Before you become a parent, everyone warns you that life will never be the same… but their warnings can't quite prepare you for how many things will change.
It’s the little things like needing a bigger car, surrendering your weekends to taxi them to sports clubs and dance competitions and the fact that planning a night out now becomes a military operation you have to book in with the sitters months in advance.
Sitting down together and watching a film, going out for a nice meal or simply falling asleep in each other’s arms soon become a thing of the past once these tiny humans take over your lives.
And what about the special occasions, like Valentine’s Day?
Let’s take a look…
Woken up by the alarm, you roll over to see your partner softly snoozing beside you. You slip your arms around them and they wake. For a while you lay there, just breathing each other in before you say, ‘Happy Valentine’s, my love.’
A perfect start to the day.
Woken by the baby needing a feed at 4am, you’ve finally drifted back to sleep, only for the toddler to waddle in at 5am and jump in bed on top of you. Your partner slips into the single bed in the spare room just to get an extra hour of sleep while you entertain the little ones.
Unnoticed, your partner sneaks out of the room, only to return with a gift wrapped immaculately in red paper and a bow, placed delicately on a tray brimming with your favourite breakfast items.
The toddler drags you - eyes barely open - to the living room, where he demands Paw Patrol and his special Buzz Lightyear cereal. Your partner follows you into the room, manages a quick peck on the cheek before passing you an item in a folded over carrier back: ‘Sorry, I didn’t get time to wrap it last night.’
At work you send each other loving messages all day. You watch the clock obsessively as you count down the minutes until you can run to be with them at your favourite restaurant.
‘Did you remember his excema cream?’, you text partner as you’re walking into work, late.
You hurriedly rush through your to-do list, so you can get out of work early and head to the pharmacist before picking the kids up, putting on a load of washing and…
Oh wait, you totally forgot you were going to make a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day.
Shoot… need to go to the supermarket too.
You arrive to find a bottle of Prosecco waiting for you at your favourite table overlooking the river, they’ve booked it for you as a surprise.
A tranquil evening lies ahead.
You get home to find the living room has been turned upside down by the toddler who is now playing on your iPad. The baby grins up at you from his bouncer while your other half battles with the washing machine that, for some reason, has stopped working.
You decide to order takeaway for tea, the biggest treat of the day.
Pulling up at home in a taxi, you’re feeling warm and fuzzy. Goody bag in hand with the dessert you couldn’t quite finish and a bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge to bring the evening to a perfect end.
With the kids both in bed (something finally went right) and the empty curry containers laid on the living room floor, you sink into the sofa with glass of wine in one hand and the rest of the bottle in the other.
Finally, you ask each other how your day was and chuckle about how life has changed since they came along.
Looking into your partner’s eyes, seeing them smile so naturally, you realise all these moments are worth it and that, underneath it all, you’re lucky to have each other to enjoy them with.
Here’s to another year of mayhem and smiles, eh?