10 Signs That Your Standards Have Slipped Since Becoming A Parent

Remember those days when you wouldn’t leave the house until you had a full face of makeup, or were appropriately dressed for the occasion, or when your house was immaculate? Now you have kids those days are long gone.

1. Clothes Are Judged On A Snot Scale

Woman Holding Pile Of Dirty Laundry Indoors

You used to take care of your appearance, but with two kids to transport to school / nursery / various clubs, a pet to take care of, and a job, mornings can be frantic. In between yelling at your eldest to put their frigging shoes on and trying to work out just how the youngest has managed to spread poop all over themselves, you simply don’t have the time to worry about what you look like.

Now your clothes are judged on how much snot / banana / spat up milk has been smeared on them. If it’s just a smidge, then you’re good to go. Anymore and you might attempt to wipe it down with a wet wipe, but you know that you’re fighting a losing battle since your stick fingered darlings are never far away.

2. You Got A Dog Just To Help With The Cleaning

Dog eating from a plate at a table

In your pre-children days, you regularly ate out, or cooked fancy meals using woks and then made sure your kitchen was sparkling clean afterwards. Then the kids arrived and you have to wade through a pool of fishfinger and Pom-Bear crumbs every time you want to make a cup of tea. Tired of sweeping and vacuuming after every meal, you got yourself a dog, inspired after watching your friend’s dog scoffing every single crumb that dropped from the table. Your floor might not pass a hygiene test, but at least the crumbs have gone.

3. You Will Eat Anywhere That Serves Chicken Nuggets

boy eating chicken nuggets and chips

Remember when you went to chic restaurants with waiter service? Remember trying the new Mexican place that opened up, or sipping cocktails in the trendy seaside seafood restaurant? Now you have kids you no longer worry about the standard of service, or even if the place is remotely clean.

Instead, you make your decision based on whether or not the restaurant has an “orange food menu.” (For those not initiated in “orange food” because you haven’t gone through the fussy toddler phase yet, we’re talking chicken nuggets, fishfingers, baked beans, tomato pasta, and chips). Bonus points if it has a grubby soft play facility in one corner.

4. Your Car Is A Shrine To The Humble Raisin

Sunflower Seeds And Other Rubbish Left On A Car Seat,

Before you had children, your car was an item of beauty. It gleamed in the sunshine, inside and outside. It had a fresh scent when you opened the door, and the carpets were clean enough to eat off. Now you have kids and it’s somewhat different. There are raisins in every nook and cranny.

There are “special” stones in the cupholders that apparently must be treasured and are never to be discarded, and your boot has enough sticks to build a house a for one of the three little piggies. You have covered the back seat in a blanket to hide the stains from where your child was sick, and you’re pretty certain that a new bacterial colony is taking root underneath the driver’s chair.

5. Your Walls Feature Original Artwork

toddler drawing on the wall with lots of scribbles

When you were in your pre-children state you thought carefully about the interior design of your house. Items of furniture were curated to create a look that defined how you saw yourself. Your carpets were plush and clean, and your walls were smooth and smear free. Now take a look around your home.

Note the yogurt splatters on the ceiling from when your child thought it would be fun to squeeze a pouch as hard as possible. Note the scuffs in the hallway from various scooters, toy pushchairs, and ride-on toys. See the crayon marks on the living room door, and admire the blackcurrant stain on your cream carpet.

6. Your Exercise Regimen Is Largely Based On The School Run

Mother and daughter running late for school

You had to forego your fancy gym membership when your child arrived, partly because of the cost, and partly because your pelvic floor couldn’t be trusted during public exercise. You’re still carrying the baby weight, even though the baby is halfway through primary school, and most of your daily step count comes from doing the school run. The only exercise class you now go to is Baby Yoga, and you spend most of that trying to convince your child to stay on the mat.

7. Being Hit By A Water Pistol Is The Closest You Get To A Spa Break

Boy using a water pistol

In your pre-children days, you and your friends regularly treated yourselves to a luxury spa day. You would catch up on all the gossip, sooth away tension with a massage, and relax in a hydro-pool. These mini breaks were your way of treating yourself and giving yourself a break from the stress of your job and other areas of your life. These days, if you get a trip to the supermarket by yourself you feel like you have been on a luxury cruise for two weeks.

8. Your Cultural Diet Is Enriched By Go Jetters

Children's nativity scene with three wise men

You used to consider yourself to be quite sophisticated when it came to the arts. Perhaps you were a regular audience member at the local theatre, or you followed a number of up and coming bands. You chose your films at the cinema based on what you read in The Guardian and your book collection featured a good mixture of classic literature and modern bestsellers. You had strong opinions on politics and regularly debated current affairs with your friends. Then your children arrived and it all changed.

The last show you saw at the theatre was your child’s nativity play and the last film you watched was the Paw Patrol movie. You have no idea what bands are hip, but you do know all the words to Baby Shark. Your bedtime reading is something by Julia Donaldson since you normally fall asleep on the floor of your child’s bedroom whilst you try and get them to sleep. The liveliest debate you have had recently is with someone who dared to suggest that anyone can park in a parent and child parking space.

9. Your Last Haircut Was A DIY Affair

Woman cutting her own hair

You used to consider your hair stylist a good friend, visiting them every six weeks or so to get tidied up. Now you struggle to fit in a visit to the hairdresser once every six months in between all your children’s appointments and commitments. You made the mistake of getting a fringe and have now resorted to trimming it yourself.

You have actually considered using a bowl on your head to keep it straight. You have long given up on finding time in the morning to put make up on, and the last time you had any products on your face was when your daughter decided to use her facepaints on you.

10. You Make Your Holiday Choices Based On The Availability Of Kids Clubs

Child going down a slide at a waterpark

Those days of adventurous holidays and luxury mini breaks are long gone. You have fond memories of sipping a cappuccino outside the Colosseum, of backpacking across New Zealand, and of touring vineyards in France. You have less fond memories of your last holiday, which cost more than your honeymoon to the Seychelles and involved spending a week in a wooden cabin in a damp forest park during the school holidays, along with thousands of other feral children.

Before you had children you chose your holidays by looking at what museums, art galleries, ancient ruins, beaches, nightclubs, restaurants, hiking opportunities, or spa facilities were in the area. Now it’s all about whether or not they have a kids club and if there’s a playground within eyesight of the accommodation.