When you get down to it, we’re not all that different.
- Sleepless nights are a regular occurrence. Even if, once you’re a parent, tehy’re spent rocking a crying baby rather than throwing up in a gutter while listening to Calvin Harris and trying not to drop your kebab.
- The government hates you. Damn young parents, sponging off the government to feed their kids. Damn students, sponging off the government to turn up to class hungover.
- Everyone else hates you too. Don’t you realise that’s our hard-earned tax money you’re using to feed your baby/turn up to class hungover?
- People dread having you as neighbours. What’s worse – student parties or screaming babies?
- Your social calendar is always full. Even if your student social calendar is full of clubs, societies and nights out, and your parenting calendar is full of health visitor appointments and Baby Ballet sessions.
- You have to learn to budget. For students, it doesn’t matter if you’re eating value noodles, as long as you’ve got vodka. For parents, it doesn’t matter if you’re eating value noodles, as long as you’ve got nappies.
- You’re going to spend a lot of time vomiting. Think of morning sickness as being like a six-week-long hangover when your friend convinced you that fourth round of sambuca shots was a good idea.
- At some point, you’ll end up wearing something stupid on your head. As a student, it was a traffic cone. As a parent, I have lost count of the cups, teddies and books I have worn on my head to amuse SB.
- You live with someone who makes horrendous noise all through the night. Except that when you’re a parent, that person is your child, and you have chosen to live with them. No-one chooses to live with That Flatmate who plays weird Euro Club Dance Blender Whatever music at 2am (oddly, this tends to also be the flatmate whose pots and pans are growing fur in the washing up bowl).
- You’re having the time of your life. Here’s the mushy bit – uni is an amazing time. In my time at university I made amazing friends, had some fantastic nights out, created some brilliant memories and got a great qualification. Parenting is also, despite all the knockbacks and difficulties, an amazing time, watching and helping a little human grow. I consider myself very lucky that I got to experience both at the same time.