You Know You’re a Parent When…

Punctuality is out the window – for a few years at least

Don’t worry – your friends with kids will be running late too.

You become a lark – whether you want to or not

If you’re a night-owl, you’re about to get acquainted with your inner lark. And if you’re a lark already, the boundaries of your lark-hood are about to be drastically redefined (5 am still counts as morning, right? 4:30?)

The phrase ‘travel light’ will mean nothing to you

If you are travelling light, something has obviously gone terribly wrong and you can rest assured that an impending disaster (nappy-explosion or similar) is on the horizon.

You’ll have the biceps of a body-builder

All that lifting and carrying means you’ll have guns to rival Schwarzenegger, even if the rest of you isn’t quite as ripped.

Sleep is a very complex science

In fact, a quick scan of your internet history will probably reveal it as your most Googled subject.

Sleep-sabotagers will become your biggest bugbear

And you’ll reserve a special kind of ire for the postman, door-knockers, the bin-man and squawky birds – who all somehow seem to appear bang on naptime.

You’ll go to work to get a break

Whereas pre-baby you probably used to come home from work to get a break, now you’ll find that the reverse is true.

Holidays won’t have quite the same meaning

You’ll still be working just as hard, only somewhere sunny.

Grocery shopping will be the new you-time

You know you’re a parent when you feel an unnatural level of excitement about visiting a supermarket alone. Likewise, driving without mini-passengers will become as endorphin-inducing as a night-out on the town.

You will often be just that little bit grubby and unkempt

Ain’t nobody got time for a full head of foils any more.

Nature doesn’t always come naturally

Breastfeeding is way harder than it looks.

Nothings on earth is exciting as your car keys

You might have a house full of pretty awesome toys, but your baby or toddler will still prefer to play with your car keys, mobile phone, or the remote control.

You will be running a launderette from your home

But for free.

You will experience every emotion known to man

Quite often in a single afternoon.

Children turn into werewolves at 5 pm

Don’t worry, they’ll be back to normal by sunrise.

You will spend an inordinate amount of time on your knees

Specially when they’ve started solids.

You will feel guilty, basically forever

It’s ok, you get used to it.

Just when you think you’ve gotten it all figured out…

Everything will change.

Your tastefully decorated home will look like ToysRUs

It didn’t close down. It just relocated.

You will consider the moral, ethical and educational merit of cartoons

You might even have a few favourites.

Your standards will slip with each child

Standards? What standards?

You’ll be completely unphased by bodily functions

And will probably discuss the shade and consistency of your baby’s poo over dinner.

Caffeine will become a crutch

You’ll probably drink so much; it’d be easier to get it intravenously.

First birthdays are less about the child

And more a celebration of a parents’ capacity to have survived raising a small human for 365 days.

The best way to feed a baby is to throw their food on the floor

We all know that’s where it’s gonna end up anyway.

You will forget what it’s like to have a conversation

Sammy – get down from there! Sammy, be careful, you’ll fall! Sorry, you were saying?

Your children will simultaneously break your heart and melt your heart, several times a day

And when it comes to love, you’ll realise there is no other love quite like it, and nothing else you’d rather be doing than this (except… sleeping)!

Let me know what I’ve missed!

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