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How did becoming a parent affect your...

(30 Posts)
alittlebitmanic Sun 14-May-17 14:35:11

Career - particularly corporate ones
Travel - holidays & adventure
House - tidiness & decor
Health - energy levels & wellbeing

Just wondering how having a child affected the above points for you? I'm only planning on the one child and I know the effect is likely to be bigger with each additional child you have.

I work in marketing and I am really hoping having one child means I can keep my career roughly where it is. I'm not looking to progress, at least not for the first few years, but I'd like to avoid any pay cuts etc!

user1487854472 Sun 14-May-17 16:57:41

My career is well and truly on hold. I'm a nurse and have always been very ambitious and worked all the hours under the sun. Now I work 3 nights a fortnight as that's all I can bare to be away from my daughter.

Travel: still possible but have to be super organised. And even then, holidays don't feel like holidays.

House: is a mess!! Toys everywhere and very little time to tidy. Come bed time I'm too worn out to do anything.

Health: well little one comes first so my own needs are well and truly at the bottom of the list. Which results in too little food, the wrong food, no exercise, little sleep etc etc.

But I wouldn't change any of it for the world 🌎

Nousername2015 Sun 14-May-17 18:05:44

My ds is 16 months and I'm pregnant again with number 2.
Career wise having 1 has not affected anything although I have chosen to reduce my working hours so have taken a pay cut. I also work in marketing. Number 2 will affect things though as I work an hour away and can't afford to put 2 DC into childcare. Thinking of going freelance so currently building up my portfolio.
Travel - not at all although this is an area we were stubborn about. If anything you become more creative about where to go/what to do!
House - no time/exhausted, things have slid. If a cleaner is an option go for it! I really try not to do jobs on my day with Ds because that isn't why I reduced my hours but there is inevitably some cbeebies time while I run around doing a few bits.
Health - weaning Ds made us look at our own diets as we wanted to give him the same meals. We didn't eat badly before but we do make more of an effort to keep healthy. I find I get a lot more colds/illnesses than I used to which I think is down to always being a bit run down but if we don't function ds doesn't get looked after so we are better at taking care of ourselves.

Anditstartsagain Sun 14-May-17 18:11:33

My career is on hold has been for years I just don't want to be away from my kids.
We don't travel much never did even pre dc
House is clean and tidy I just clean up as i go.
I'm shattered but I couldn't imagine anything would make me as happy and fufilled as having my kids.

My life has changed but all in ways i choose to change and all ways i'm happy with.

Intransige Sun 14-May-17 18:12:26

Career - not really affected, DH is a SAHD.

Travel - severely affected. I'm SO BORED with staycations and the odd trip to France.

House - we're actually tidier than before kids, because if we let it go now it very quickly becomes a nightmare vs a slow decline before. But we aren't obsessively tidy generally.

Health - I'm exhausted most of the time. I have no waist. I still have 1.5 stone of baby weight to lose. Nothing that time won't fix I hope!

grasspigeons Sun 14-May-17 18:17:54

Career - maintained with one, couldn't hack it with two so do a mum track job now
Travel - ha ha ha. There is no money. We holiday in a tent alternate years.
House - well that was ok and we have a nicer house now as we needed to house 4 of us instead of 2 of us. But that combined with salary loss is why holidays are rare
Health - I have a permanent problem with mobility and am always tired.

There are hundreds of positives though. You have to remember showing a toddler the world and seeing their excitement at seeing ducks or a steam train gives them a buzz for you. It's like seeing the world new again

peppatax Sun 14-May-17 18:20:21

Career - set me back timewise but have since qualified as an accountant and on a progressive pathway in big 4.

Travel - haven't lived abroad like I did before but have been on beach holidays, city breaks, winter holidays and safari with DD (6)

House - I'm probably more organised than I was before, everything used to be left until I could be bothered but now I am definitely more organised as I can get away with eating rubbish and limited clean clothes but I want more than that for DD

Health - as above, tend to prioritise exercise as don't want to be overweight and unhealthy. I can survive on less sleep than before but still don't often get enough even though DD is a good sleeper. Mental health has taken a real bashing at times though.

jimijack Sun 14-May-17 18:22:47

Career halted/decimated in one foul swoop. I simply couldn't afford the childcare costs so had to leave my dream job of 23 years.

Travel has of course changed, limited to child friendly school holiday allowing holidays. Extremely expensive so limited.

My house is wrecked. My dh pre kids renovated lovingly our house. Carpets are fucked, changed every couple of years, due to food/vomit/poo/fluids/mud/muck.
Walls dented from toys bashing, it's a constant battle keeping it clean and tidy.
I use washable paint on the walls, cheap furniture, no point in paying fortunes to get wrecked.

