequent aren't child friendly -- and that's precisely why we loved them -- so new parents must learn to enjoy establishments with kid-friendly facilities.
What you watch alters irrevocably
Time was when my friend Hazel loved watching horror films, the gorier and more gruesome the better. Cue motherhood twice over and she suddenly can't bring herself to watch anything even remotely distressing. I've never been a horror fan, but I too have experienced that bizarre metamorphosis into someone who weeps at nappy adverts, and can't cope with anything other than happy endings at the movies. It's lame, but strangely comforting. And surely our wuss-like state is proof that we've become better people since having kids?
Bodily fluids grace everything you wear
There's a look that motherhood has wrought in me that I like to describe as artfully dishevelled. Other people call it 'letting oneself go' but I've noticed, among my peers, that it's become less shameful to adopt this look. It's virtually a badge of honour. "I smell of baby sick continuously," admits a father of two, with a shrug.
Your bottom loses its va-va-voom
Until recently I had no idea that suffering from a saggy bum is indeed a knock-on effect of pregnancy. But it seems a cruel irony that after all those years of asking 'Does my bum look big in this?' I am suddenly reduced to wishing it were so.
Your financial priorities change
Everyone knows that having kids will bankrupt you. But what no-one told me was that I'd rather spend my hard-earned cash on my kids than on myself. All those years of relishing pay day, and now I'm merrily make-do-and-mending my own sorry clothes, whilst happily forking out for on-trend threads for my kids.
You share without thinking
It's not just money that's affected by this tendency towards altruism, either. I've started to regard the chocolate flake that comes with my cappuccino as my son's, such is his love of them. But if you'd told me 10 years ago that I'd willingly relinquish chocolate, I'd have thought you were completely bonkers.
Me-time ceases to exist
Remember when 'me-time' was a week somewhere sunny, with cocktails on tap? These days, half an hour in the bath with only the occasional shout of "Mu-um, he's annoying me" is the height of self-indulgence.
But, of course, we wouldn't have it any other way.