There are many things I’ve gained since becoming a parent.
An ability to love someone unconditionally, even when they are screaming
themselves purple literally inches away from my face, for one.
For another, resilience to personal criticism. ('Mummy, why is your stomach so
wobbly/ your trousers so big/ your legs so spiky?'; 'Please don’t sing/ talk/
help me/ walk next to me.' That kind of thing.)
But most significantly, I think I’ve gained the power to become impervious to
I don’t know whether this is a bi-product of sleep deprivation or that the
majority of my day is spend talking to someone who is too young to answer back
so I forget how to behave in the ‘real’ world, but I’ve noticed that more and
more frequently I am in situations where, pre-children, it would have been a
bit toe-curling, but now, I don’t even bat an eyelid.
For example, I used to be a slightly self-conscious dancer. I don’t think I was
ever bad at it, I was no Darcy Bussell, granted, but I think it was more that
overwhelming awareness that other people were much better. Or had more rhythm.
Or a more mature taste in music. (‘No I really do like Girls Aloud, I wasn’t
But now, I would literally dance to a car alarm.
I think this happens from being socially and culturally starved when you first
have babies. Weeks if not months go by when you don’t see anyone other than
your partner in the evening. And your musical references are mainly nursery
rhymes or the theme tune from Rastamouse.
So given an opportunity to dance to something/ anything these days, I’ll now
There was a celebration event on The Level this weekend to mark the first
anniversary of its revamp. It was formerly a recreation ground for heavy
drinkers, but the place has now been reclaimed by parents and young children.
Part of the entertainment was a selection of live bands. They must have only
just started tuning up when me and several other mums were on our feet, poised,
ready to pull some moves.
As the music started, we instantly began properly dancing, not shuffling
appreciatively, but going for it like we were out and five pints into the
I looked around and all the rest of the audience were stood still, whereas the
mums were all giving it large (do people still say that? Did they ever used to
Why? Because God knows when we would next listen to loud music that didn’t
sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks again. And afterwards, I felt rejuvenated.
It wasn’t exactly nightclubbing but it was the closest I’m going to get for
My children have striped me of my dignity and with that, every shred of
Maybe we can start to have some fun now.