Sunday, 24 August 2014

7 Unexpected Side Effects of Motherhood

Obviously motherhood has changed me. For one thing, I'm a lot poorer and I have a lot more loose skin than before, but it has also brought with it some surprise changes that I wasn't entirely prepared for.

Let me take you on  little journey through my bizarre new personality quirks...

7. I cry a lot

Ok, maybe this is a bit of an obvious one, but motherhood has thus far turned me into an emotional wreck. I cry all the time. Occasionally I cry just because I love my baby boy so darn much, but more often than not it's triggered by some god awful story in the news that involves children. Anything to do with babies or little people being hurt or, gulp, dying and I'm inconsolable. Sometimes, though, it can be triggered by someone making it through the first round of auditions on Britain's Got Talent.

6. I have Asbestos Hands

All mums do. It's only now that I've discovered why this phenomenon occurs: it's all to do with sterilising. Because who has time to allow those things to cool down? I truly believe that, rather than asbestos hands, mums just have no functioning nerve endings in their fingertips; they've all been burnt out by nuclear bottle teats.

5. I burst into song

I've never really been one for singing in public, largely because my voice is more night-terror than nightingale. However, I will now suddenly launch into a few verses of Five Little Speckled Frogs without warning. Or, more often, I will begin wailing the theme tune from Mr Tumble, which is constantly playing on loop in my noggin. I don't care where I am, or who might be listening, if I get the urge to sing to the (poor) baby, I'm acting on it.

4. I can't drink

I had a glass and a half of wine on Friday night and, I shit you not, I woke up on Saturday morning with a raging hangover. The full works - headaches, nausea, excessive yawning to the extent that you think the top of your head might slide off, everything. This is not a one off. On the (very few) occasions that I have made it out on the lash these days, I always make it to just the other side of tipsy before having to switch to soft drinks. I think its part guilt, part intolerance, but actually it's no bad thing. As a rather emotional drunk - and an impossibly emotional mother - it does mean that I can wake up with some semblance of dignity the next morning.

3. I have a superiority complex

I once watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother in which new parent, Lily and Marshall, tell their friends that they could no longer counsel them about any problem that wasn't an 'eight or higher'. At the time I had no idea what that really meant, but now I get it. When I hear people complaining about trivial things, I always end up internally shouting, "For goodness sake, I have to keep a small human alive!". I know that, rationally, this reaction is unfair - other people's issues are every bit as relevant as mine - yet I can't help feeling that I've somehow become some sort of superwoman as a direct result of becoming a parent.

2. I'm weird about dairy

Not weird enough to stop consuming it - I love my tea too much to change it - but I have suddenly become very aware of the fact that we're using a food product that is not even vaguely designed for us. This is obviously a side effect of breastfeeding; it has clearly made me very aware that a mother's milk is designed specifically for her baby. Well, the same goes for cows. Cow's milk is designed for cows. Baby cows. Yet we're guzzling it like it's an essential part of our diet. Does that not seem strange to anyone else?

1. I can do a fairly solid Scottish accent

For the first time in my life, I can do accents. Ok, I can do an accent. I can do some Scottish. A pretty large portion of the shows on CBeebies are apparently filmed in Scotland, which means that Blake and I spend a lot of our day surrounded by soft, Highland tones. It was only a matter of time before it started rubbing off, I suppose. If Blake's first proper word turns out to be 'och', we'll know it's reached full saturation.


  1. I just read through some of your posts after gotn linked you and wow!! Its like you have written my thoughts just much more eloquently than I ever have. Im a breastfeeding mum of a 6 month old little boy who I had by emergency c section. So many things you have written I have thought or felt but felt crazy or alone. Like the stuff bout weaning and post c section (mr tumble is in my head most the day too) so thank you for writing for beautifully and honestly. Made me feel more normal!

    1. Aww thank you! That's so lovely to hear. I'm glad my ramblings seem to resonate with others in a similar position. It was important to me to write a parenting blog that isn't just a bunch of textbook advice or sentimental cliches; I wanted to relay a true account of what it's like. I'm thrilled that I seem to be succeeding x