12 ways your life changes when you have kids

Child annoying parent

Truly, parenting is a journey of discovery. Mumsnetters share the changes – good, and bad – that took them by surprise after having children

1. You'll never travel light again

Scooter with lots of luggage

“I used to pack a bag full of beauty products, books and nice things. Now, people gawp as my husband and I turn up with three children, five suitcases, five carry-ons, three car seats and a buggy at the airport.”

2. You'll discover handy new skills

The look

“How to give 'the look'.”

3. … and hidden talents

Inside out

“I have a talent for being more silly than I realised I could be.”

4. You'll make new friends

Dad friends

“Since having my son, my social life has exploded and it's brilliant. I feel part of a community and it's wonderful.”

5. A sizeable chunk of your brain will be filled with rubbish

Toilets on map

“There was a stage of my son's life when I could tell you every publicly accessible toilet in each and every town we went to.”

6. Time will become a flexible concept

Sleeping cat

“I used to think sleeping in until 10am was a lie-in. Now, a lie-in is 7am.”

“I didn't understand how hard it would be to get dressed and actually get out of the house just for a pint of milk!”

7. You'll be pretty exhausted, pretty much all the time

Anna Frozen falling asleep

“I hadn't anticipated never being off duty.”

I appreciate silence so much more now.”

8. But you'll appreciate the little things even more

The National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Chevy Chase

“Christmas has become magical again.”

9. You'll feel the fear and do it anyway

Home Alone tarantula

“Since having my two girls I can deal with any bug – I no longer scream and hide out in a room.”

“I have lost my dislike of blood, dirt, vomit and faeces – now I can clear up everything with an efficiency that even impresses my mother.”

10. What you mean by 'dirty talk' will shift a bit

Grease

“I never expected to talk about poo so much!”

11. You'll be sensitive to ALL the feels

Adele crying

I cry at bloody everything now. I used to be a calm and controlled person, but now every single vaguely emotional thing makes my throat tighten.”

“How you can cry because you love someone so much.”

12. And you'll learn not to sweat the small stuff (kinda)

Baby drawer clothes all over floor

It's OK if there's pots on the side and washing to be done. It will get done at some point and if it doesn't happen right now, that's OK.”