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5 unexpected benefits of having a baby

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

Baby mop

Image: Better Than Pants

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

Mum holding baby

Image: Darren Johnson, Flickr

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.

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3 thoughts on “5 unexpected benefits of having a baby

  1. Yeah, the baby is a broom. I’d rather clean the floors than try to get stains out of baby clothes, though. If you think your floor is clean, a baby is the best way to check if that’s really the case. LOL. We actually called our baby the neighborhood’s cutest broom.

    • Oh there is nothing worse than when friend’s bring their bubs over, and they leave with dust all over their leggings! Haha. If there’s a speck of dirt, the baby is bound to find it. SOme days it’s just easier to go out for coffee!

      • Dust? Hairballs (somehow, they keep appearing, maybe the real broom breeds them), dust bunnies, and just little pieces of dirt that you never even thought were there.
        Not sure what’s worse – to get the clothes dirty, or to have a baby who is wet from drool AND dirty from the floor.

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