Things I swore I’d never do when I became a mum…

newborn baby looking into mum's eyes

Before I actually had kids I had all sorts of ideas about the type of mum I wanted to be. I wasn’t going to let having kids change my life, or change the type of person I was, and my kids were going to be well behaved, well dressed and free from snot at all times.

Fast forward 3.5 years and I’ve learnt a lot about parenting; about what I’m willing to put up with, and about myself as a person.  Parenting is an awesome experience, but it’s also scary, undignified, dirty and downright disgusting in a lot of ways.

Here are just some of the things that I swore I would never do when I became a mum…

Change my life to revolve around my kids

Everything I do, everything I think, everything I buy, everything I want, all revolves around my kids. And I’m OK with that.

Change our plans to fit around sleep routines

Neither of my kids are any good at just falling asleep anywhere – they need to be in the car, in the pram, or in their beds. They are also not good at being out of routine, so if it’s 12pm and the Stuntman is due for a sleep then see you later, I’m outta here.

Respond to any story about a child with a similar (or sometimes completely unrelated) story about my own child

This used to annoy the crap out of me before I became a parent. I’d be talking to someone about a story I read in the paper, or something I saw on the news, and suddenly they’re telling me a completely unrelated story about something their kid did. But now I understand. We can’t help it.

Stop wearing makeup on a daily basis

I used to take pride in my appearance and spend a good 25 minutes ‘doing my face’ every morning. These days, I’m lucky if I swipe on a bit of BB cream and some mascara before I head out the door. I don’t even bother trying to hide my ginormous eye bags with concealer. I’m tired. Everybody knows it. Why hide it?

colourful collection of eyeshadows

Let my kids watch TV

Little Miss didn’t actually watch any kids’ TV until she was around 14 months old. The first year of her life she just wasn’t interested and she had my complete and undivided attention so didn’t need much alternative entertainment. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with the Stuntman and really ill with morning sickness that I started to introduce the TV as a ‘parenting aid’. I needed something to distract her while I was crouched over the loo, hurling my guts up, and then further into the pregnancy when I just couldn’t run around with her anymore…The Stuntman had the TV on from the day he was born. His first words after mumma and dadda were “‘Eppa ‘Ig”. Not cool mumma.

Give my kids junk food

I can proudly say that they’ve never had McDonald’s or fast food like that, but they have fish and chips every Friday, and they’ve both acquired their Dad’s love of a jelly snake (or 3). And did I mention cupcakes? Oh yes, cupcakes.

chocolate cupcakes

Wear ‘mum jeans’

I’m not sure if it’s the jeans, or if I’ve now just got a mum bum?? Probably a bit of both. I was guilty of wearing my maternity jeans for a full year after the birth of my children, so that might explain a bit. My jeans now cost less than $40 and are built purely for comfort, not style. They do have the ‘distressed’ look, but I didn’t buy them like that.

a pair of denim jeans hanging on a clotheshanger

Tell mum jokes

(N.B. these are not quite as daggy as ‘dad jokes’, but I’m told they’re just not funny. At all.)

My jokes aren’t funny; no one laughs… well, no one except me anyway. Most of the time no one even gets that I’m making a joke! Plays on words are completely lost on 1 and 3 year olds. And tired husbands. I should just give up.

Show people I’ve just met (and sometimes total strangers) endless photos of my kids

I have a terrible tendency to bring out photos of my kids during work meetings. I’ve even had photos of my kids put up on the projector during a team meeting. I’ve shown strangers sitting next to me on the train photos of my kids. I have over 1800 photos of my children in my phone, and that’s just from the last 6 months. I am ‘that’ woman.

Call my husband ‘daddy’, even when the kids aren’t around

And not in a sexy way. Not that it could ever be sexy, really. But in a “Daddy, could you pour me a glass of wine and make sure the bins are out, and by the way have we paid the electricity bill?”, kind of way.

Become a short order cook

Little Miss only eats white foods. The Stuntman can’t eat dairy products or soy. Mr McD and I like really spicy foods. I cook three meals a night most nights. It’s rubbish.

Compare myself to other mums

This is something I really wanted to avoid, but comparison is inevitable I think. When someone tells me that their baby is sleeping through the night, and mine is still waking 4 or 5 times a night, then I wonder what the hell I’m doing wrong! (By the way my ‘baby’ is 20 months old!). Same if a mum loses all her baby weight in five seconds flat, or leaves the house with perfectly applied makeup, and no visible stains on her clothes. What the actual fuck?

Talk about my child’s poo in public

I didn’t do much poo talk when Little Miss was a bub, but when the Stuntman came along, about 50% of my conversations were about his poo (or vomit). He has cow’s milk and soy protein intolerance, and one of the key indicators is mucous and blood in the nappy, so I was literally obsessed with his poo for many many months. I had a whole separate gallery of photos in my phone of his dirty nappies (to show his Doctors, I’m not actually a freak).