I am exhausted constantly, I haven't had a full nights sleep for years. My back & pelvis gives me pain as a hang over from pregnancy.
I'm fat, flabby yet don't have time to eat.
I don't do anything for myself, dh & me got a pub grub voucher for Christmas, it's May, we still haven't been able to use it.
I continuously feel guilty and worried.

I'm not sure I would have children if I had my time over.

BackforGood Sun 14-May-17 18:34:06

Career - not really.
After dc2 I chose to go part time, and have a great balance. I've been promoted, and got new jobs since having dc.
Obviously I suspect I would have taken a different route if I didn't have dc but I'm just saying I'm neither 'stuck' nor resentful.
dh didn't take a few jobs he was offered that he probably would have done if single - all involved working in either different parts of the country or often the world, but all on relatively short term contracts. That said, he wouldn't have taken them as 1/2 of a couple either, it wasn't just the dc. He could possibly be a bit further up the career path if he'd taken them, but then, he still might not have wanted to be doing 16 hours days and not having chance for hobbies, work / life balance etc.
Holidays are different. Adventures are different, but no less enjoyable. We have a list planned for our retirement still - life doesn't stop when you have dc, it changes.
House - well, you look for different things in a house. Don't think my dc are messier than dh though.
Health - ? who knows? There is no 'control' in this experiment to compare with. Yes, it is shattering when they are tiny and you are sleep deprived, but I know many retirees who say their grandchildren keep them active and doing so much instead of retiring quietly. Swings and roundabouts.

Seems quite a clinical way to make decisions about becoming a parent. You might need to know that once you have that little bundle in your arms, you may think completely differently from before you are a parent.

Boooring Sun 14-May-17 18:38:37

Career - went part time then had to give up when I became a single parent
Holidays - one abroad in 2007
House - hard to keep on top of when working, easier now but still full of stuff
Health - neglected for a long time but bit easier as the dc have grown up

Gillian1980 Sun 14-May-17 18:57:57

Career: went p/t. Couldn't afford f/t childcare. Job is a very intense one and difficult to do p/t. Drop in salary plus childcare is a nightmare.

Holidays: can't afford them. Have had 1 x uk break in 2 years which we couldn't really afford but it was combined with attending a family event at the other end of the country.
Can't see us going abroad for several years.

House: a mess! I really struggle to maintain basic standards and dh does more than his fair share.

Health: had a caesarean so took a while to recover. Developed gallstones so had to have that put. Have had sciatica since dd was born.
Nightmare pregnancy before all that.
Generally pretty crap!

But.... despite the fact that all practical aspects of my life have taken an absolute battering, I wouldn't change being a parent for anything! We plan on trying for dc2 when dd is 3 (can't afford 2 x childcare, otherwise we'd do it sooner!)

TheLegendOfBeans Sun 14-May-17 19:12:51

I'm 35, I have one DC and another on the way...

Career: non existent because of a twat boss. If my HR department had been less pathetic I'd be working 3 days a week. Changing career by retraining in April 2018 when DC2 goes into childcare.

Travel: we went to Lanzarote when DD was 4mo. It was lovely except I was a bit off my box with PND. Otherwise DD was an angel on a plane, I travelled solo with her quite a bit until she was 10mo. After she learned to tentatively walk it was game over for a peaceful flight.

House: it's a bit of a state in that we have a few splatters on the walls, plus bananas are the enemy of any carpet. Otherwise we have a big chest for toys downstairs that gets shut after she goes to bed. We also have another one that's for "shit".

Health: I had a CS with DD. Good recovery plus I did new mums fitness and that kept me in shape. However the relaxin buggered my tendons so I don't run anymore plus I'm 17w pregnant and my sacroiliac area is torture. I do what I can but in truth I've never lost the baby weight from DD and 70kg is a fond memory.

FWIW; I knew I was in the "wrong job" when I had DD. I just liked the good money. I'm tidy but I've never been a neat freak so am not too upset by mess. The weight thing has been a shock but I've been on an upward trajectory since I hit 30. The thing I miss the most is holidays. I never had that many but a holiday with little children isn't really a holiday unless you can get childcare there and even then that's when they're 6months and up, sometimes a year.

However, I wouldn't trade the (rather cushty) existence I had for my life now, not at all. That was then, this is now and it's cool.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Sun 14-May-17 19:18:49

My career hasn't been affected at all but then I have had a lot of support from my parents and DH worked at a job which meant he was around in the afternoons until DS started secondary school.

I had DS quite young (21) so holidays have always been family ones. We are now starting to go away without DS more regularly as he is sensible enough and old enough to be left at home.

My house has always been untidy as I inherited stepsons so there have always been boys around.

Health - I gained sciatica during pregnancy and it has never been the same since.

