For some strange earring-tugging awake-all-night reason, Valentine’s Day doesn’t tend to get top billing with new parents. That old chestnut, love, just sort of…changes a bit doesn’t it. Here are eight examples you might recognize:
1. Your love affair with nice things comes to a sticky end
You remember the day well – when your eyes first locked onto the elegant curves of that brushed-cotton, duck egg sofa. Then came the little one. And an era of jumping, spilling and yes, even scribbling began. Eventually, much like Elsa in Frozen, you let it go. (Sorry if that song’s in your head now). You’ve learned to embrace the dried milk, the dribble streaks, the unidentified splodges and finally accept that your sofa love is over. Having nice things was great while it lasted, but it was only a (very beautiful, exquisitely crafted, one-in-a-squillion) sofa. Sniffle.
–2. You begin to love your special solo time (on the toilet)
Since you had kids, you’ve discovered a new unbridled love for your time on the throne. In your previous life you just strolled in and out of there without ever being truly present in the moment. Oh how foolish you were! Now you would sell your mother for an uninterrupted experience in the restroom (sorry mum). Mmm, some magnificent me-time.
3. You decide you don’t love your slim-fit jeans after all
Those jeans used to make you feel (a bit) like you were in a Levis ad. Sure, they took forty-five minutes to put on and take off, but they were the best [insert outrageous amount of money] you ever splurged. Since the tiny person landed, the pesky things seem to have shrunk. Or if you’re lucky enough that they still fit, they have porridge on them. And in them. Sweatpants are probably due a comeback soon though, right?
4. You start to love literally any restaurant that has good changing facilities
What makes a great dining establishment? Artisanal, organic produce? A view over the river? Maybe once upon a time. Now, you’re happy to eat stale pasta and get served dried parmesan from a funny looking tub with incomprehensible handwriting on it. As long as there’s a large, clean baby-changing room and ample room for a stroller. Even better if there are facilities in the men’s room. Your turn hubs.
–5. You finally (temporarily) appreciate everything your parents ever did for you
Midway through your seventeenth diaper change on an endless winter’s night, you’re hit with a realization: your parents did all this for you too. And because it’s 2,000 years since you’ve slept properly, you start to weep. Belated tears of twerpy gratitude. Of course you never tell your parents this (though you do hug them a nanosecond longer).
–6. Random relatives become your new best friends
You’re not the biggest fan of Cousin Karen. She never looks pleased to see you and her breakfast muffins are—go on, you can say it—a little dry. But wait a second, what’s that? Karen adores kids and can’t wait to babysit? Well maybe you got off on the wrong foot. And to be fair, breakfast is the trickiest type of muffin.
–7. Hate is a strong word, but yes, you start to hate doors
Remember when you used doors like a human person? Holding them open for others, deftly closing them with your (manicured) pinky while ordering lattes? Now every entrance is a gladiatorial challenge. It’s as though door designers got together, measured some strollers and purposefully narrowed the entrances out of spite. Sometimes you just cross your fingers and take a run-up.
–8. You love your child so much your heart might burst out of the atmosphere
Day one was unforgettable. Week one was like a dream. And year one is the most challenging time of your life. But through every struggle, face-palm, teary laugh and pillow-scream, a little person was slowly emerging as the greatest source of happiness and inspiration in your life. Little rascal.