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Before I had kids, I often sat with my arms-crossed and face-scowled when kids, in any environment, gleefully ran around me, shouting at the top of their lungs. I had this permanent look of non-amusement at any event that was all about kids. I would refuse to sit beside little ones on a plane; I even remember asking a booking agent one time if they actually had a child-free flight. If a hostess at a restaurant seated me next to a family of kids, I asked to be moved. Whenever my friends talked about their kids, I got bored–and heaven forbid anyone put their gurbbling, slurbbing infant on the phone and expected me to engage in a conversation. I sort of didn’t really like kids, I thought.
I swore I would never let my living room look like a toy store after an earthquake. No diapers would get changed on my couch, no snot rags would lay around, no clutter of bottles, wipes, food jars, creams and baby potions would invade my elegant space. I was sure that there was no reason why a house needed to look like the toy box had thrown up. I knew that if I had kids, I would never let my home get that way.

I used to cringe at the smell of kids, the dirt and the icky, gooky hands that all too often reached for my designer jewellery and expensive outfits. I liked my heels, my pashminas, my acrylic nails.
None of that went with kids.

All of the mothers I had observed were make-upless, frumpy, had soothers between their teeth and sweat on their brows. I thought that there was no reason that motherhood had to look like that. Just because you have kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t look nice, fix your hair and retire that shirt you’ve been wearing since pregnancy.

No, I would never let myself go like that, I said. I would never become so frazzled and exhausted just because a baby arrived.

When it came to friends or having a social calendar, I definitely would not be perpetually late, constantly cancelling, too tired to answer the phone and so distracted I forgot birthdays and special occasions. I assured myself that kids would not make me forget or lie, pretend or invent a barrage of excuses. Nor would they make cry at commercials, talk about the colour of one’s poop, strap on a sling or take ten thousand pictures of a newly sprouting tooth.

I was determined to stay solid, assured, on time and up-front. And I had convinced myself that the people I knew that had kids were either doing it wrong or just not trying hard enough. I mean, how hard could it be?

Fast forward 4 years and that self-assured woman with too many pairs of boots and a spa membership, that looked like a frequent flyer rewards program, sits here frazzled, exhausted and with a few shoelaces hanging from her mouth. All those things that I NEVER thought would happen to me… well I think they call it reality, or actuality, or wearing egg on your face.

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