Wouldn't be without DS though.

mimiholls Sun 14-May-17 19:19:15

Career- I chose not to go back and to become self employed doing something id always wanted to do. I don't earn much money but it should increase and I love it so it has been a positive thing overall. I previously worked in a corporate environment and definitely felt sidelined from when I announced pregnancy. If I had gone back it would have been part time and there definitely would have been no promotions/career advancement on that basis. If I had been willing to go back full time and work all hours then perhaps my career would not have been affected.
Holidays- was a massive traveller before dc and had amazing holidays. We still do go abroad but the holidays are very different for the moment- staying in one place, self catering etc.
House- not affected at all
Health- not affected at all except I'm more tired.

fluffandsnuff Sun 14-May-17 19:25:25

Career: went to 3 days after DS was born. Wasn't holding me back too much but finding another employer who will consider part time was tricky. Just about to go on mat leave with no. 2 and I'm not going back- when DC1 gets to school age I won't be able to work and do pick ups/drop offs.

Travel: DS is almost three and we've been abroad for holidays twice (once with DM and DF). Do-able but if you don't have childcare the evenings abroad can be a bit dull.

House: moved twice since DS was born. We are generally tidier, but my house looks like a shit tip before DS goes to bed. You are forever tidying and without a playroom stuff has taken over the living room.

Health: perinatal anxiety and Pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy but nothing permanent apart from a section scar. I eat a lot of crap away from DC but there's definitely more fruit and veg in my house now. Currently a couch potato because of pregnancy.

bakingcupcakes Sun 14-May-17 19:33:29

Career - I was meant to take a management role but had DS unplanned instead so I felt I'd 'ruined' my career for quite a while. In reality I'm now being paid more to do less (or at least I would be if I wasn't p/t.) I'm doing the same job but not management with a different company.

Travel - I went abroad twice when I was pregnant guessing I wouldn't be going again for a while. I was right.

House - It's much tidier and cleaner. Before DS I spent most of my time at work or in the pub so it was always a tip. No way would I live like that now. I actually clean regularly. It's really wierd.

Health - I eat much healthier. Lots of fruit&veg, no takeaways, no nipping the shop at night for crisps etc. I drink less too.

Overall I'm more content. If I'd know he was coming I would've enjoyed my child free single time so much more.

Chosenbyyou Sun 14-May-17 19:34:42

I have two DC 2.7yrs DD and 6 week DS.

Career- commercial role. Went bk full time after DC, got promoted and payrise. But due to non sleeping DD I'm quite sure my reputation and performance has suffered. I will go back same after mat leave but will probably look to change companies after 6m to start a fresh rep.

Travel - used to holiday in Vegas etc, now go Spain family holidays etc. I miss this part of my old life!

House - have cleaner and play room which are both a god send.

Health - ok apart from the constant nursery bugs that she bought home.

Interesting to see that some people said that two DC is more impactive on career?! X

MrsNuckyThompson Sun 14-May-17 19:39:01

Career - probably not affected. Professional job, pretty senior now. I may already have been promoted one further grade but expect it to happen shortly after my return from mat leave. It did last time.

Holidays - far less adventurous. Haven't been long haul apart from for work since DS (4) was born. We've done plenty in Europe but play it pretty safe by staying in one place instead of travelling around. Now big resorts with kids clubs etc otherwise it just feels like hard work.

House - always feels messy and a bit grubby. Drowning in little plastic bits of tat.

Wellness - so tired. Never feel well rested and I've been overweight since pregnant with DS. DD has now been born (last child) so hoping to sort weight now!!

PenelopeParmesan Sun 14-May-17 19:40:58

Career - no longer have one, just have a job that suits childcare. Less ££ than pre children
Travel - used to go abroad. Now I've learned to love Wales
House - wrecked
Health - permanently tired

Wouldn't swap them though

phoenix1973 Sun 14-May-17 19:55:20

Career
I didn't have a career to lose. But I had a well paid admin role. Not well paid enough to cope with childcare costs though. So for 5 years I was a sahm. But that's 5 years of no pension payments etc. I was on 1200 month. So 60 x 1200 is how much we lost in income. We didn't get benefits. Plus 5 years out meant fucking hard to get back into work. Plus pt office work is like rocking horse shit.
Holidays
Previously, we holidayed abroad 3 times per year. I used to also go alone, rent a car and tour the island. Bliss.
After child, we bought a tourer, used it for 5 years and apart from occasional shite weather, discovered fab places in the U.K. I will warn you a holiday with a kid is just same shite change of scenery.
She's 10 now. I worked pt from age 5. We sold the van and take foreign hols again twice a year.
House
We had a lovely home right next to a primary. So we stayed here.
Health
Massive Empty envelope spaniels ear tits. I detest them. I loved my old small tits.
Umbilical hernia. Means in profile, I still look pg no matter how much I suck my belly in. Can't afford the op to fix it.
Mental health problems. Primarily severe anxiety which affects me daily and cripples my development.

