Every new mum has an experience or idiosyncrasy that makes them think yes, this must be because I've had a child. Here are ten of mine, I'd love to hear about yours...
1. You can move silently from the top to the bottom of your home, avoiding every creaking floorboard or step - even in the dark, you can communicate without uttering a sound and know the quietest cycles on your washing machine and dishwasher. For some reason no one else seems to be able to do this and they continue to walk and talk normally.
2. You have a drawer stuffed full of bras of differing shapes and sizes, but probably only about one or two fit you right now. I've probably changed bra size about five times in the last three years! I laugh so much when I read interviews with pregnant celebrities who say 'me and my partner really love my boobs right now' because they have no idea that in a year from now when the baby is out and the breastfeeding is done they'll be left with a 25% volume loss and a completely unrecognisable chest (and about 50 unwearable bras).
3. Your life is full of unfinished cups of tea and conversations, you make a great cuppa or you start talking to someone and are immediately distracted by your baby about to do something dangerous so the tea goes undrunk and words go unsaid.
4. You spend a lot of time bending up and down picking things up from the floor. And after nine months of pregnancy and probably a difficult labour you know for sure that your back will never be the same again. Same goes for your pelvic floor, breasts and memory.
5. You can talk to other mums at Baby Group and happily ignore that smell of baby sick that seems to be following you around because you assume it must just be 'in the air' until you get home and realise you have a massive splatter all down your top. Seems it was only you that thought it was 'in the air' - everyone else knew it was you. You can also do a full town centre shop still wearing the gaudy sticker on your chest that you got from Baby Gym proudly displaying your name in a colourful clown face to every shop assistant and bus driver (your baby has cleverly taken theirs off to avoid such embarrassment).
6. Previously precious or coveted items such as mobile phones, keys, cameras, iPods and remote controls are willingly handed over to your child if it means they are entertained for five minutes. Even though you know they'll get all gummed up.
7. You haven't slept for a straight 8 hours since you gave birth, and if you were due in Summer, carrying a large baby or worried about labour then the chances are it's been a lot longer.
8. You dread being ill more than normal. Pre-baby you used to be able to take the day off work to lie on the sofa in a duvet watching This Morning with a cup of hot chocolate and wait for the sickness to pass. Now, no matter how much you are sweating, shivering or swooning that baby still needs to fed, watered, changed and entertained - and even if you can't stand up without wanting to fall over you still have to pick that baby up and put it somewhere safe before you run to the loo for an emergency. Perversely you have never been sicker since you had a child and now seem to pick up every bug going. Not only do mothers not get sick leave we also don't have fag breaks, lunch breaks, spontaneous cake breaks or dress down Friday.
9. You will happily suck the snot out of your baby's nose if it means someone gets some sleep. You will also (again happily) let your teething child bite your fingers really hard if it affords anyone some relief from the pain and noisy tears.
10. You feel guilty about something every single day, and usually tense and worried too. When you lay down to sleep you can't - not because you're not exhausted - but because your shoulders are up around your ears and your teeth are permanently gritted. If you do get some sleep you feel guilty.
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