Having a child has brought about countless changes to life, not least the refreshing realisation that I am not the center of the universe. Phew!
While I began to realise this when B and I first got into a serious relationship, it became more apparent when we got married. However, it wasn’t until Baby N came onto the scene that reality set in and my self-centered neuroses faded into oblivion (well, most of them anyway).
This is partly because I love Baby N more than I could have imagined loving anything or anyone, but also because there is rarely a spare moment to dwell on my own hang-ups anymore… time seems to pass by faster than ever. I am constantly asking myself, what did I do with all my time before she was born? Now I understand why the two most common bits of advice parents give parents-to-be are to treasure every moment of babyhood while it lasts and to sleep whenever the opportunity arises.
My new universe revolves around bowel movements, body temperature and sleep patterns – the baby’s, not mine. Unfortunately freedom is short-lived and those self-centered neuroses are quickly replaced by baby-centered fixations!
A few other changes I have noticed in the post-baby world:
- Getting up at 7am now counts as a lie-in. Similarly, going to bed at 11:30pm is the new ‘pulling an all-nighter’.
- B and I rarely eat at the same time. Like many other daily activities, we now have to take shifts and when it comes to food temperature, lukewarm is the new hot.
- We no longer have to attend any lunches, dinners or social gatherings we don’t want to. Baby is our get-out-of-jail-free card!
- We have discovered that the world won’t end if you don’t respond to every Whatsapp message within five minutes.
- B used to hum Lady Gaga and other pop icons in the shower, but now I catch her humming nursery rhymes and lullabies to herself on a daily basis. Twinkle twinkle and rock-a-bye-baby are the new songs du jour.
- We are much more laid back about bodily fluids. Poop on your hands? Whatever. Pee on your sheets? It’ll dry out. Puke on your tie? Who cares.
Best of all, though, is that I for one have finally learnt the true meaning of the expression labour of love.