Let my child have a dummy

Little Miss started sucking her fingers at only a few weeks of age, learnt to self-settle very early and was sleeping through by 12 weeks. Brilliant. The Stuntman, with his food intolerances and feeding issues (upper lip and tongue tie), couldn’t self-settle to save himself (he still can’t at 20 months!), so I tried desperately to get him to take a dummy. I remember actually holding it in his mouth for 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time, just hoping he’d get the hang of it and start sucking on it. He ended up using one for about a month before deciding that he got a lot more comfort from my boobs, and just insisted on using those instead. Gutted.

a baby's dummy

Breastfeed past 12 months

Before I had kids I never had any intention of breastfeeding past 12 months. In fact, I thought mothers who did so were a bit weird – or a bit ‘crunchy’ anyway. But when Little Miss arrived we had such a lovely breastfeeding relationship that I didn’t want to put an end date on it, so decided I would just let her stop when she was ready. She eventually weaned at 16 months, by which time I was 4 months pregnant with the Stuntman. He’s still going strong, feeding 4 or 5 times a day at 20 months, with no end in sight. So I guess I’m an ‘accidental’ extended breastfeeder. And I love it. (Mostly).

Let the kids eat food in the car

I’d seen the family cars of my friends, full of food and rubbish and crap. Disgusting, I thought. Why would you let your child eat a muffin in the car? Surely that’s a choking hazard? Not to mention the mess! Well, actually, not letting your child eat that muffin is more of a strangling hazard (as in, if you don’t shut up I’m going to strangle you), so I now just let them do whatever the hell they want back there, and get the car cleaned once a month. (This is a lie – I rarely get the car cleaned).

Allow my kids to behave badly in public

‘Allow’. Did you see what I wrote there? Allow. As if all those poor long-suffering parents of screaming toddlers had given permission for their child to behave like that. OMG. What a self-righteous knob I was. I’m pretty sure my threenager was sent to punish me for this thinking.

Let my kids run around with snotty noses

The snotty noses really do gross me out. I try to catch them, but these kids of mine are so fast on their feet, and they turn their faces away, and smear their disgusting slime-covered noses on me before I can get the tissue out… sometimes it’s just easier to let them run free and wait for the snot to dry!! Dried snot is much easier to handle.

blue tissue box

So it’s been a steep learning curve for me, this parenting gig. I learn something new every day without fail, either about my kids or about myself or the world at large. Parenting is smelly, it’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s brutal.

But it’s fantastic 🙂

What did you swear you’d never do as a parent? Were you surprised at how you changed once your little one/s arrived?




  • Yep, pretty sure I said all of these and have then done all of them! About a month after my BIL had his first child he apologised to me for all of the times he’s been judgemental or made remarks about the way Dave and I parent the girls. It’s all coming back to bite him now!
    Kylie Purtell recently posted…Three {2016 52 week project} | PhotographyMy Profile

  • All of the above! Kids are so gross. I thought I’d go straight back to work, but here I am, 4.5 years out, still loathe to return to an office because I can’t do the flexible hours I want around my daughter’s preschool.
    Christine @ Adventure, Baby! recently posted…Disney Summer Frozen Garden PartyMy Profile

  • Oh god yes to almost everything… I’m still breastfeeding almost 16month old & he still doesn’t sleep through the night… It sucks! I’m a zombie & I hardly ever refer to my partner by his name these days, its “daddy” 9 times out of 10. I had All these niave ideals before kids, but reality is a bitch ?

  • God yes to all of these. My daughter (also a threenager) exists entirely on a beige diet. Mum jeans are all that I can squish myself into, and as for makeup… pah! I’m even trying to convince myself that the naturally dried (can’t be arsed to blow dry it) look is flattering on me. (It isn’t).

    Rhyming with wine recently posted…Meeting a real life blogger…My Profile

  • Liv

    OMG this is soooo true. This was me. And now is me! And just quietly, this is a lot of my not yet mum friends…and I don’t doubt they’ll turn just like the rest of us do lol
    Liv recently posted…My 6 month old baby is going to get an apartment next week and move outMy Profile

  • Short order cook! That’s me. My eldest is also on a ‘white food’ diet. Three meals a night here too. Painful!

  • I love this!!! Some of these I haven’t reached yet, but I see it coming! So funny!

  • Being a mum changes everything doesn't it! My sister has just had her first baby and I am being photo bombed with pictures yet before she became a mum she never understood why I has so many pictures on my phone of my children lol! #MMWBH

  • Haha, I had a list just like this (also posted on my blog) that went straight out the window as soon as our tot arrived. Actually no, before as a 'natural, drug-free water birth' was also on that list *snort*. Oh my naivete!


