1. Leisure Centres

At the weekends, many parents wile away the hours with a coffee whilst waiting for the little ones to finish swimming lessons, dance classes, football training etc. And as they get older, you might even have time for a class or two yourself!

2. Libraries

Until you have children, you’re more a book browser at Waterstone’s in your lunch hour. But once you become a parent, the many hours spent in the local library with your toddler can be a magical time, watching them become fascinated by books and taking hours to make their selection. It’s a right of passage for children and not to be underestimated.

3. Silence

When I was younger, I had to fill every moment with music, TV or chat, now a few minutes pure silence is bliss. But then again if the silence goes on for too long, it usually means there is mischief afoot!

4. Our Parents

It may be a cliché but it’s true, you never really appreciate your parents until you become one, and finally understand everything they have ever said to you! It can be a little scary when you tell your child off and all you hear is your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth!

5. Parks

Even if the weather wasn’t great, I spent many hours with my daughter in the park, never underestimate the power of fresh air for a good healthy sleep pattern!

6. Staying In

Once you become a parent, staying quickly becomes the new going out! Yes it’s still fun to do now and then, but no longer necessarily the highlight of the week. Staying home with a nice bottle of red and a good film can be just as much fun.

7. I Love You

It’s always nice when someone tells you they love you and if you have found that special someone, even better. But none of this compares to your child saying ‘I love you Mummy’ for the very first time……need I say more?

8. The bottom of the Washing Basket

Don’t remember the last time I saw mine (Ah yes, it was before I had a child!!)

9. Questions, questions, questions!

Hearing your child speak for the first time is the most amazing sound in the world, (at the time)……… but fast forward a few short months and the word ‘Why?’ soon becomes your least favourite word ever!!

10. The Change in your Priorities

Before becoming a parent, I’m sure many of you said, ‘I won’t let it change me’, or ‘It’s not that big a deal’. But personally speaking, although I was prepared for many aspects of my life to change, I wasn’t prepared for just how different I would feel. My whole outlook on life changes, as did my priorities. It’s difficult to quantify and again, you will only understand when you become a parent!

To all parents reading this, you’re doing a great job!
And to all the parents to be, don’t be scared, it’s the next chapter in your life and it’s amazing!