Washing your hair is now a chore you have to “get round to” a bit like the washing up (“I’ll do it later, when the baby sleeps,” BUT THE BABY NEVER SLEEPS! -yeah?) bobbles are your new bestie because a mom bun is now your permanent look. Tied up hair hides a multitude of yuk, including the unwashed grease, baby vomit and bits of biscuit you’ve slept on.
2. A tumble dryer.
If you thought you could still survive by hanging your washing on the line you’re very, very wrong. No. Sorry, not going to happen. 1) you’ll be too knackered to hang it out 2) babies get through 6 outfits a day, you’ll get through at least 3. Imagine trying to do all of that in winter! Horrific! Get that tumble dryer. Stat!
3. Some good, comfy socks.
At first you’ll be so excited to take your baby out into the world, but after that first trip and he screams and cries the whole time, you’ll never want to do it again, ever! You’ll no doubt spend 80% of the first three months indoors so socks are essential! I couldn’t live without my super thick slipper boot socks. Awesome.
You have a toddler.
1. A tablet/iPad.
Best thing ever invented. An absolute lifesaver. Especially on cold wet days. Kids will honestly sit for hours on them and they’re perfect for when you need to take a bath, cook dinner, pee, or see to a newborn. Trust me, you’ll never regret buying one.
These little humans can shift their arse faster than a mother spotting a sign saying “free prosecco!” You’ll want to hold on tight though, particularly in a supermarket. You could be looking at organic veg one minute and they’ve wondered off to find the kinder eggs the next.
3. A good supply of Kinder Eggs.
Because, they’ll beg for them every chance they get and not even the tablet/iPad can persuade them otherwise. Smarties also work, as do those ridiculous vimto sprays.
A 3-6 year old.
1. Tissues. For all those new firsts; starting school, sports day, nativity, first school photo, joining brownies/beavers, all of which turn a mother into a sodden, weeping mess.
2. Unlimited £1 coins. For ALL the PTA donations, fundraisers, the ice cream man who parks oh-so-conveniently right outside of the school gates, kinder egg bribes, their new fascination with arcade games and of course, their first taste at pocket money.
3. An Argos Wishlist. Because kids of this age now know what they want and what they want is ALL OF EVERYTHING. I use the Argos wish list feature in the Argos app to keep track of everything my kids mention they like. This comes in very handy for birthdays and Christmas.
A 7-10 year old.
1. The ability to listen without actually listening to a word they say. Kids of this age are obsessed with talking shit. Like having random conversations about Pokemon cards or how amazing Zoella is. You just have to learn to switch off and block it out
2. Plasters. Because every pair of shoes rub, someone always gets injured at football, and kids now tend to get a bit rough on the playground. Expect daily grazed knees and elbows and maybe even the odd bone fracture after they’ve tried to impress their mates by jumping off a fence (true story).
3. A thick skin and the ability to say “No!” And actually mean it. Remember when the toddler would ask for two kinder Eggs? At first you’d say no, they’d throw a tantrum so you said yes just to get them out of the shop? Don’t do that now. Because now it’s Xbox games, Ted Baker school bags, and MORE pocket money. A thick skin is essential to your future finances and trust me, you’ll need it. Especially when you get to…
An 11-14 year old. (Warning: shit has officially hit the fan!)
1. Unlimited cash. Upgraded from £1 coins to £20 notes. The first year of high school is setting the scene for the rest of your life and your financial status. The cost of high school uniforms alone rinses you dry! Then there’s money for school lunches (packed lunches are no longer socially acceptable), various trips abroad and ALL the sports kit.
2. A sensitive side. For all of the emotional baggage that comes with teenager hormones. It’s really hard not to laugh when they start having a full blown breakdown in the middle of doing their hair, but please try to be a little sensitive. For your own safety.
3. Patience of An Angel. Kids of this age are guaranteed to test every button and then keep retesting them until you finally break. This is the time when they fall into the wrong crowd of friends, want to try new things, the back-chat gets harsher and the slobbiness gets messier. The key to surviving this stage is having patience and a little bit of understanding as to what they’re going through. Oh and Gin helps.