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This mother of twins reveals how parenthood transformed her life and her husband's. IMAGE: PEXELS

Things That Changed For Good When My Hubby And I Became Parents

Becoming a parent is touted as one of the most profound identity-shifts one can experience. For many, life is irrevocably altered as everything begins to revolve around the baby. Sure, there are sacrifices – sleep, social life, and priorities all take a hit – but aren’t these changes ultimately worthwhile?

Here’s how parenthood reshaped my world and my husband’s:

We realised that we’d be buying two of everything. Forever.

That was literally the first thought I had: with twins, there were no hand-me-downs to save on costs or closet space.

Sleep became a precious distant memory

Remember when you could sleep peacefully through the night… and sleep in some more, especially on the weekends? Well, that’s not going to happen much when the baby arrives. In my case, gone were the days of peaceful slumber, especially since I was breastfeeding. Those night feeds become a ritual, with babies uncannily timing their cries for when sleep was most elusive. My advice - enjoy your pregnancy and take every opportunity to sleep in, and as often as you can!

Time became a valuable commodity

Thirty minutes used to be ample time to get ready; now every minute was scrutinised. Was it best spent on a chore or stealing a nap? Time became so much more precious than before – parenthood reframed the value of our time.

Our definition of “clean” changed

I’d like to think that I am a tidy person, have a clean home and that I don’t have OCD. (I’m a firm believer in the golden 5-second rule in our house!) But after becoming parents, cleanliness took on new dimensions. In some ways, I was more obsessed with everything being super clean – floors become battlegrounds against crawling twins – yet some messes yielded to a much-needed power nap.

Your “to-do” list doesn’t move. Ever.

I thought I knew just how much time and effort went into looking after a baby, but no. My expectations clashed with reality – days blurred into a cycle of care, clean-ups, nappies, and survival. Showering or brushing my hair? A luxury!

Every day felt like a race against time to get anything else accomplished; there was just never enough time in a day anymore. But I accepted this would be my life for the next few months after the twins arrived, and adjusted my expectations accordingly. Bye-bye, to-do list!


Me time? What me time?

Did I mention you won’t have enough time in the day for anything? Unless you have an entire village helping you take care of your baby, you can probably forget about having any quality me-time for at least the first couple of months of motherhood. I found that while it was very tempting to have a quick nap or do something around the house while the babies were asleep, it was more important and much better for me in the long run to step out for a cup of coffee and go for a walk.

Your social circle changes

It’s true, your social circle changes. My husband and I gravitated more towards our parent friends. Non-parent friends are supportive, but their interest in baby routines and sleep woes is limited.

Parent friends, however, understand the lack of time and energy, sleep fogs, and baby conversations. It’s easier to match schedules with them, making me realise that we were all in the same boat and I wasn’t doing as badly as I thought.

You’re not the boss anymore

If you plan to be hands-on parents like we were, say goodbye to having total control of your life. Gone will be the days of doing whatever you want, whenever you want. For me, even small things, like TV, revolved around the babies’ favourite tunes and shows.

I ate (a lot of) humble pie

Ever hear the saying, “I was the best parent until I actually became one”? I used to judge mums who couldn’t control their babies on a flight. Of course, I thought that would never be me – I’d be a great mum with a well-behaved child (insert head toss here).

Needless to say, that changed once I became a mum and understood what having a baby truly means. Now, when I hear a baby crying, especially on a plane, or see a tantrum, judgement is the last thing on my mind. #bekind #beunderstanding #supportmothers #humblepie

Your marriage will need constant work

What could be better bonding for a husband and wife than a new baby? Turns out, it’s not always the baby itself!

For my husband and me, any quality time we had together before becoming parents evaporated into baby chores. If we did manage to get time together after the babies were in bed, we were too tired to do anything. Forget going out for a quick bite or a drink – we just wanted to sleep.

As parents, your relationship with your partner shifts rather than changes. I would get frustrated at times that my life had become one big pile of milk bottles, nappies, and baby classes, while my husband’s routine remained mostly unchanged. But guess what? That’s normal.

The key is to keep communication honest and constant, so there isn’t space for friction or frustration between you and your spouse.

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