Sure, they’re cute to cuddle and they smell really nice (most of the time). But how can babies actually be of use? Here’s a few ways that having a baby will improve your life:
1. Clean floors
For the first few months, babies are fairly useless when it comes to housework. But once they hit the crawling phase you’ll be handsomely rewarded. Stock up on dark-coloured onesies (they don’t show the grime), set your baby on the floor in crawl position and watch them blaze a trail through even the most ground-in dirt. Floorboards will gleam, tiles will sparkle and their tiny fingers are guaranteed to pick up even the smallest of dust bunnies. Yes, that’s right. Your baby has a built-in ability to find minute particles of dirt – all you need to do is grab it from their hands before they can transfer it directly to their mouth.
2. Improved photography skills
OK, maybe this one is a long shot. Because for every awesome, well lit, perfectly posed, super spontaneous-looking photo of your baby there will be 15 blurry ones taking up precious space on your phone (or are people back to using handheld cameras these days? I’m out of the loop). So the improvement might not be in the actual quality of the photo, but in knowing when to whip the camera out. At first you will have it in your hand at all times, read to snap every perfect inhalation of breath and that sweet, adorable exhalation that follows. But after a while you realise just how nice it is to see your baby IRL (see, I’m still hip). So you put the camera juuuuuust out of reach and learn to enjoy the moment. But not too far out of reach, because you never know when they’ll blow a record-breaking snot bubble that you simply must send to your partner while he’s in an important meeting.
3. Toned arms
Sure, that packet of Tim Tams you ate for lunch isn’t going to do much for your muffin-top. And squats are a thing of the past (no explanation needed). But get ready for some sleek, toned, totally buff biceps. Lifting a baby out of a cot, lowering them into a high chair, swinging them into a car seat, hoisting them above your head and pretending to be a helicopter or holding them under one arm like a rugby ball while you hang out the washing will do wonders for your arms. Finally, separation anxiety has a silver lining!
4. Instant invisibility cloak
Your first trip outside with bub is an exciting time. You’ll write out a shopping list, bundle bub into the pram, wander down to Woolies and start wandering the aisles. All very normal until you realise you’ve been talking to yourself. You’ll immediately look around to see if anyone heard. Newsflash – they have. But let’s face it, it’s midday on a Tuesday and the only other shoppers are seniors and other sleep-deprived mums. Half the store is full of women asking their babies, “Now what flavour yogurt does daddy like?” and “How much toilet paper do we have left?” But it’s ok. Because your baby provides a sort of invisibility cloak. It’s just the two of you in your little bubble and you can comfortably chatter away to one another without fear of being asked to leave the store. Sometimes you’ll do funny accents. Sometimes you will break out into song. It’s really rather liberating.
5. Lifetime “Get out of jail free” card
Next-door neighbour throwing a sexy Intimo Lingerie party? Oooh, sorry Gladys, I’d love to drop in but the baby is teething and really needs me. Friend of a friend you’ve only met twice is in town for a conference and wants to catch up for drinks? Gosh, I’d love to but the little one has a fever. Real estate knocks on door at 11am wanting to chat about house prices in your neighbourhood? Gee, sounds fascinating but I have to go
stab forks in my eye feed the baby. The only down side to this blatant fibbery is that when you eventually do want to attend something, the baby will need you for real. But the bad karma points are worth it, if only to avoid seeing Gladys in a satin corset.