I heard it, I read about it and I’m now living it.

It’s a cliché, but becoming a parent really is a life changing experience.

No matter how hard I’ve tried to cling on to the old me; my freedom (erm…what’s that?), those moments of self-indulgence (say again?), the arrival of my daughter has scrubbed most of it away and she’s now ruling our world, in every sense.

And although I mourn my care-free, plenty-of-sleep, plenty-of-me-time days, I still like to believe that underneath the dark circles, the extra few pounds and extra wrinkles, I’m still me! However there are definitely a few ‘life-changing’ and extremely worrying new habits that I’ve recently picked up on, that I would never have dreamt of doing before I became a parent. Here are ten of the changes I deal with as a mum:

 

  1. Nursery Rhymesioditis

     

How can you have a nursery rhyme stuck in your head when you wake up… every single time, whether it’s at 1 am, 4 am or 7 am?! Sometimes I think it’s the singing in my head of ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’ that wakes me up or Mommy Finger or Itsy Bitsy Spider…oh don’t even mention the Wheels on the Bus! If I ever worried that post-baby, my ability to memorize was going to suffer, I now know I have nothing to worry about. I can recite whole books of nursery rhymes IN MY SLEEP!

 

2. Catnaps

These are my idea of rebirth! Who knew I would get to feel brand new after a ten-minute nap (or quite frankly passing out!). ‘Is that all I’ve got?! I’ll take it!

 

3. Embracing my mum body

This is the aim anyway – it’s still a work in progress… I read once about the importance of sleep for losing baby weight… which is pretty impossible for a new mum! So I’m left with learning to love my new curves and blaming the lack of sleep for it…that’s two years on! (Maybe I could take it easy on those chocolate squares too…).

Read more: '20 ways life in Dubai has changed since having kids'

4. Talking to strangers

Ahhh…children are such cute little people magnets!  Sometimes you get asked random questions by random people (which are oddly addressed to the child themselves - although it’s obvious they cannot speak or say their own name). And sometimes you feel the need to justify moments of sheer embarrassment to people around you - especially in elevators when that heavy silence is broken by ‘ Mommy, poo-poo time!’

5. Taking far too many photos of little Miss Busy

They say there is no such thing as taking too many photos of babies; they are so cute and they grow up so fast. It’s true, I love to flick back through her newborn photos, but my phone has reached full capacity a few times already and not everyone may find her first photo of sitting on the potty cute. But it makes me feel all creative again, capturing these precious moments.

 

6. Mobile phone addiction 

Apart from using it as a camera non-stop, this precious piece of tech - full of scratches and dents, having been dropped hundreds of times - quite sadly became my best friend during those long sleepless nights and breastfeeding sessions when my daughter was a baby. And our relationship had just blossomed from there. Now it’s the first thing I reach out for when I’m desperate for a break from life with a toddler. That’s where my whole life pre-baby is stored, my old me is still there on my phone!  And it allows me to do non-mum things, it connects me with the outside world without being too conspicuous to the judging gaze of a two-year old. It is the only device I have managed to convince my daughter not to ever EVER mess with! “It’s mummy’s?’ she asks warily  ‘YES, it is!”

 

7. Eating habits

Eating while standing, while packing a lunch box, while tidying up after breakfast, while getting a toddler dressed, while putting make-up on…and numerous other instances, all of them involving rushing around and multitasking and NO, ABSOLUTELY NO SITTING DOWN. Who has time for that?

Read more: 'UAE mums confess the things they never thought they'd do before becoming a parent'

8. Actually getting into cartoons

Life can be really grey at times and watching TV can bring you down a little unless….you watch cartoons!!!!! Cartoons are amazing, they’re happy, full of singing and dancing and happy endings, and everyone is kind to one another and forgiving and they just want to have fun while saving the world. What’s not to love? It beats the news channels any day!

9.  Vernacular issues

It was a wake-up call when a lovely waitress asked us why did everything end in ‘y’ as my toddler and I were busy ordering a juicy to go with her snacky because she didn’t want any soupy although she might have fancied some eggy on toasty. How about her dolly? Was she interested in anything? Yes, that’s how we speak nowadays. Everything has to sound cutey!

 

10. It’s all about the love

One minute I complain I need some time alone away from toddler tantrums and start dreaming of a week-long yoga retreat and the next minute I stare at photos of her on my phone while she’s napping because I miss her too much.

Any other mums suffer from any of the above? This whole parenting experience is truly mind boggling isn’t it? Best thing is to just go with all the changes and have lots of fun along the way. Didn’t a wise person say that change is the only certainty in life?

As a mother to a spirited two-year old girl, Alina loves to write about the funny side of motherhood - even if there aren’t enough funny moments in her day - on her blog Her Babyness

Read more from Alina: 'We need to stop pressuring mums to have more kids'