  • haha I can relate to ALL of these and a few more unusual ones thanks to having children with autism. fab post #MMWBH

  • Brilliant post, I also thought most of these before I became a mum the first time. It's a bit of an eye opening isn't it. I actually know a mother who stuck to her word an hasn't changed her life or as a person from having a child. I'm not sure why she had a child if I'm honest you wouldn't know she had one, I feel a bit sad for her. It's a life changing my xperince but defiantly for the better #MMWBH x

    • They've definitely enriched my life, I wouldn't have it any other way. Writing this list made me realise how I seriously had NO IDEA of any of these things before I had kids! So I'll try and cut my non-mummy friends a bit of slack when they wheel out any of the above 🙂

  • This post is SO spot on and hilarious. I think, "Call my husband ‘daddy’, even when the kids aren’t around – And not in a sexy way. Not that it could ever be sexy, really. But in a “Daddy, could you pour me a glass of wine and make sure the bins are out, and by the way have we paid the electricity bill?”, kind of way" basically described my life. Love this post so much! Ray xx @ #madmidweekbloghop

  • nikkifrankhamilton

    This is spot on, and really funny! I agree, baby's sleep comes before all things. I don't care who you are, if my child needed to sleep I was going home, or driving around the block time after time. Neither one of my kids slept well, at all, if they were sleeping I got to sleep. So nap time trumped all!

    • Nikki I used to make fun of my friends who would 'pander' to their kids, and were never available for lunch dates… HA! Now I understand – SLEEP TIME IS SACRED!!

  • oddsocksandlollipops

    Hehe great list!
    I was only planning on breastfeeding Boo for 6 months but here we are at 15 months and still going. It's such a lovely thing, most of the time =)

  • cuddlesmuddles

    Haha, I love this – I could write a near identical list! Everything in our house revolves around (lack of) sleep and I have fleeting guilt that baby 2 watches tv every day after I was so careful not to have it on with baby 1 until she was around 2! The longer I do this parenting thing, the more I realise how we are pretty much all just muddling through and the things I thought were important actually aren't 🙂 #thelist

  • Great list… tick, tick, tick. Thanks for your honesty and sharing that here!

  • Robyna

    I think I pretty much said and did the exact same thing! I also decided we wouldn't have any plastic toys – just wooden and recycled – can you guess what the play room is FULL of? Plastic moulded crapola.

    • Oh yes, the plastic crap! Mine were only ever going to have educational, environmentally sustainable toys that were DEFINITELY not made by child slaves in Vietnam… Whoops!

  • mamasvidaloca

    I absolutely love this! It was as if I was reading about my own life! Like you there were sooooo many things I said I would never do and now as a mum of 2 – I've pretty much done them all – and I don't care what anyone thinks! 😉

  • What a beautifully honest post! So many similarities right here. And it's so interesting when others (who don't have children) give judgy comments but they completely do not understand!

  • almostjaneblog

    I love this list!! Nodded along to almost every one of them. Funnily enough I was toying with the idea of writing a similar post! One of mine was that I was never going to buy 'licensed' clothes or toys for my child. Then Frozen came along, and now my life revolves around Princess anna and Queen Elsa… 😉

  • goodfoodweek

    Loved this post – I've tired to give each of my boys a dummy. Mr almost two took it for about a month before he realised that boobs were way better. Mr 6 months took the dummy in the beginning, but also seems to be going down the track to be a real boob man. I just want some sleep!

  • The food in the car still drives me nuts… but there's no way I'm going to stop giving them food in the car! It gives me 5 minutes of peace!

  • Loved this post, it gave me a good laugh (at myself). so funny cause its so true….

  • Lol. Yes the reality of parenting eventually pummels many good intentions!

  • I can relate to so many of these. Especially the no food in car. With four kids my car at times can look like a food bar.

  • mammarajsays

    Haha love this! Yes I wear mum jeans and no makeup now and if people say your life won't change that is crap. Our life is worked around a routine of sleeps and feeding to make our lives a little bit better than total chaos.

  • LOL that all sounds very familiar. Though I never really expected my kids wouldn't watch TV – I figured that would be a thing.

    I also was like "I would never use a toddler leash" and then ate my words so badly. haha.

  • I can relate to so many of these. Parenting is really one of those things that you can't fully understand it until you have done it!

  • I swore I would never put a 'dog leash' on my child. I thought it was awful. Had to eat those words early in the relationship didn't I… How can some little ones be so damn quick on those little legs? GREAT post – Short Order Cook – love it. 🙂 Xx

  • Rebecca U

    yes, yes, yes! Nodding at this all 🙂 #thelist

  • handbagmafia

    It's one of those things isn't it- you just don't know how you will parent….until
    You're doing it 🙂

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