We’ve been speaking to Sean Burton, age 31, Digital Marketing Manager at Hallam Internet and dad to Dylan, age 12 months to find out just how life changes after having kids. Here’s what he said:
I’m not stupid: I knew that having kids would change my life. But the weird thing is, life has changed, but not like I thought it would. Things are the same, but different: all the old elements are still in place, but I now have to make certain…accommodations.
Before – Punk, post-punk, ska-punk, hardcore, post-hardcore, and hardcore punk: Life was loud! Summer was a time for festivals, and I’d constantly scour all available gig listings for anything fast and snarly.
After – Well, life’s certainly still loud…
These days, I’m more likely to rock cradles than I am to rock out. And now that so many nights are sleepless nights, there’s less desire to spend my evenings moshing.
But sometimes, when I get a bit of time to myself, I still like to turn things up to eleven. It’s just that, now, I often have to skip through scores of soothing lullabies on my iPod before I reach the good stuff.
Before – Let’s just say that I liked a drink as much as the next man. Not every night was a night on the town; but when I did hit the town, I often tried my hardest to paint it red.
After – Have you ever tried changing a nappy while hungover? No matter how much fun the night before was, nothing’s worth the pain of the morning after.
These days, one beer is enough. And should we ever want to let our hair down, my partner and I have to take it in turns.
Before – A change of clothes every day. They were cool, they were crisp, and – I cannot stress this enough – they were clean.
After – After three months of fatherhood, I glanced down and noticed a distinctive stain on my shirt. It was unmistakably baby sick. There’s no way anybody could ever have mistook it for anything else, and I’d already left the house that day.
The thing is, I didn’t care.
I still dress the same. My standards may have slipped a little, but given how little this bothers me, I guess you could say that I’m now cooler than ever.
Before –The latest gadgets, the finest threads, and all the pizza I could eat – yep, my salary used to stretch to some pretty awesome places.
After – I no longer view my bank balance in terms of pounds and pence. Now I only think of it in terms of nappies, food, clothes, and shoes that are implausibly tiny, and even more implausibly expensive.
Before – Time to hit the gym! I had a structured workout programme that had been painstakingly devised to provide me with a balanced and varied exercise routine. I was in excellent shape!
After – As if I have the time or the money to hit the gym!
And yet, I’m still in excellent shape.
Because they often have to be carried for long periods of time, and because they get naturally heavier as they get older, babies actually make for an excellent substitute for weight training.
And as for the rest of my routine? You’d be amazed by how much of a workout you get pushing a heavy pram round the park. The nods I give to the other dads I pass are identical to the nods I used to give to fellow gym users.
So overall, now that I’ve got a son, life is the same, but different.
But even though I miss some parts of my old life, I wouldn’t change this one for the world.
What about you? What are the biggest changes you had?