It has dawned on me recently that along with the big changes that happen in your life after having kids – you know, like a permanent lack of sleep, being suddenly responsible for the life and survival of a new human being and err… watching more kids TV than your own programmes, there are other smaller changes that affect us as parents. Things that used to embarrass me, no longer bother me at all. And likewise, things that I never thought about much, now seem to take on a new meaning in the embarrassment stakes.
Things That No Longer Embarrass Me
1. Doctors – I used to cringe whenever I had to go to the doctor and reveal certain body parts. Now I couldn’t care less. They’ve seen it all before, I’ve had to pretty much show everything off before so let’s get on with the job shall we?
2. A Messy House – There was a time, many moons ago, when I used to take careful pride in the house. Well, I liked it to look nice. But now, in between juggling the children and fitting in copywriting work, it comes very low down list on my priorities. Yes, I like the house to look tidy, but in reality it’s pretty much in a permanent mess. I might apologise to anyone who visits, but I’m not embarrassed by it. Not anymore.
3. Dealing with a meltdown in public – Pre-kids I was HORRIFIED by children that used to scream and make a scene in public. I would tut and roll my eyes about the noise. Hah! Little did I know that I would be dealing with them on a frequent basis. From dealing with the toddler’s meltdown about sand on the beach to half carrying her and half dragging her from one side of town to try and get back to the safety of the car. Exhausting. Yes. Embarrassing not anymore. Everyone’s kids do it at some stage and the knowing glances and pats on the shoulder from other people to say “We’ve all been there” prove it.
4. Getting important things wrong. Like your child’s name. I recently spent 10 minutes in a shop calling out to my youngest daughter to stop running off. A few other shoppers looked at me wondering why I couldn’t control my child. I was wondering why I couldn’t control my child. Until it dawned on me that I’d been calling out my eldest daughter’s name instead of the toddler’s. I wasn’t embarrassed, tiredness has a lot to answer for.
5) Dealing with accidents – Toilet training puts pay to any form of embarrassment about dealing with wees and poos in public places. With kids, there’s always some form of bodily function that needs to be cleared up. Wet wipes and nappy sacks is the only thing to save you.
Things that Now Embarrass Me
1. The Recycling – Specifically the fortnightly collection of cans and bottles. I’m sure it’s not my imagination that the bin men are spending longer and longer trying to empty our recycling box and making such a din in the process. No, it’s true, we are apparently the biggest drinkers on the street.
2. Laughing hard – and realising your pelvic floor muscles really isn’t what it once was. Enough said.
3. Having other kids to tea – I swear to God that every time the neighbours’ kids or friends come to tea, we ALWAYS have pizza. My children seem to eat a few certain foods on rotation week in week out, but I now feel slightly paranoid and judged that everyone assumes that this is the only thing my kids eat. Admittedly, there’s not much else that isn’t picked over, but I must try harder to have a better menu on standby.
4. Clothes – Specifically, realising that I’m wearing clothes that I had 10 years ago. I’ve never particularly enjoyed shopping, but find that it’s now pretty much near impossible to buy new clothes with a toddler. She gets bored and starts to get impatient when I even attempt to “pop in” for a “quick look.” I end up avoiding it at all costs in order to avoid the resulting meltdown.
5. The Truth – Telling the truth is a good thing right? Not when the three year old decides to impart her words of wisdom specifically in a loud voice about people you know who are standing right next to you. I.E. “Mummy, why is Katie’s daddy looking so scruffy today?” Cue cringing and desperate babbling about how the toddler talks such utter nonsense.
What do you find embarrassing? And is there anything that you used to find embarrassing that no longer bothers you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell me I’m not alone in this!