Since my youngest daughter started school in September, the two most noticeable differences are that I can: a) urinate alone and b) meet friends and have full-length conversations.
I recently saw my friends Kirsty and Mandy. We originally met at a First Time Mums’ Group and have partaken of many unfinished conversations ever since.
None of us knew what to expect of the group, but fears of perfect mothers who produced 100 per cent organic breast milk and knitted their own nursing bras from the virgin wool of their home-reared sheep were proven to be unfounded.
Instead, we all sat in a state of sleep-deprived shock, tucking our baggy tummies into the maternity jeans that we were still wearing and comparing birth stories.
We were thrilled to hear that a fireman was going to visit our group for a home safety talk, and I believe that a small part of each of us died the day that he arrived; all 120 years of him, sporting the physical prowess of one who could extinguish a match. Just.
Originally, we had planned our lunch for November, but Mandy’s daughter used her child-radar to sense that her mother was about to start a conversation, and promptly vomited in school.
We postponed, and this time kept our phones on silent and changed our names by deed poll.*
It was a shock, this sitting in a proper restaurant business; none of the staff offered us crayons or balloons, and I suspect that our waiter for the afternoon, Dave, was mightily impressed by the highbrow content of our conversations: children, husbands, breast implants, children.
Mandy came up with Quote of the Day, which best demonstrates that although we can finish conversations, perhaps those of us whose brains have been boggled by children should not be allowed to.
Upon hearing that Kirsty had read Paula Yates’ autobiography, Mandy enquired as to whether or not Ms Yates had written it ‘before she died’. I rest my case.
As I type this, our child-free afternoon is but a memory, and my youngest is trying to insert a small plastic Barbie bicycle up my nostril.
Were it not for the mummy-mates, then I would fear that the surgeon had removed my brains along with the babies during my c-sections.
Verity Lush is a 36-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth. She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements. Follow her on Twitter @lushnessblog