OK, it’s time to come clean. We’ve all done these, yes?
1 On suddenly remembering you have a friend coming round in ten minutes, and realising the house is a state, you have quickly and efficiently tidied up by hurling every toy into an overflowing cupboard and cleaning all available surfaces. With a single baby wipe. Job done.
2 A text to family and friends that reads, “All ready. Leaving in 5”, should generally be interpreted as, “The toddler is running around with no pants on, the baby has just filled her nappy, we appear to have run out of baby wipes and no one has had breakfast yet.”
3 When you’re at a baby group/soft play/the supermarket and someone quietly points out you have a trail of baby sick down your sleeve, and you claim, “Oh God, I didn’t notice”, the reality is you knew all along. You just didn’t have time to change.
4 You have microwaved the same cup of tea eight times throughout the day, before finally giving up on it at 5.45pm and reaching for the wine bottle instead.
5 You have now forgotten how to behave when in adult company. So, on a rare evening out, rather than getting up from the table and saying, “Excuse me for a moment,” you announce loudly, “Right, I’m going for a wee”…
6 …before turning to your partner/friend and enquiring, “Do you need to try to do a wee too?”
7 For every photo you post on social media where it looks like you’re having the best time you’ve ever had in your whole entire life, your friends should (often rightly) assume that the remaining 99.9 per cent of your day has, in fact, looked like a great advert for NOT having children.
8 When your partner offers to take the kids out for a few hours, you really want them all to have a great time together. And for there to be no tantrums. And for the toddler to not secretly remove his shoes and subtly drop them over the side of the buggy when no one is looking. And for snacks to be readily available at all the right moments. Yes, this is absolutely, definitely what you want. (Apart from the tiny part of you that secretly wants it all to go tits up, so he finally understands just how hard it is.)
9 You have called your partner “Daddy” so often now (awkwardly, sometimes when the children are already tucked up in bed), that occasionally you have to think for a split second about what his real name actually is.
10 Your child says, “I love you”, or the baby produces a corker of a belly laugh, or they both think it’s hilarious when you’re doing all the voices while reading Room On The Broom for the hundredth time. And you know you wouldn’t change a thing.