If you want to expose flaws you never knew you had, or to magnify ones you know of, then become a parent. Everything is amplified.faults and strengths.
There's no other, bigger test imho.

Pinkvici22 Sun 14-May-17 19:59:32

Career - it hasn't. In fact I've progressed quickly in the last 4 years since returning after maternity. I work FT in a very professional role.

Holidays - still go to lovely resorts but always make sure there's some child friendly features (pool/park etc)

Home - not really. I've still got very high standards!

Health - I'm tired but that's down to me trying to spend every second I'm not working with DD and fitting in running/gym/socialising around her (so mostly when she's sleeping!)

The few changes are totally worth itsmile

Chrisinthemorning Sun 14-May-17 20:09:32

I have one child too, he's nearly 5 and we won't be having any more.
Career - particularly corporate ones
I'm a dentist so not corporate. My career is actually better now. I have moved practices from NHS to private and work 2.5 days. I earn well and enjoy being out of the NHS treadmill.
Travel - holidays & adventure
We love holidays and still go on quite a few. They have to be more child friendly but we have had some lovely times. Last year we went to Florida. This year we are going to Centreparcs, Menorca, Majorca and Lapland.
House - tidiness & decor
My house is still pretty tidy. There are moments eg after a play date when it is messy but it I try to keep on top of it. Decor is how I want it except we are having 2 new bathrooms this year. The only effect DS has on that is the odd spill and one room is space themed grin
Health - energy levels & wellbeing
I am a bit tired sometimes but I was before DS arrived! It's not too bad - he sleeps through from 7.30 although he does wake early 6-6.30. Wellbeing- he makes us very happy.
Go for it, and yes having one is much easier. You get the best of both worlds really, you get to enjoy all that being a parent has to offer but it's easier to maintain a life of your own as well.

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 14-May-17 20:09:45

Career - my career was cut short through serious injury. So I never carved myself a new one before I had children! I've got that hurdle to tackle once my DCs are older.

Travel - Haven't been on holiday (either UK or abroad for 5 years, when I was 17, before I had babies!). The furthest we have travelled since having DCs was visiting a friend 5 hours away and it was the most hideous journey of my life! DD didn't have a nap at all the day....because DS was going through a horrific stage of screaming his head off in the car sad so we had a 5 hour journey (which turned into 7 thanks to traffic) + stops with an extremely grumpy, overtired toddler and an overtired baby confused never again.

Home - my standards are at rock bottom nowadays blush I have a 2yo and a mobile 7mo....tidiness is difficult to achieve! My house is always clean - has to be now that DS is crawling and DD still puts everything in her mouth hmm, but tidiness is a rare treat in my house!

Health - My DS has numerous dietary needs, so the entire family are automatically eating way more healthily has it's not safe for DS to be around certain things, most often found in processed/junk food! So lots of growing our own food and cooking from scratch!
I've been a yoga enthusiast most of my life, so that is still a big part of my day.
The only health issue I am managing is PND. I have incredible support around me and have now found the correct dosage of medication for me and I feel 100% normal - better than I have for a long time!

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 14-May-17 20:12:12

Oh another thing for "health"......I haven't had a full nights sleep since DD was born 2 years ago. She's not a terrible sleeper, she just wakes me up to go and bring her into bed with me DH and DS at around 2/3am most nights. We bedshare with DS and have done since birth. He still feeds 2-3 times per night.

April241 Sun 14-May-17 20:13:58

I have 7.5 month old twins (natural, no IVF etc so remember multiples are always a possibilitywink)

Career - im a nurse, still on maternity and going from 37.5hrs to 25hrs when I go back. I'm at the grade I want to be so will work my way to the top which is another 4/5 years and then see how things are then.

Travel - no holidays planned abroad for a few years at least, we've been on a weekend break once so far and we've got a weeks holiday planned in June just driving an hour to two driving distance from us. It's like moving house though with the amount of stuff we need!

House - disaster. Toys everywhere you look, washing everyday between our things and theirs. I've switched to cloth nappies because of the sheer amount of disposables we were going through.

Health - I'm pretty much gubbed if I'm honest, my back and hips haven't recovered from pregnancy yet. I don't drink enough water if at all during the day, I don't eat until teatime when my OH makes something because I don't have a minute during the day. If I do I grab something quick and not always the most nutritious. My skin was pretty dull and dehydrated but I've finally started a skincare routine and it's picking up. I am tired ALL. THE. TIME and currently have post natal anxiety which I'm taking medication for.

I have tons of stretch marks and a wobbly jelly belly but I much prefer my post pregnancy body and the stretchmarks don't bother me one bit.

Wouldn't go back in time or change it for all the money in the world though (apart from the anxiety and the hip and back pain to be fair). I never knew being a mum would be like this, the love I have for my children is overwhelming at times and I am loving every second watching them grow and learn new things.

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