MUM’S THE WORD: I took my freedom for granted

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Being able to do whatever you like, when you like is something I took for granted before having a baby in tow.

Don’t get me wrong I love having Nancy with me all the time but I don’t think I really thought about how restricting being responsible for a little person 24/7 would be – although I guess the clue’s there.

For instance – now Nancy is feeding herself (that’s a very loose description of what goes on in my kitchen at meal times – not only is she feeding herself, she’s also feeding the floor, walls and anything else in her firing line) meal times take twice as long.

She takes an age to eat her sandwiches as she likes to wave them about, turn them over in her hands and even give them a quick lick before deciding if she’s going to eat them or not.

Then when she’s bored they get tossed on the floor to make way for the next course. The clearing up takes as long as the actual feeding some days!

It’s the same when getting ready to go out anywhere – it’s a military operation to make sure the outing fits in around feeding, changing and nap times and again can be very time consuming making sure that we’ve got everything we need with us.

There’s no more just popping out to the shops to pick up that forgotten item or nipping out on that quick errand. And as for shopping, it’s now something I try to avoid, as drudging round the shops with a pushchair is no fun.

It’s a nightmare to negotiate the tight aisles and some have awkward steps so we can’t even get inside. And to date I’ve only encountered a couple which have big enough changing rooms to get a pushchair inside – and it’s this which led me to do something I’d never done before. The other day I bought a pair of jeans straight off the peg without even trying them on. Thankfully they’re a perfect fit, so I haven’t got to venture back to return them!

But to be honest, none of this matters in the grand scheme of things; it’s just taking a bit of adjusting to, even a year on.

Having worked as a journalist in a busy newsroom for almost ten years, I’m used to tight deadlines and having to have things done by yesterday but a baby doesn’t quite work like that. Even when you think you’ve got the routine nailed there’s always something to throw a spanner in the works.

Patience is a virtue, so the saying goes. And I quite agree – good things do come to those who wait!