PARENTS

Then &Amp; Now: 10 Ways Kids Will Change Your Life

23/05/2014 10:08 | Updated 20 May 2015

Kids tickling parents' feet

Before you have children, it's hard to imagine the extent to which they will affect your lifestyle.

Of course, you understand romantic dinners in swanky restaurants will be limited for a while and you might have to hang up your dancing shoes for the foreseeable future but surely your child will just adapt to the rest (in the same way your child will never have a dummy or eat Haribo).

With no experience of the realities of parenting, it's easy to see the future through rose-tinted glasses - a future in which you'll still go to parties while your toddler sleeps peacefully in a travel cot upstairs; a future in which you'll wander through the souks of Morrcco, a blissed-out newborn strapped to your chest in a tie-dyed sling; a future in which you will rock up to festivals in a pastel-coloured camper van and dance the night away to your favourite bands while your little ones snooze in a pull-along wagon adorned with fairy lights.

Unfortunately, before you have kids, you have about as much chance of predicting your future as a parent as a tea-leaf reader on a seaside pier.

Of course, you may be one of the lucky few who are able to continue their lives as they were before - but with perfectly laid-back and adaptable children in tow.

But more likely you'll find your life - and the way you want to live it - changes in ways you could never have imagined.

i

Sleep becomes the new sex, the height of luxury is an hour with childcare and fish fingers are the best food ever invented.

i

And the crazy thing is as dull as that might sound to the old you, you wouldn't swap this strange new world for the (old) world.

Suggest a correction